Good morning from Augusta. Maine’s redistricting panel will release proposed maps for the 151 Maine House districts today. The group has six days (!) to complete its work.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Do not consult Google or Wikipedia,” said Christine Cattan, pharmacist at Bangor Drug, on the latest misguided trend of people gargling iodine in an attempt to prevent COVID-19. “And Dr. Facebook is not real.” Here’s your soundtrack.
What we’re watching today
The former congressman said he will be switching his residence again after his party proposed taking his old town out of the 2nd District. Former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s residence was yet again a topic in Maine’s political conversation after his party proposed moving Oakland, the town he declared residency in when he won the 2nd Congressional District in 2014, out of the district for the 2022 election. Poliquin said he was living in Oakland as recently as last week and his primary opponent, state Rep. Mike Perkins, also lives there.
It was largely seen in political circles as a move coordinated by top Republican officials and Poliquin, whose political apparatus intersects with former Gov. Paul LePage, the de facto party leader running his own 2022 return bid against Gov. Janet Mills. The other shoe dropped on Monday, when Poliquin told WVOM he was “relocating to the Bangor area” for this race.
“This makes much more sense to be able to better serve my constituents if the voters want me back, and I hope they will and I expect they will,” he said, citing Bangor’s relatively central location within the 2nd District. “I’ll be able to better do it from the Bangor area.”
It will be the second time that Poliquin will switch his residency. He owns a waterfront mansion in the 1st District town of Georgetown on a property assessed at $3.4 million in 2020, but he grew up in Waterville and ran out of a family home in Oakland before winning the seat in 2014. He was ousted by Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat, in 2018 and next year’s race is expected to be heavily nationalized and close.
Candidates do not need to live in their congressional district to represent it — only the state — but the proposed shift of Oakland is a politically acute one that has drawn early attention. Poliquin’s residence was a major issue in his first campaign, but it was not in later runs. Perkins laughed off the proposed change last week, so the underdog is likely to stay in the race for now.
The Maine politics top 3
— “Paul LePage and the GOP are working together on legislative races for a change,” Jessica Piper, Bangor Daily News: “It is a far cry from the former governor’s first term, when combative comments, like telling the NAACP to “kiss my butt,” drew condemnation from members of his party, with Republicans saying he distracted from the party’s agenda in the two years they had full control in Augusta. In 2015, a political group then run by his daughter ran robocalls critical of Republican senators with whom LePage was feuding, though the governor denied involvement.”
— “Record 214 Mainers are hospitalized with COVID-19,” Piper, BDN: “The record here follows similar trends in other states over the past few months as the highly contagious delta variant has spread rapidly across the U.S. States with lower vaccination rates, such as Kentucky and Tennessee, have seen their greatest number of patients hospitalized in the past month, as have others, such as Oregon and Washington, that — like Maine — have relatively high vaccination rates.”
Maine will receive a limited number of monoclonal antibodies to treated COVID-19 patients. The drugs, used to treat patients with milder instances of the virus who are at higher risk of being hospitalized, are now being largely allocated by the federal government to states with high infection rates. It is not clear how far the 300 doses Maine will receive will go — the state’s large hospitals use between 20 to 50 doses a week.
— “‘Rise of the Moors’ leader claims gun laws hurt militia’s ability to protect Maine from foreign invasion,” Lia Russell, BDN: “[Jamhal] Latimer, also known as Jamhal Talib Abdullah Bey, cited a number of legal cases to bolster his claim that militias like Rise of the Moors have the right to travel unimpeded to respond to ‘a foreign invasion from the Northern States, or an act of domestic terrorism in the northern States, such as Maine.’”
Today’s Daily Brief was written by Caitlin Andrews, Jessica Piper and Michael Shepherd. If you’re reading this on the BDN’s website or were forwarded it, you can sign up to have it delivered to your inbox every weekday morning here.
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