Articles by Amy Fried


LePage’s governorship is essentially over

By Amy Fried on Sept. 06, 2016, at 10:32 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage surely still wants to accomplish things in office. Yet his own actions and statements have profoundly reduced his influence and power. While the governor’s outrageous statements have gone viral many times, the velocity and widespread response to LePage’s latest remarks seemed faster and more intense. One reason …

What sort of governor would say this?

By Amy Fried on June 05, 2012, at 4:47 p.m.
“In ____, we understand that high-tech companies don’t just happen overnight but are a product of forethought, sound vision and planning, and strategic investments by both the public and private sectors. Through our Emerging Technology Fund, we are bringing the best scientists and researchers to ____, attracting high-tech jobs and …

Costly cuts

By Amy Fried on May 22, 2012, at 8:59 p.m.
Cuts can be costly. As the saying goes, one can be pennywise and pound foolish. Whether maintaining a home or managing a business, sometimes frugality backfires, leading to more spending and costs down the road. Maine’s supplementary budget and a new approach on taxes will be quite costly. At the …

Maine GOP a house divided

By Amy Fried on May 08, 2012, at 2:13 p.m.
The Maine Republican party, having won a sweeping victory in 2010, is a house divided. Last weekend the party was taken over by Ron Paul supporters. February had featured a very messy caucus process; party leaders said Romney won, even though it was not clear if all towns would have …

We Shall Overcome

By Amy Fried on April 24, 2012, at 3:42 p.m.
On the voyages that are our lives, the poet Tennyson wrote, “I am a part of all that I have met.” And, indeed, each of us, whether a private citizen or elected official, takes lessons from our pasts. In one of the greatest speeches of the twentieth century, by the …

What does a woman want?

By Amy Fried on April 10, 2012, at 3:47 p.m.
Sigmund Freud, who claimed women “oppose change, receive passively, and add nothing of their own,” famously asked, “What does a woman want?” Freud’s overt bias isn’t voiced very often today, but variants of his question continue to be posed. Just last week, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus offered his …

Politics aside, Obamacare should survive

By Amy Fried on March 27, 2012, at 3:51 p.m.
A stab of sadness hits me when I see them, those posters advertising a supper or some other fundraiser for a sick child needing a bone marrow transplant, or a parent who needs surgery. My religion teaches that to save one life is to save the entire world. Each of …

Better health, better budgets

By Amy Fried on March 13, 2012, at 5:12 p.m.
Now is the time for pragmatism and policy creativity. Maine faces a difficult budgetary environment, made worse by cutting tax revenues, the bulk of which had come from the most well-off. Proposed and passed cuts undermine health clinics, causing patients to lose access to ongoing care and screening and so …

From the bedroom to the ballot box

By Amy Fried on Feb. 28, 2012, at 12:18 p.m.
Perhaps a certain state legislator now wishes he had studied the classics. In the 2,400 year old play Lysistrata, the women of Athens tried to affect men’s political decisions by refusing to sleep with them. With parallels to that ancient Greek drama, a Virginia state legislator, Republican Delegate Dave Albo, …

As Iowa goes, so goes Maine?

By Amy Fried on Feb. 14, 2012, at 4:48 p.m.
Maine may become the next Iowa. No, Maine’s not going to trade the pine for Iowa’s state tree, the oak. Nor will the Pine Tree State lose its seafood and bean suppahs. But in presidential nomination politics, we may say “As Iowa goes, so goes Maine.” At the conclusion of …

The outrage of fodder creators

By Amy Fried on Jan. 31, 2012, at 2:06 p.m.
Outrage is in, with appeals to emotion and sharply drawn characters. While our new, wonderful range of media deliver so much content, some content creators would be better termed fodder creators. Fodder creators are resolutely not interested in traditional journalism. Old-school reporting, in its best incarnation, delivers facts and gives …

Voter photo ID — another bad, and costly, idea

By Amy Fried on Jan. 17, 2012, at 4:33 p.m.
With Maine’s strong, accessible system of voting, why mess with success? And, given all our urgent budgetary needs, why ask Maine’s taxpayers to pay for all the U.S. Supreme Court requires for a system of photo identification for voters? Maine’s legislators voted twice on voting last session. The Legislature passed …

Why health security matters

By Amy Fried on Jan. 03, 2012, at 3:02 p.m.
My dad used to say, “Without health, you have nothing.” Maybe he exaggerated a bit, but it’s certain that poor health and lack of health care coverage undermine people’s opportunities and our economic vitality. Babies born to mothers with poor prenatal care start out behind. No matter how motivated one …

Government out of balance

By Amy Fried on Dec. 20, 2011, at 4:26 p.m.
While sometimes only pie will do — pumpkin, blueberry or even chocolate peanut butter — very rarely does it make sense to, as Governor’s Restaurant urges, have dessert first. In this season of celebration (and overeating), it may seem cantankerous to say so, but balance is best for our health. …

Occupation and opportunity

By Amy Fried on Dec. 06, 2011, at 4:33 p.m.
Our nation has changed as the distribution of wealth has become rather skewed. Inflation-adjusted incomes of the very rich have exploded as middle incomes have stagnated and the middle class’ share of the nation’s wealth has decreased. Between 1979 and 2006, the average after-tax income of the top 1 percent …

Poliquin mixes apples, oranges and real estate

By Amy Fried on Nov. 22, 2011, at 4:20 p.m.
If you’ve ever purchased property or thought of doing so, you’ve probably heard about the three things most related to price: location, location, location. Where a property is — whether a home or commercial space — is hugely important for its value. Thus it was odd to hear State Treasurer …

Five steps toward better elections

By Amy Fried on Nov. 08, 2011, at 4:40 p.m.
Unlike you, I don’t know how the Nov. 8 election turned out — my deadline doesn’t allow that — but, whatever happened, some reflection and action are in order. Maine politics have been extraordinary. For a small state, Maine has produced an exemplary set of political leaders — thoughtful, productive …

Message: Make Mainers’ lives more difficult

By Amy Fried on Oct. 25, 2011, at 4:33 p.m.
Imagine a political campaign with this message: “We want to make Mainers’ lives more difficult. The system that’s been around for decades is remarkably effective and we’ve documented no actual problems. But it should go.” That’s the message from supporters of No on Question 1, those who think the 38-year …

Integrity of law at question in voting debate

By Amy Fried on Oct. 11, 2011, at 4:06 p.m.
With the newest twist in Maine politics involving voting, the specters of selective enforcement and administrative activism have come to the fore. Some questions are even troublesome to ask. Is there one law for all? Or are some people’s lives, but not others, going to be checked over by government …

Census and Constitution protect student voting

By Amy Fried on Sept. 27, 2011, at 5:44 p.m.
In Maine’s 38 years of Election Day registration, all sorts of folks have benefited. Yet Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster has repeatedly questioned students’ ability to vote where they live while going to school. But students have every right to vote there and this right is rooted in a …