Category Archives: State

Making childcare more affordable doesn’t take a government program

The funny thing about Maine politics is that, for the most part, everyone agrees on the same problems. There are two specific instances of that concept which we are constantly presented with: Maine’s economy, and the need to get younger. The Maine economy is strong right now, in relative terms. Unemployment is low, wages are […]

The 2017 Conifer Awards

Traditions are wonderful, which is why I am proud to give you my bold predictions each year. That’s why in 2014 I also started handing out the Conifer Awards —- political superlatives for the year that was. And so, as we sit here taking stock of the previous 12 months — both nationally and here at home in Maine […]

18 bold predictions for 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, it is that time of year again. Yes, the time of year you all look forward to with ever-growing excitement. I’m speaking, of course, of my annual bold predictions, where I give you, dear reader, a foretelling of the coming year. This has been my gift to you every year since 2011. Last year, I […]

So begins Maine’s ‘Game of Thrones’

Sen. Susan Collins has now ended months of speculation, and decided not to seek election to become Maine’s next governor. Remaining in the US Senate means that the die is more or less cast in both parties, and the race to replace Gov. Paul LePage can truly begin. On the Republican side, the field is […]

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. […]

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 […]

Maine is lying to itself about the economic health of its cities

For the past decade, we have been hearing about the supposed “rebirth” and “revitalization” of Bangor. They have the waterfront concerts. New bars downtown. New, trendy restaurants. They have a new civic center. The economy is developing and improving, there is a new, chic, younger crowd doing things in town, and things are looking up. […]