Thursday, March 22, 2018

What Do You Do About Maine?


Angus King, an Independent and popular Senate incumbent, caucuses and generally votes with the Democrats. He's up for reelection in November. His ProgressivePunch lifetime crucial vote score is pretty miserable, closest to Missouri conservaDem Claire McCaskill, but slightly better than 3 Democrats, Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Joe Manchin (WV). Still, his 67.71 score is considerably better than the least horrible Republican, Susan Collins (also from Maine), whose score is 26.24. The state's PVI is D+3-- but the Democratic Party is not exactly thriving there. Not exactly.

Maine has one of the worst governors in the country, Paul LePage. In fact, one of the worst governors in American history. How is that possible? Here's how. The foul mouthed and uneducated pig became governor with just 37.6% (218,065 votes) in 2010. Eliot Cutler, an independent came in second with 208,270 votes (35.9%) and a weak and uninspiring Democrat, Elizabeth Mitchell, was crushed with just 109,387 votes (18.8%). LePage also won his reelection battle in 2014 with less than 50%. This time it was Cutler, again running as an Independent, who was the spoiler:
Paul LePage (R)- 294,519 (48.2%)
Mike Michaud (D- 265,114 (43.4%)
Eliot Cutler (I- 51,515 (8.4%)
That same year, Democrats ran an awful EMILY's List corporate Democrat, Emily Cain, in the second district to hold onto Michaud's then open congressional seat (ME-02). Horrible candidate, albeit not as horrible as the monster the GOP ran, Bruce Poliquin. But Poliquin beat her-- not necessarily because she was such as wretched and uninspiring candidate but because an indecent, Blaine Richardson, took 10.6% of the vote. Poliquin won with 45.2% to Cain's 40.2%. Again, the Independent was the spoiler who threw the election to the Republican.

Hillary beat Trump in Maine but very narrowly-- 357,735 (47.83) to 335,593 (44.87). But in the state caucuses, Democratic voters were not looking for a status quo candidate. Bernie beat her 64.3% to 35.5%. In fact, Bernie beat her in every single county. She didn't win one. Bernie was an inspiring candidate. In the general, a plurality of Maine voters held their noses and picked her-- the lesser of two evils, although she lost one of Maine's 4 electoral votes by losing ME-02. She ws such a shitty, uninspiring candidate that she put a state in play that Obama had won 401,306 (56%) to 292,276 (41%) against Romney.

This morning a very politically powerful friend of mine asked me if I thought she should get behind the Democrat, Zak Ringelstein, in this year's Maine Senate race. She knows Angus King well enough to detest him. But she is also aware that backing Ringelstein, could help throw the race to Republican Eric Brakey, a state Senator from Auburn with Libertarian leanings; (the guy in the red speedos). Brakey, for example, wrote the bill that eliminated the requirement to obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm in the state.

So it's the old conundrum about deciding who's the spoiler and then backing the lesser of two evils candidate. In Ringelstein's case, though, he's a really good candidate. Without a doubt the DSCC and Schumer would fully back King. Ringelstein is the kind of Berniecrat they fear (and loathe). Just look at his campaign site issues page: Medicare-For-All; corporate money out of politics; fair taxation; and here's his 20 steps to reduce income inequality:
Getting big money's influence out of politics
Cutting taxes for the working class and small businesses, and making the rich pay their fair share
Ending tax loopholes for big corporations
Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15/hour and creating a rule that allows minimum wage to rise with inflation
Getting tough on federal antitrust laws
Encouraging investment in entrepreneurship, innovation, and research and development
Giving American workers more vacation time, more sick leave, and better pay standards
Empowering communities to create tougher local laws against multinational corporations
Rewriting international trade agreements to favor American workers over multinational corporations
Investing in better public schools for all American children
Investing in research-backed early childhood and in-home/community education programs
Making college affordable and ending the era of crippling college debt
Creating an effective single-payer healthcare system
Making financial literacy a public school course that bears equal importance with traditional classes like math and English
Investing in adult education and career counseling programs for Americans who want or need to switch careers
Creating a federal law protecting net neutrality
Restoring Glass-Steagall to break up large banks
Giving all workers the right to organize and collectively negotiate in the workplace
Creating a participatory budgeting framework on the local, national and state levels of government
Ending agricultural monopolies to benefit local farms and give consumers healthier native crop options
You won't be hearing anything like that -- especially not the cutting edge stuff-- from Angus King... or Chuck Schumer, at least not in a serious way.

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At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I learned decades ago never to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Angus is far from perfect, but he is pretty good (despite your friend's opinion). What would be Zak's reason for not waiting to run for Collins' seat when her term is up?

Despite the tragedy of Vietnam that eclipses all else, it was the deeply flawed Lyndon Johnson whose legacy Trump and the Republicans are scurrying like rats to destroy.

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What to do about Maine? Bernie did very well in Maine. So, the party should throw its weight behind actual progressives. Since this will not happen in the near term, nothing can be done about Maine.

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For senate or house, the bestest perfectest progressive, be they democrap or Independent, will be impotent to affect anything the money disallows.

scummer won't go away and he enforces the money's wishes in the senate democrap caucus.
Pelosi/hoyer/Crowley/... aren't going anywhere either and they enforce the money's wishes in the house democrap caucus.

electing a perfect candidate to add to the D caucus is still lesser evilism. You might get that warm fuzzy feeling, but the end result will still be ... nothing.

At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maine has 49 relatives, all infested with the DCCC virus. This political pandemic has no immunization nor effective cure. The only hope is to isolate one's self away from an infected host and try to establish an uninfected environment where the people can thrive.

At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Canada? Belize?

At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me extend the question: What do you do about the democraps?

I see our hero, jones from AL (you already forgot didn't you... the child molesting former 10-commandments judge? ring a bell?) just ratfucked the Yemenis. Thousands more will die.

Just sayin' ... voting for democraps doesn't just prolong our own political Armageddon... it kills people all over the world. How many Hondurans are dead or disappeared or tortured or displaced because WE didn't have the sacs to repudiate the utterly corrupt democrap party in the '80s?

just sayin'...


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