December 13, 2017
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Comments for: More accountability, standards for attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer

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  • Anonymous

    If these positions were appointed by the governor they would simply be his/her lackeys. This is also true with the current system of appointment by legislative majority party. This was made clear to me when I asked the (GOP appointed) Maine State Attorney General if it was legal for Governor LePage to lease Fort Knox to a private organization. According to the AT, William Schneider, it was legal to do so under certain circumstance however he wouldn’t go into any details. The result being that I didn’t have an answer, which made the point very clear that he was servicing the Maine GOP, not Maine’s citizens. Let’s be honest here. When the congressional majority party appoints/elects these people the appointees are beholden to them. Neither form of appointment, gubernatorial or congressional, is without this obligatory result. Election by the constituency is the only fair way to fill these positions.

    • Anonymous

      You want more campaigning? The best part of the current selection process is that the office holders need not spend any time campaigning. As you noted, pandering to the party will occur. Would you rather have them spend half a year shaking hands? A poor A.G. will be ousted in two years. (See Schneider) The trade-off seems not worth the effort.

      • Anonymous

        But that is the price you pay for democracy. It should be a four-year term, elected at the same time as governor.

    • maineiac123

      And you’ll get exactly the same thing if these offices were filled by election. The The Officers would still be beholden to the parties that nominated and paid for their ads etc.

  • Anonymous

    The problem with the popular election of constitutional officers is that the candidates would first have to secure their party’s nomination. Unless the voters pick someone who isn’t the nominee of the winning party in that election (possible but unlikely, and fraught with conflict if they do), all that a direct election would do is move the intra-party contest from after the election, to before.

    Also, formal requirements may disqualify people unnecessarily: I don’t believe that to this day, Bill Gates has an earned college degree. By all means, require ‘demonstrated competence’: but credentialism is already pretty much of a failed god.

  • If there was ever a more clear case for a State Constitutional convention to get this party muck-muck cleaned up, and get the whole of the Maine State Government back to a completely democraticly elected process government, this is it. Term limit’s alone prevent a feudal kingdom from developing, State House and Department head’s notwithstanding, But to allow a State House Majority, which by definition only represent’s the majority elected for legislative purpose’s, to elect the AG, the Secretary of State and the State Auditor smacks of nothing less than political cronyism. We’ve all seen, and had enough of, that nonsense in DC and the result’s are beyond obscene. Official’s that are responsible for the whole of Maine’s legal, business and economic interest’s need, and the voter’s should be responsible for, to be elected by ALL of the voter’s, not some secret handshake club that isin’t accountable to the voter’s. That’s the beginning of cronyism and public corruption. Look at New Mexico and Texas. Both State’s are neck deep in local and State corruption case’s. And Florida’s not far behind. Maine’s had enough of the crony crap given the last GOP Caucus’s. It’s time to move forward and join the rest of the Country in electing ALL of our State-wide Official’s, not some secret club that’s not accountable to us all.

    • Greengrocers run wild.

      The humble Farmer

    • maineiac123

      Actually this “secret club” is completely and totally accountable to all of us. Just wait to the next election. You want our system changed yet you talk about corruption in states whose system we would most likely be following if we change.

      • Accountability, as it is now practiced in the so-called election’s of 3 of the State Constitutional Officer’s, is a sad and sick joke. By allowing a Majority of a majority to vote and determine it prevents, indeed it prohibit’s, the voter’s from voting for these Officer’s that all have a direct effect on their daily lives, the SOS’s Office especially in their dealings with Maine business’s. Accountability also prevent’s corruption by requirng participation and the press keeping a very close eye, and reporting what they see, on the politician’s. You want to follow Texas’ example and what Perry has done to that State, fine. Just don’t forget to turn off the light’s when you go over the Rt 1 Bridge at Kittery.

        • maineiac123

          Apparently your skills at comprehension need a bit of updating. You say accountability also prevent corruption can you show any corruption by any of the officers you’re talking about? I never said I wanted to follow Texas’ example, I asked you if that is what you want considering you’re the one asking for a change, not me. You say there is no accountability and I say we make the politicians accountable every election.

          Seems every time someone cannot keep up in a discussion because of their lack of skills they end with things like “leave the State if you don’t like it”. I’d suggest instead that you take some remediation courses in reading and comprehension skills.

    • Anonymous

      Texas and Fla ELECT these positions and judges TOO….

  • Anonymous

    direct election with four year terms same cycle as the governor. peoples petiton anyone?

    • Anonymous

      withe an appointed AG how do we expect them to watch the politicans

      • Anonymous

        Didn’t AG Schneider look the other way while his good buddy Bruce Poliquin was “engaging in trade” while he was state treasurer?

