Pine Tree Politics (PTP) was founded in November 2008 by Maine native Matthew Gagnon. Having since left the state to pursue a career in national politics, Gagnon was seeking a way to stay involved in the politics of his home state, and participate in the evolving conversation.
The initial focus of PTP was to offer quality coverage, analysis, reporting and commentary with a distinctly center-right point of view. What began as only superficial regurgitations of the daily news quickly grew into its own as a center for breaking news, biting commentary, and detailed analysis.
Pine Tree Politics quickly gained a reputation for fair minded – but unabashedly ideologically right leaning – takes on what was happening in Maine politics. Never shy about criticizing their own side, or complimenting the other side, PTP provided something its readers found refreshing. As the 2010 gubernatorial election began to heat up, PTP’s readership nearly doubled each month.
When Gagnon reported that John Richardson had been denied Clean Election funding by the Maine Ethics Commission, and then later broke news regarding the Les Otten plagiarism scandal, the mainstream media in Maine began to use PTP as a source and its place in the conversation was firmly entrenched. By this time, it was already the most read political blog in Maine.
Since that time, Pine Tree Politics has continued to provide what it always promised to. While the frequency of writings has waxed and waned over the course of the last few years, we have always been devoted to providing our readers with the best coverage of Maine politics anywhere.
We do not just report the news, we tell you why it important, tell you the backstory, and give you our take on what it means. And yes, we do it from a right leaning perspective, heavily soaked in libertarian and conservative influences.
That said, we take pride in our independence, and rejection of naked partisanship. Having a right-leaning worldview does mean carrying water for the Republican Party or the conservative movement. We attempt to be as objective and fair as possible. Whenever we comment on political questions – who is leading or trailing, what the likely electoral landscape looks like, etc – we strive to set aside our bias and give you an unvarnished opinion. If our true analysis of a race results in an unflattering evaluation of a candidate or issue that we personally like, so be it.
In short, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should all be able to read Pine Tree Politics without feeling like they are reading an entrenched, tone deaf ideological echo chamber.
All of that said, it is impossible to be as deeply entrenched and involved in the political process in Maine as we are without actually engaging in the machinery of politics.
We do not view political activism or working for a party or candidate as a detriment to our coverage. Quite the opposite – the diversity of experience gives us perspective and an inner knowledge of what is really going on around the state.
Instead of “staying neutral”, we believe in transparency and full disclosure. When we work for a political party, we say so. When we support a candidate openly, we say so. When we work on a specific political issue, we will tell you where we stand and what we are doing to promote our beliefs. In other words, we are up front with you.
As such, you will always be aware of our particular standing in various political circles, and can make a determination about our objectivity on your own.
We hope you enjoy reading Pine Tree Politics, and thank you for visiting.