The ugly, the vain and the dangerous from LePage

Twice this week, Gov. Paul LePage has been rebuked by courts. But there’s no evidence, even when met with the limits of his power, that it has had any impact on him. First, the U.S. Supreme Court, controlled by conservatives, refused to take up an appeal by the state regarding an inappropriate attempt to deny […]

Maine Democrats break with president on trade deal

The Maine Democratic Party is bucking President Obama and rejecting one his most significant second-term policy initiatives: The Trans-Pacific Partnership economic and trade agreement. On May 17, the Democratic State Committee – the elected leaders of the state party – passed a strongly worded resolution denouncing the trade pact and efforts to grant the president […]

LePage’s war trades headlines for progress

With Gov. Paul LePage’s theatric meltdown last week and a full-blown shutdown showdown looming, there’s no wonder that the media coverage this week has focused on the fracas and Republican infighting. But lost in the dust of the melee are the details of what’s at stake. And those details are a lot more than numbers […]

Outrage on a budget, just add ‘welfare’

If a kid stole $1.20, would a newspaper cover it? What if an accountant embezzled $42, would it make the evening news? What if it happened a handful of times? Would there be outrage, and press releases and public policy solutions? Of course not. While there’s no question that stealing a buck is wrong or […]

Unnecessary fight drags soldiers into controversy

In fewer than 70 words, a legislative molehill has turned into a political tempest. That’s what has happened with LD 1503, “An Act to Ensure Student Access to Postsecondary Military Options.” The little bill, which would have little practical impact on schools, students and military recruiters, has created a firestorm, with some political observers wondering […]

Cities like Portland offer chance to move in and move up

Earlier this week, the Portland City Council passed a new ordinance that forbids loitering in the medians of the city’s streets. The new restriction, while impacting anyone and any activity, was put into place specifically to target panhandling. Portland has a large homeless population, especially for a city its size, and the growth creates real […]