    • Anonymous

      I would agree with this. Allow the voters to decide these three offices for four-year terms at the same time as we vote for Governor. Good plan, and similar to most other states.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, this will have to come via voter-initiated referendum. Sitting legislators will never put forward a constitutional amendment removing their power to fill these high-profile patronage positions. There should be qualifications for the positions AND they should be elected by the populace.

    • Anonymous

      The State Constitution cannot be amended by a citizen initiative, only the Legislature can propose a Constitutional amendment.

    • Anonymous

      NOPE It is fine the way it is

      .We saw what R’s did with their “appointments” and didn’t like it much . An SOS who attacks voters instead of protecting their right to vote. An AG who wastes taxpayers money on endless frivolous lawsuits to make a name for himself. And a treasurer on endless witch hunts with an unprofessional,outrageous and partisan “blog”. With all of them running for higher office on the taxpayers dime and time.They abused their positions and deserved to lose them ( and their elections)

  • Anonymous

    I believe these positions should be elected positions. Get the politics out of it. These positions serve the interests of the State of Maine and all of its residents. So, it makes good and perfect sense to have them elected.

    • Anonymous

      Are you of the same opinion for these similar positions within the Federal Government as well?

      • Anonymous

        State is a seperate institution from the Federal, States have more rights.. Yet they take taxpayer federal bribes to comply

        • Anonymous

          Yes, I understand that States are seperate institutions than the Federal Government. I simply wanted to know if ‘dlaurels’ was in the opinion that those similar positions within Federal Government should be elected as well.

          • maineiac123

            The problem is those positions are not even close to similar except by name.

      • Anonymous

        That is a very different ballgame. These are considered federal cabinet level positions whom must work very closely with the President on national policy including foreign affairs and national security. The state level is quite different.

    • Anonymous

      aggreed

    • Anonymous

      There would still be politics, but statewide voter politics and not just single party appointment politics. The latter is more democratic.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah we get such high quality candidates through elections.

    • Anonymous

      No it doesn’t .I want PROFESSIONALS with experience in these positions NOT more politicians.
      For example SUMMER’S SOS job is in part to PROTECT the voters right to vote. Instead he allowed himself to get sucked into the R party’s chair’s mythical accusation of widespread voter fraud to push a national R ( partisan) agenda to win NATIONAl elections. It appears that BECAUSE he was running for higher( national) office , this action was more related to “getting votes” then it was to doing his job as SOS of supporting and defending existing MAINE election laws.

      • Anonymous

        What you have said supports my opinion. Right now politicians appoint former politicians to these positions. If elected, regular people would have to prove to the public that they have the credentials and knowledge to fill these positions. Right now the only credentials are that the politicians are no longer serving in the Legislature.

  • Anonymous

    Business as usual. Surprise surprise….

  • If you read this editorial quickly your first thought was probably that no qualifications seemed to be necessary for the position of governor.

    The humble Farmer

    • Anonymous

      Lived in a Dem town where the Mayor campaigned from jail…and he won re-election handily!

      • Anonymous

        Yeah the Dems do it backward. You’re supposed to get elected THEN become a criminal.

      • Anonymous

        wasn’t in Maine, was it??

  • Anonymous

    ” Election by the constituency is the only fair way to fill these positions. *clears throat* That’s the way we got the current Governor, right?

    • Anonymous

      And your point is that LePage only won 38% of the vote which we have all heard about for the past two years but oddly enough, not the past 6 years. I guess because it was a democrat that won with 36% of the vote, well that is okay because he is a democrat and he smiled a lot.

      • Anonymous

        No, you don’t get it. My point had nothing to do with who won with what per cent but everything to do with the fact that it was the people who elected this buffoon! Shall we ask them to just elect more like him to fill important posts?

        • Anonymous

          LePage ONLY won because I’s and D’s split the vote, between the other two candidates. It was a fluke that won’t happen again.

      • Anonymous

        sweety the right endlessly pointed that out — calling Baldacci Gov 38 etc. It just came back to bite them. God has a sense of humor and justice, I think.

  • Anonymous

    Where was the public outcry when Schneider just slapped Poliquin on the wrist for pursuing his personal business in clear violation of the state constitution?

    • Anonymous

      or when he cut the cost of MHA housing by 25%?

  • Anonymous

    Matt Dunlap was a bartender before the appointment, Neria Douglas got her cred. after she was appointed, Mills made some statements she’s going to have contradict.

