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John Baldacci

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Freedom ain’t free

 Politics + Other Mistakes
I never knew the Maine Heritage Policy Center was such a fan of former Democratic governor John Baldacci.
By AL DIAMON  |  September 06, 2013

Bad job blues

 Politics + Other Mistakes
Bruce Poliquin, former state treasurer and unsuccessful candidate for governor and U.S. senator, has decided he doesn’t want to be the new chairman of the Maine Republican Party. Smart move.
By AL DIAMON  |  July 18, 2013

Chavez dies; will poor be cold?

Fuel Price Watch
Last week, a man whose determination to embarrass the American government extended to helping US citizens when their own government wouldn't died, reportedly suffering a heart attack.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  March 13, 2013

Baldacci: watch your left flank

2014 Race
If John Baldacci runs for governor in 2014, he will encounter trouble on his left.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 13, 2013

How will you be remembered?

Politics + Other Mistakes
In politics, it's known as the dreaded "L word."
By AL DIAMON  |  February 20, 2013

Prison whistleblower to return to Maine

Homecomings
Maine corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte has notified Deane Brown, the inmate whistleblower who in 2005 was the original source for the Phoenix 's lengthy series on prison abuse, that he will be allowed to return to Maine.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 26, 2012

Last of the dinosaurs

Politics + Other Mistakes
Maybe those nutballs who claim dinosaurs and cavemen existed at the same time aren't quite as batty as the scientific evidence indicates.
By AL DIAMON  |  December 19, 2012

You can’t count on me

Politics + Other Mistakes
Under former governor John Baldacci, a Democrat, state revenue projections were calculated by a panel known as the Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission.
By AL DIAMON  |  October 24, 2012

Glorification of failure

The Maine Democratic Party
The last time the Maine Democratic Party had a competitive candidate in a statewide political race was in 2006, when John Baldacci was re-elected governor. And that was hardly a landslide. Even with Baldacci's incumbency, he got barely 38 percent of the vote.
By AL DIAMON  |  March 28, 2012

Here come the weak

Campaign advice
Watch your step. The floor might be slippery from all these drooling political consultants, an occupation noted for its lack of self-control.
By AL DIAMON  |  March 07, 2012
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Maine's donkey party loves the rich and the poor — but can't protect both

Two-faced Democrats
In the current legislative fight over Republican Governor Paul LePage's lust to slash Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) programs because of a $221-million shortfall in its budget, Democrats say over and over that they want to protect the poor, sick, and disabled people from whom the governor wants to withdraw state assistance.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 15, 2012

Museum dreams

Political Paleontology
This week, we're joining a guided tour of the Maine Museum of Political Paleontology. A docent is explaining to a group of schoolchildren what's happening in a scene depicting cave people trying to register to vote.
By AL DIAMON  |  August 24, 2011

How they hate him

LePage vs. The Media Alliance to Ridicule, Degrade, and Eviscerate Normal Society
Republican Governor Paul LePage has every right to be angry at Maine journalists for depicting him as a clueless buffoon with the political skills of a rabies-maddened raccoon and the public-relations prowess of day-old bait.
By AL DIAMON  |  August 10, 2011
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Democrats celebrate victory in the face of defeat

They cozy up to Republicans and the rich
Senator Dawn Hill, of Cape Neddick, the lead Democrat on the Legislature's Appropriations Committee, which fashioned the recently passed $6-billion state budget, explained to the Phoenix why she voted to reduce income and estate taxes on the rich while also voting for cuts in help to the poor and in teacher and state-worker pensions.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 06, 2011

Liquored up + lacquered down

Maine's senators need to sober up
It's possible that every member of the 125th Maine Legislature is dead drunk.
By AL DIAMON  |  June 22, 2011

Going, gone

LePage should just resign
Republican Governor Paul LePage should do himself, his party, and his state a favor by pulling a Sarah Palin and resigning.
By AL DIAMON  |  May 12, 2011

