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John Baldacci

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Freedom ain’t free

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

Bad job blues

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.
 Politics + Other Mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  July 18, 2013

Chavez dies; will poor be cold?

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.
Fuel Price Watch
By JEFF INGLIS  |  March 15, 2013

Baldacci: watch your left flank

If John Baldacci runs for governor in 2014, he will encounter trouble on his left.
2014 Race
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 15, 2013

How will you be remembered?

In politics, it's known as the dreaded "L word."
Politics + Other Mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  February 22, 2013

Prison whistleblower to return to Maine

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.
Homecomings
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 28, 2012


Last of the dinosaurs

Maybe those nutballs who claim dinosaurs and cavemen existed at the same time aren't quite as batty as the scientific evidence indicates.
Politics + Other Mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  December 21, 2012

You can’t count on me

Under former governor John Baldacci, a Democrat, state revenue projections were calculated by a panel known as the Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission.
Politics + Other Mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  October 26, 2012

Glorification of failure

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
The Maine Democratic Party
By AL DIAMON  |  March 30, 2012

Here come the weak

Watch your step. The floor might be slippery from all these drooling political consultants, an occupation noted for its lack of self-control.
Campaign advice
By AL DIAMON  |  March 09, 2012
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Maine's donkey party loves the rich and the poor — but can't protect both

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 po
Two-faced Democrats
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 17, 2012


Museum dreams

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.
Political Paleontology
By AL DIAMON  |  August 26, 2011

How they hate him

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.
LePage vs. The Media Alliance to Ridicule, Degrade, and Eviscerate Normal Society
By AL DIAMON  |  August 12, 2011
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Democrats celebrate victory in the face of defeat

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 whi
They cozy up to Republicans and the rich
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 01, 2011

Liquored up + lacquered down

It's possible that every member of the 125th Maine Legislature is dead drunk.
Maine's senators need to sober up
By AL DIAMON  |  June 24, 2011

Going, gone

Republican Governor Paul LePage should do himself, his party, and his state a favor by pulling a Sarah Palin and resigning.
LePage should just resign
By AL DIAMON  |  May 13, 2011


Facebook group becomes an organizing force

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!).
Maine's majority
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  April 15, 2011
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Smoke Local

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-agricu
Where will marijuana fit into Maine's economy?
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  February 18, 2011
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LePage's secret bankers

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 hosta
How much the governor really owes, and to which special-interest groups
By COLIN WOODARD  |  January 21, 2011

What's missing?

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.
LePage's nominees
By AL DIAMON  |  January 21, 2011
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2011 predictions: Winds of chance

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.
A casino, wind-power exploration, fighting hunger, challenging Snowe, and more head our way in 2011
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  December 31, 2010


Lie to me

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."
LePage's brutal honesty
By AL DIAMON  |  December 31, 2010

I never promised you a rose garden

Some readers have suggested that last week's column was unfair to outgoing Democratic Governor John Baldacci. They're correct.
Baldacci's failures
By AL DIAMON  |  December 24, 2010

Walking on broken glass

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.
A (very) short list of Baldacci's successes
By AL DIAMON  |  December 17, 2010

LePage interested in corporate prisons

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.
The $25,000 contribution question
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 17, 2010

Brave the new world

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.
Press releases
By JEFF INGLIS  |  November 19, 2010


Penal future

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.
Will LePage's zeal to cut the budget make prisoners and guards bleed?
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 12, 2010

Celebrity gossip

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.
Candidates in their final, desperate moments
By AL DIAMON  |  October 29, 2010
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How progressive are Maine's gubernatorial candidates?

Political rhetoric is cheap. Does a candidate have specific, practical proposals that are fresh approaches to stubborn problems? Or are their ideas irresponsible?
The gubernatorial candidates' specific ideas to make Maine better (or worse)
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  October 22, 2010

Be careful what you say about Libby Mitchell

You can get in a lot of trouble if you use the words "Libby Mitchell" and "old" in the same sentence.
Old and in the way
By AL DIAMON  |  October 15, 2010