Sanders’ failed revolution
Those of us who thought Bernie Sanders stopped being cute two months ago might now be forgiven for thinking he has become seriously cranky. This new “ member” of the Democratic Party is losing his voice and raising his fist against it. Sanders put Clinton supporters somewhere below chopped liver, even though they number more than his, and demands the Sanders bandwagon take over the Democratic convention or else tossed chairs will be thrown and other mayhem will occur.
Save money, elect women
If we elect a woman we would only have to pay her 79 cents on the dollar. I really think it would be a way for our government to save money,
Poliquin embarrasses Maine
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives was voting on an anti-discrimination bill that would have protected lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender Maine citizens against discrimination by federal contractors. Rep. Bruce Poliquin voted in support of this bill. Then, suddenly at the last minute, Republican leaders pressured weak representatives and Poliquin turned tail and voted to defeat this anti-discrimination legislation. It failed by one vote 213-212.
Poliquin said it is “outrageous” for anyone to suggest he flipped his vote because of political pressure. We think it “outrageous” and “shameful” that his traitorous vote cast a shadow over Maine across the United States. Maine has always been a state that values all people, and indeed we have often led the nation in offering protections to LGBT men and women.
His important vote received national attention and now, because of him, our Maine reputation for civility and respect is suspect throughout the United States. Shame on him.
Sandy and Ole Jaeger
The hypocrisy of Bruce Poliquin on denying job protections to LGBT workers leaves my head spinning. First, Poliquin opposed a House amendment that would allow employers to not hire or to fire gay and lesbian workers simply on the basis of their sexual orientation. Then he changed his vote to support the same amendment, which then passed by one vote — maybe Poliquin’s.
When asked why he changed his vote, he tried to dodge the question by saying it wasn’t because of political pressure from Republican party bosses. I worked in the U.S. Congress as a staff person for 24 years, and from my experience there are only two reasons why members of Congress changes their vote: Either they regret the first vote they cast or they are pressured by party leaders to do their bidding.
Either way, Poliquin came out against job protections for LGBT workers while insisting he “opposed discrimination in any form.” Really? Based upon this vote, where is the evidence to support this?
Poliquin should explain his vote-switching. But then, based upon his voting behavior, can we trust what he says?
Improve primaries with ranked-choice voting
In 2018, we will have a gubernatorial election without an incumbent — the first time since 2010.
For folks who remember that cycle, the absence of an incumbent meant that competitive candidates on both sides the aisle flocked to the starting line. In the Republican primary, there were seven candidates, and Paul LePage emerged with roughly 37 percent of his party’s support. Similarly, in the Democratic primary there were five candidates and Libby Mitchell emerged with just 34 percent of her party’s support. Neither nominee came close to receiving a majority of their party’s support.
With the anticipation that 2018 could look very similar to 2010, think about the positive impact that ranked-choice voting would have on party primaries. In the party primaries, ranked-choice voting would 1) ensure that a majority of voters are getting behind the candidate that the party sends to the general election; 2) be structured less like a coronation process for the candidate with the most resources and more like a substantive, issues-based discussion around the direction the party wants to go; and 3) eliminate the need for strategic voting, enabling voters to support their favorite candidates without the fear of inadvertently splitting the vote and helping to elect their least favorite candidate.
As voters prepare to weigh in on this issue at the polls in November, I urge them to consider the benefits of this system in all elections.