Facebook group becomes an organizing force

Maine's majority
When Governor Paul LePage returned to the Blaine House after his Jamaican vacation on Monday, he got a special welcome-home gift: an oversized card, signed by 1300 of his constituents (plus some balloons and Jamaican Me Crazy coffee!).
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  April 14, 2011
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Smoke Local

Where will marijuana fit into Maine's economy?
Lobsters, blueberries, potatoes, and . . . pot? As Maine's medical-marijuana program inches closer to business-as-usual, weed is on the verge of becoming a meaningful part of the state's economy — a budding piece of Maine's local, sustainable, pro-agriculture aesthetic.
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  February 16, 2011
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LePage's secret bankers

How much the governor really owes, and to which special-interest groups
Paul LePage was making national headlines last week for all the wrong reasons: telling the NAACP to "kiss my butt" on the eve of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, dismissing the civil-rights organization as a "special interest" he won't be "held hostage" by after its local director expressed concern at his declining to participate in MLK Day events his predecessors had (see more  here ).
By COLIN WOODARD  |  January 19, 2011

What's missing?

LePage's nominees
After an intense investigation into the backgrounds of Republican Governor Paul LePage's nominees for top administration posts, I've discovered an astonishing lack of diversity.
By AL DIAMON  |  January 19, 2011
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2011 predictions: Winds of chance

A casino, wind-power exploration, fighting hunger, challenging Snowe, and more head our way in 2011
It's impossible to predict the future, obviously, but we at the Phoenix have peered into our crystal ball in search of important issues that will arise in 2011.
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  December 29, 2010

Lie to me

LePage's brutal honesty
If Paul LePage's wife asked him, "Do these pants make my butt look big?" he'd probably answer, "Yeah, you look like you've got twin entrants in a giant pumpkin contest dragging around behind you."
By AL DIAMON  |  December 29, 2010

I never promised you a rose garden

Baldacci's failures
Some readers have suggested that last week's column was unfair to outgoing Democratic Governor John Baldacci. They're correct.
By AL DIAMON  |  December 29, 2010

Walking on broken glass

A (very) short list of Baldacci's successes
There must be some kind of law that kicks in whenever a prominent politician leaves office, requiring every columnist and pundit to blather on at length about the triumphs and tragedies of that esteemed figure's checkered career.
By AL DIAMON  |  December 15, 2010

LePage interested in corporate prisons

The $25,000 contribution question
In the gubernatorial campaign the controversial Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation's largest for-profit prison operator, spent $25,000 on behalf of Republican candidate Paul LePage, now the governor-elect.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 26, 2011

Brave the new world

Press releases
Maine is in crisis — big budget shortfalls, lots of people unemployed, a cold winter approaching. And there's this new governor, talking about making life easy for business.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  November 16, 2010

Penal future

Will LePage's zeal to cut the budget make prisoners and guards bleed?
The few things that Republican Governor-elect Paul LePage was reported as saying on crime-and-punishment issues during the campaign mostly sounded harsh and, of course, right-wing.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 10, 2010

Celebrity gossip

Candidates in their final, desperate moments
In the final days of a tight gubernatorial race, the campaigns tend to get desperate, then frantic, then crazy. That progression leads to increasingly wacky attacks on the opposition, few of which turn out to be true, although many of them ought to be.
By AL DIAMON  |  October 27, 2010
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How progressive are Maine's gubernatorial candidates?

The gubernatorial candidates' specific ideas to make Maine better (or worse)
Political rhetoric is cheap. Does a candidate have specific, practical proposals that are fresh approaches to stubborn problems? Or are their ideas irresponsible?
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  October 20, 2010

Be careful what you say about Libby Mitchell

Old and in the way
You can get in a lot of trouble if you use the words "Libby Mitchell" and "old" in the same sentence.
By AL DIAMON  |  October 13, 2010

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