This week, ClickBack sought editorial page reader comments on the next phase of the gubernatorial contest. We asked whether Republican nominee Paul LePage was the front-runner, and whether independent candidates Eliot Cutler, Shawn Moody and Kevin Scott have a credible chance to win.
Is it Paul LePage’s race to lose?
No matter what your political affiliation, you must recognize how economically screwed-up Maine has become, but the November election will bring a new opportunity to this state. Let’s stop playing the blame game and look at what we really need in Augusta. We need a strong fiscal conservative leading the charge and Paul LePage is the best candidate for that job.
Even the leftists know that Maine can’t continue to spend itself into the poor house. The belief that Maine has a balanced budget when the state refuses to pay hundreds of millions in overdue bills to Maine hospitals is ludicrous. The Nancy Pelosi of Maine and a Jimmy Carter retread are not going to ring true this election.
I believe if Eliot Cutler and the other two independents get at least 15 percent but no more than 32 percent, Paul LePage will be your next governor. I believe you add the 37 percent that Chandler Woodcock got and the 15,000 conservative to moderate Franco Democrats and independents who voted for Baldacci and you’re at 43 percent to 44 percent.
Libby Mitchell, a South Carolina native, isn’t going to break 40 percent. However if Cutler catches fire or flames out completely it maybe a different story. It seems to me LePage has the momentum.
I am a registered Democrat who often votes Republican. I like to think of myself as independent, as many of us do.
Whether I agree with LePage supporters or not, they ran a meaningful, successful grassroots campaign, and that counts for something in this country. I admire them.
On the other hand, I make a hobby of looking into campaign finance reports. In the case of Mr. LePage, I find nothing unusual except for the significant participation of Littlefield Consulting.
Entities at the highest Republican and Tea Party/Libertarian power level use these folks. To land their services and to be able to pay for them… well, frankly, I find that worrying.
Somebody higher up was keen on having LePage elected, and Abbot was never meant to succeed.
Is Maine ready to elect another independent governor?
Maine is absolutely ready for independent Cutler. No matter how people try to spin it, Cutler is the choice of moderates. And moderates are the dominant political bloc in Maine.
He appeals to me because he offers the fiscal conservatism that Maine needs and the social moderation that frees people to make their own choices on personal issues. I don’t see how that doesn’t appeal to the majority of Mainers.
Cutler is a liberal Democrat in an independent wrapper. He worked in the Carter administration. All LePage has to do is get that word out. Then he and the Libby will compete for the left side of the spectrum.
Also, Maine has typically been independent and moderate, but people are very angry the about way things have been run in Augusta by the Dems for decades. Finally, Maine isn’t necessarily as socially liberal as some folks think – look at the results on same-sex marriage vote last November.
Cutler definitely clears a central path for Maine politics. He is the most balanced and qualified candidate and I hope the majority of voters realizes this by election day.
The fact that Cutler took a job in the Carter White House at age 29 does not make him a liberal – it makes him a young man who got offered an excellent opportunity, one which anyone in his position would have taken.
Look beyond the ridiculous notion that having worked in Carter’s White House 30 years ago defines his politics now and take real look at what he is saying. You will find a true moderate with extensive experience in business and law, a history of successfully managing budgets and a great plan to get Maine back on track economically. Cutler is the clear choice in November.