Time for an equal rights amendment, but expect a nasty fight

It’s long past time that the Maine Legislature sends a state Equal Rights Amendment to voters. But a word of caution for the supporters – of which I am one: If LD 433, which would amend the state constitution to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on the sex of an individual, appears on the ballot, we […]

We need to move past emotions on safe injection sites and toward acceptance

It is hard to overcome an emotional response in politics. It’s part of the reason why President Donald Trump is able to maintain the support of his hardcore supporters. He connects with them emotionally – with anger, fear and, often, hatred. No amount of logic can break that emotional connection. There’s no arguing the facts […]

Paid sick leave protects from the unexpected muppet attack

It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving and I was visiting a local baby store. Minding my own business, I strolled down the aisle when out of nowhere I was attacked, set upon by a foam Elmo couch for kids. That little red devil found its way under foot, and I went arse over teakettle, right […]

Time to reject wrong-number robocalls

Considering that we live in perhaps the safest, least war-torn time in all of human history, it feels like a disservice to complain about minor inconveniences. After achieving in-box zero right after the holidays, the endless stream of spam emails I receive on a daily basis has me creeping back up closer to a 1,000 […]

Mills finds the middle ground with budget

If you’re preaching a prophecy of doom or are red-faced angry about Gov. Janet Mills’ budget or her budget address, delivered Monday night, then you probably also get mad at vanilla wafers. The entire thing – from the length of the speech to its simple, direct construction to its content – was an exercise in […]

Expectations for Mills’ big speech: Part spreadsheet. Part policy. Part poetry.

Gov. Janet Mills has set a blistering pace on a lot of big policy matters since taking office last month, including moving quickly to expand access to health care to more than 70,000 people. But that initiative, as important as it is, was passed multiple times by the Legislature and by the voters of Maine. […]

To all the rich guys who want to be president, remember Maine!

Dear America, remember Maine! Not “Remember the Maine,” which maybe you read in a history book. Rather remember the last eight years of politics in Maine. In 2010, Maine was on the bleeding edge of a political tsunami that was headed toward American politics. We elected a boorish, racist proto-Trump. Then four years later, we […]

Mills right to reject failed GOP policy on health care

In a major victory for sound public policy over naked politics, Gov. Janet Mills continued her efforts to expand access to health care to Maine people. This time, she bucked the Trump administration and former Gov. Paul LePage by rejecting a change to the state’s Medicaid program, which would have erected unnecessary barriers to health […]

My weekend with ‘The Deplorables’

I grew up and went to school deep in Appalachia, in far Southwest Virginia, near the Tennessee line. While the region is trying to reinvent itself, it still suffers the hangover of the decline of coal and manufacturing, and depopulation. Many of my friends from high school and college still live in the region. Others […]

Overcoming Republican budget games on Medicaid

Earlier this week, the Legislature released a preliminary list of bills. There are the normal ones, looking to change the tax code in one way or another, several around energy – including a proposal for a Maine version of The Green New Deal – Republican proposals to undermine the state’s referenda process and a bill […]