Opponents of Central Maine Power's proposed hydropower transmission corridor gather at an outdoor election night party as they await results on Question 1, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in Farmington, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Good morning from Augusta.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I always had visions of retirement on a lake and with the pandemic, I realized I could be just as effective working remotely as in the office,” said Mike Fair, the cybersecurity expert at Victoria’s Secret, whose job for the lingerie company allows him to live and work full time on a lake as part of a larger trend towards working from home. Here’s your soundtrack.

What we’re watching today

A member of the anti-Central Maine Power hydropower corridor coalition is taking a shot at higher office. While main CMP critic Tom Saviello is still teasing the idea of taking a shot at governorship, Caratunk select board member Liz Caruso has formally jumped into the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District race in the hopes of taking down U.S. Rep. Jared Golden. Caratunk was one of the first towns to rescind its support of the project, with Caruso penning a letter to the Maine Public Utilities Commission in September 2018.

But the corridor does not seem to be taking center stage in Caruso’s initial campaign. Her website cites a range of usual Republican priorities, including stopping large tech companies from censoring people, the 2nd Amendment, religious and medical freedom along with economic growth. A registered Maine guide and small business owner, she looks to be positioning herself as an outsider to Washington, D.C., and highlighting her Maine connections.

Any Republican challenger is going to face a tough primary against a former U.S. congressman. There is no avoiding a June confrontation with Bruce Poliquin, who raised $883,000 through the end of September in the runup to a rematch with Golden and remains the strong favorite in a primary. The 2018 race between the two was the most expensive House race in the state’s history at the time, and it is likely we will see a repeat performance in that arena as high-dollar spending campaigns seem to be the norm these days. 

Poliquin has already turned away one challenger after Maine state Sen. Trey Stewart, R-Presque Isle, dropped his bid for Congress in deference to his former mentor. Oakland state Rep. Mike Perkins, a Republican, is also still in the running, setting up at least a three-way race to challenge Golden next fall. 

Caruso’s candidacy could be the start of a political trend, however. The CMP corridor referendum was the most expensive in state history and among the most divisive topics in the state while inspiring a strong grassroots movement. The utility itself will possibly be the subject of another referendum next fall, this time asking if it should be bought out to create a consumer-owned entity. It is possible other activists will use their experience resisting the corridor as a launching pad into state — or even national — politics.

The Maine politics top 3

— “Female Maine guard soldiers face retaliation after reporting sexual assault and harassment,” Callie Ferguson and Josh Keefe, Bangor Daily News: “Women in the Maine Army National Guard have suffered bullying, smears, perceived indifference from leadership, secretive investigations and other negative repercussions after they reported fellow soldiers for sexual assault and harassment, the Bangor Daily News found after a months-long investigation into the guard’s handling of cases.”

— “Maine lawmaker hospitalized with COVID for 12 days still won’t get vaccinated,” Caitlin Andrews, BDN: “Greenwood, a second-term lawmaker who was previously a Wales selectman and Androscoggin County commissioner, has been publicly doubtful of the benefits of getting vaccinated and has spoken against masking and COVID-19 shot requirements on social media. He signed petitions against masking requirements in the Wales-area school district and shared a presentation of an Idaho doctor who has been criticized for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.”

— “State taps longtime prosecutor to oversee youth corrections,” Ferguson, BDN: “Christine Thibeault, a supervising attorney for juvenile matters with the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, has been selected as the new associate commissioner of juvenile services for the Maine Department of Corrections, Commissioner Randall Liberty said in an email to staff last week.”

Today’s Daily Brief was written by Caitlin Andrews and Jessica Piper. 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.

To reach us, do not reply directly to this newsletter, but contact the political team at mshepherd@bangordailynews.com, candrews@bangordailynews.com or jpiper@bangordailynews.com.