Pine Tree Politics began its life as an independent political news and opinion site created by Matthew Gagnon in the fall of 2008. Matt, who wrote nearly all of the content for PTP, had grown up in Maine, but moved to the Washington, D.C. area in 2006 to pursue a career in politics. In starting PTP, he hoped to stay involved in the politics of his home state, and participate in the evolving conversation.
The focus of PTP was simple: write about the intrigue swirling around the politics in Maine. While the writing was clearly from a right-libertarian perspective, in the early days, Matt’s writing was most known for breaking political news and deeply analytical breakdowns of what was happening in Maine politics.
Over time, Matt broke a number of important political stories, including 2010 gubernatorial candidate John Richardson being denied Clean Election funding by the Maine Ethics Commission, the Les Otten plagiarism scandal, and the retirement of U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe. Additionally, unique and lengthy breakdowns of political trends filled an important gap of information for a hungry political consumer in Maine. As a result, it rather quickly became the most read political blog in Maine.
In August of 2011, the Bangor Daily News asked Matt to bring his writings to the newspaper. Pine Tree Politics found a new home at BDN, and since that time Matt has also served as a columnist, published every Thursday in print and online.