    Far from perfect selection process for the Best person; but beats the treasurer Baldacci first appointed, the one who blew $35 m. of State money on MAINSAIL–the ill advised derivative headquartered in the Caymans. The Co. went belly up a mere two weeks after the purchase. Maine never got any money back or if they did I can’t find a record of it in the revenue statements.

    The treasurer is fiduciary and must be above partisan decisions and rash actions. I’d prefer a non-partisan election, so how do you get one?

    • Anonymous

      I wonder if you could have a provisional appointment, reviewed after six months by a bi-partisan committee

    • Anonymous

      I think with regard to Dunlap you may be referring to one of several side jobs he held way back in his college years and before he was elected to the legislature. I believe he also cooked and/or worked in restaurant kitchens when he was young in high school and college. He also worked on his family farm growing up. C’mon. You are getting ridiculous with that kind of silly attack. And even IF he was STILL bartending or waitering or cooking ON THE SIDE, so what? Isn’t it good to be down at the grassroots WORKING with the common folks? Doesn’t that improve one’s own character and broaden one’s perspective? Dunlap also has BA and MA degrees from the University of Maine in History and English and completed the Senior Executives in State Government Program at Harvard. He also has worked in publishing and radio media. He served several terms in the legislature, and he has six prior years as Secretary of State where by all accounts he did a good job. He knows the job inside and out, and he will not play political games like Summers and try to suppress voting. He is HIGHLY qualified. That all said, I agree with the idea of making these constiutional offices open to statewide election so the candidates have to campaign and submit themselves to all the voters of the state. For now though, the people of main can rest assured that they have moderate, thoughtful, well experienced and qualified folks in these positions with no huge political agendas. Mainers will get good governance with these folks.

      • Anonymous

        yeah I thought that Dunlap sideswipe was totally inappropriate, too.. Seems intended to cast aspersions on his character and to be be character assasination — what the right does best .Voters are sick of that stuff.

        Don’t know the man, but met him at the polls shaking hands . He seemed very sweet and gentle . Seemed too gentle for politics… let alone “bar tending”.

    • Anonymous

      Paul LePage worked in a junk store.

      • John Baldacci never worked anywhere after high school. At least LePage knows what it is like to make a living working instead of being a career politician.

        • Anonymous

          What would you know about working for a living?

          • Quite a lot actually after three successful careers.

            What would you know about me? That would be nothing, likely matching your personal “work” experience.

            Right back at ‘ya.

          • Anonymous

            I’ve had 8 successful careers.

          • 8 successful careers makes you at least 178 years old based on the national average of twenty years being a career. You have to admit that your username kind of gives you away.

            It indicates that you fit into one of two categories:

            a. Government hack employee sitting behind a computer paid for by the taxpayers goofing off on the internet during normal work hours, or

            b. One of thousands of career Maine dole dwellers sitting in your section eight housing, using taxpayer funded internet while you wait for your next taxpayer funded check to hit the mail box.

            After all, again based on your username, a liberal actually working at a private sector, tax paying job, is like Bigfoot. People talk about them but noone has ever seen one.

          • Anonymous

            What would you know about me? That would be nothing, likely matching your personal “work” experience.

            Right back at ‘ya.

            Didn’t YOU just say that???

          • Simply giving you my opinion based on six decades on this blue marble.

            Have a nice day! ;-)

          • Anonymous

            Ditto.

          • Anonymous

            What would he know about you? Obviously more than You knew about John Baldacci.

          • What I know about John Baldacci is what type of Governor he was and what his own bio says about working at Mama’s “when he was a child”.

          • Anonymous

            Guess the bio didn’t cover it, or You mis-read what he wrote.

            Working as a child, does not preclude working as an adult.

            I can say “I swept floors in a local bakery when I was nine”; and that wouldn’t mean that was the only job I ever had.

        • Anonymous

          Actually you are incorrect. John worked at Momma Baldacci’s restaurant up until he was elected to the Second District’s House seat. He often waited on our family there.

          I was disappointed in his performance as governor, BUT John knew work I saw him buss tables, sweep floors, and greet the public. no mean task. Try a couple of years in food service and see what work is like.

          • All I can go by is his own bio which states that he “worked at the family restaurant as a child.” Of course, many of our elected officials fit into that “child” category.

  • Anonymous

    As a relative newcomer to Maine, I’ve been surprised and disappointed that Maine does not choose the AG and SoS by popular vote. High time that we change this. The Treasurer should not necessarily be popularly elected but should have the minimal requirements cited.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted by author.

    • Anonymous

      Doesn’t that make the seats highly political?? Don’t the appointed officers think more about making decision that will help then to get re-elected then about doing their job under the law??

      I’m shocked that many states elect judges. .So how does that work out regarding being objective, professional , and following the law?? Not very well is MY guess.

