Category Archives: Column

Portland is actively hostile to growth

Because of the work I do, I have the opportunity to meet with many Maine businesses, particularly small businesses, and ask them what is necessary for them to survive, thrive and grow. I also often ask them what stands in their way of achieving those things. I ask these questions, because I care about the answers. […]

In defense of Columbus Day

Earlier this week, the Bangor City Council decided that Columbus Day, a federally recognized holiday, should in fact be Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Despite protestations from the council that it wasn’t trying to “replace” Columbus Day (which they can’t do anyway, it being a federal holiday), the choice to recognize and celebrate the newly designated Indigenous […]

Do you answer hate with hate?

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Those words, rather famously, come from Martin Luther King, Jr., first spoken in a sermon he gave in 1957, and then printed in his 1963 book Strength to Love. The sentiment is classic King. It is a […]

Stop trying to save us from ourselves

“The science is clear. Raising the tobacco purchase age to 21 will save and improve lives.” This definitive statement was the closing argument in an editorial published Tuesday in the Bangor Daily News. As is the case virtually any time the words “the science is clear” appear in the middle of a political debate, the […]

Medicaid expansion is wrong for Maine

Now that the legislative session is over, it is time for all of us to turn our attention to the latest attempt by special interest groups to go around the legislative process to pass a major law with far-reaching implications by placing a vaguely worded question on the ballot, supported by millions of dollars in […]

Ignore the money, ignore the polls

It can be tempting. I know. Like a siren’s song, the allure of fundraising totals and polling results is irresistible to the media. It never fails, no matter how pointlessly irrelevant it is, they will spend an unconscionable amount of time and energy “breaking down” the gubernatorial race, and analyzing who is up and who […]

LePage and House Republicans win the shutdown showdown

It is hard to argue that this government shutdown didn’t yield positive results. The last budget approved by Maine lawmakers over the governor’s veto in 2015, contained $6.7 billion in spending, which, if you recall, was a bloated “compromise” budget that spent hundreds of millions of dollars more than its predecessor. LePage’s proposal for this budget […]

Shutting down free speech

As Maine’s legislative leaders bring us to the brink of a government shutdown, it is worth diverting our attention to some other places in the country that are shutting things down. One such place is Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington, where an increasingly aggressive group of student “protesters” have been on a mission to […]

Georgia’s special election proves that money doesn’t matter in politics

It is a lesson that continues not to be learned by the political class, nor will it ever be learned, I fear. Yet the truth is the truth, no matter how deeply in denial we are — money simply doesn’t matter in politics. I suppose it is at least somewhat logical to believe it does. […]