Budget nonsense shows Maine GOP has earned its diminished stature

Political effectiveness is not determined by any one election cycle. It’s a culture, cultivated over years, across elections. The decisions made during this election cycle don’t go away after Election Day. They shape the opinions of voters over a lifetime, and mistakes made during one period aren’t forgotten just because one side wins or loses […]

Virginia’s firm stand against racism puts Maine to shame

I grew up in Virginia in the 1980s. My high school’s sports teams were the Rebels, and our mascot was Johnny Reb, a cartoonish soldier holding a bugle and a Confederate flag. My high school was located on Old Lee Highway, named for Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and I lived in a neighborhood called […]

Pingree fails in ‘Me and AOC’ foray

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a rock star. Amassing and leveraging millions of Twitter followers, “AOC,” as she’s come to be known, has become the perfect progressive counterweight to President Donald Trump. Charismatic and utterly unafraid, AOC has sparked the imagination of millions across the country. Chellie Pingree … hasn’t. Despite her best efforts to become […]

Dirty books and filthy laws

Books are dirty. And really good books can be really, really dirty. When I read about state Rep. Amy Arata’s bill attempting to ban “obscene” books from high school libraries, it made me realize some of the filthiest things I’ve ever read had their genesis in the pages of some of the greatest writing of […]

Gideon’s paid leave proposal is comedy gold — for Gov. Mills

The concept of a “straight man” is a bedrock comedy institution. A relatively normal, identifiable person is paired with an off-the-wall character, and the contrast between the two creates comedy gold. Laurel and Hardy, Burns and Allen, Abbott and Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, the Smothers Brothers, all of these acts relied on the […]

Picking the primary winners: Republican edition

Last week, I laid out my predictions for the Democratic primary for governor. This week I’ll continue the wild speculation with my thoughts on the Republican primary. Where the Democratic primary is shaping up as a battle between the various factions within the party, the GOP primary is more of a contest between individuals seeking […]

Picking the primary winners: Democratic edition

With eight weeks to go until Maine voters select their party nominees for governor, the Republican and Democratic primaries are still wide open. No obvious frontrunners have emerged, and no public polling has been released. So, in the absence of quantifiable data, I’ll make some very subjective guesses about where these races are going. I’ll […]

In era of fake news, our society needs a baseline reality

Seven years ago, I never could have imagined how much things would change. In 2011, I was CEO of The Maine Heritage Policy Center, a free market nonprofit that served as the intellectual backbone of the Republican takeover of state government after 30 years in the wilderness. MHPC’s place of prominence within the conservative movement […]

GOP should learn from mistakes that began in 2010

We’ve seen this movie before. A bumbling political outsider with inchoate political views, leveraging the anger of the day to remake himself into a “lifelong conservative.” A businessman who’ll run government like a successful company, but who assembles a campaign team that can’t successfully execute the simplest tasks. A terrible public speaker with a loose […]