  • East of Chamberlain Lake in th

    The Majority has spoken and the foxes are back in charge of the chicken house. When the majority of voters can vote themselves into the state’s treasury it’s simply a matter of time before the fiscal death spiral accelerates and ends in a merry glugging noise as the economy disappears down the drain…..

    • Anonymous

      you are right….dont think the average mainer realizes the mess we are getting into…

    • Anonymous

      Apparently we like that.

  • Anonymous

    You wanted the good old boys back and you got the good old boys back. Now you have to live with the arrogance and dictatorial style of the Maine Democrat Party. Enjoy as they continue to reduce Maine to a vacation haven for their rich friends from New York, Boston and Hartford.

    • Anonymous

      I could have agreed if you stopped at the first two sentences. It seems to me Independents, Republicans, as well as Democrats are attempting to give the State away to their friends from away. Remember LePages “Open for Business” sign was fabricated In Louisiana, where our license plates are made.

      • Anonymous

        I was talking about the summer residents of Maine. That has no relation to where the sign was fabricated.

    • Anonymous

      R’s had their chance; they “blew’ it. It was their to lose; and they did .

  • Anonymous

    This is a good article. It appears that the Democrats are practicing ‘business as usual’ too. Change would do us all good. A.G.. Secretary of State and Auditor should be elected and accountible to the citizens, not party bosses.

    • Anonymous

      HMM were all these called for elected officials when LePage was doing the appointing?? SOUR grapes, sore losers… that is all

  • Anonymous

    Sec. of State:
    35 states elect usually 4 years
    12 appointed by governor
    3 appointed by legislature (Maine, NH, Tenn.)

    Attorney General:
    43 states elect
    5 appointed by governor
    1 appointed by legislature (Maine)
    1 appointed by state supreme court (Tenn.)

    State Treasurer:
    Texas doesn’t have one
    38 elected
    9 appointed by governor
    2 appointed by legislature (Maine & Tenn.)

    [thanks to Wikipedia & other web sites]

    • Anonymous

      Dirigo –Maine leads( and doesn’t follow the crowd)

      • Anonymous

        That’s for sure. Tennessee has an interesting system where the Attorney General is appointed by the state supreme court for an eight year term. Gets the same pay as an associate justice, about $165K. It seems the A.G. must have been a state resident for at least 5 years. It’s not clear whether they can serve more than 8 years. The justices are appointed by the governor for 8 year terms but after 8 years they must submit to a retention election — whatever that is.

    • Anonymous

      I have never understood the argument (often made by newspapers but only when discussing liberal issues) that because all the others do it one way, we (as a sovereign State) should follow the crowd.

      New Hampshire is the only State in the Union without a seat belt law, but it is also the second safest State in the country in which to drive.

  • Anonymous

    Why should the treasurer have any minimum requirements? This State official in reality does nothing except report the numbers supplied by the real working accountants and auditors in the back room. As usual in business, the boss does pretty much nothing except collect the largest paycheck

    I think we should end the charade and just allow the party in power to select three Mainers to sit around and do nothing for two years while collecting over $100,000 in patronage. This would require no change except the de-titling of the three “Constitutional” officers.

  • Anonymous

    I do wonder if we even need a Secretary of State. With the amount of time the last one spent campaigning and *not* performing his duties, perhaps there’s a place to save. If I were absent from a job that long, it wouldn’t exist when I finally came back.

  • mebiz

    Bruce Poloquin exposed the good ole’ boy crowd in the Maine State Housing Office, that was never brought to light.over the years. Apparently the “experienced political leaders” are experienced at looking the other way in order to keep their cushy jobs and the press never reports on their people’s lack of character as long as they go along with the press’s political views.

    • Anonymous

      Poliquin lost his election and his job.

    • Anonymous

      He exposed how easy it is for rich land owners to take advantage of a state forestry program.

  • Anonymous

    the spoils go to the winner .It is perfect the way that is it.

    I voted so we COULD boot the other constitutional officers OUT —giving what they DID with their partisan positions– they blatantly ABUSED their positions. i was outraged by Poliquin’s highly partisan and unprofessional “blog” ; Summers getting on board with Websters mythical accusations of voter fraud ; and Schneider joining.the lawsuit against health care reform and OTHER frivolous but “big name “lawsuits.

    They were ALL out of touch with Maine and now thankfully they are gone . KNOWN and experienced D’s being in these positions will act as a BUFFER and “check” against further abuse of power. I am glad and grateful they are there… and some sanity and professionalism has returned to governance in Augusta.And they won’t act thinking about getting votes. The teas and Koch boys can’t influence what they do..

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