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Maine State Legislature

Latest Articles

High ideals and crazy dreams

I have nothing against conspiracy theories.
Truthers hurt
By AL DIAMON  |  April 30, 2010
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Barring the way to public records

The Maine Legislature is considering a move that will make it more difficult for concerned citizens to find out what their government is up to.
More Government Fees
By JEFF INGLIS  |  March 19, 2010
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Screams from solitary

The 132-man supermax unit within the 925-man Maine State Prison is an expensive, taxpayer-funded torture chamber that for 18 years has sucked in mostly nonviolent, mostly mentally ill prisoners and ground them up by means of mind-destroying solitary conf
‘By dehumanizing prisoners, we dehumanize ourselves.’
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 19, 2010

Second choice

The word "instant" makes me suspicious.
The ills of instant-runoff voting
By AL DIAMON  |  January 29, 2010
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Brave new world

How many marriages are born or nursed in our city’s bars?
Styxx’s management sets an oddly pleasant menu
By BRIAN DUFF  |  October 30, 2009

Letters to the Portland Editor - August 14, 2009

Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  August 14, 2009


Some kind of salvation

In 2008, Sean Faircloth, then a state representative from Bangor, lost his bid to become Maine's attorney general, mostly because lots of legislators questioned his credibility. When your credibility is so shaky that even politicians notice, you have a
Politics and other mistakes  
By AL DIAMON  |  June 19, 2009

Out of the closet

I don't believe in gay stereotypes. With one exception.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  June 05, 2009
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A kick-start for conservation

To make the most of huge chunks of incoming federal economic-stimulus cash (and to get their hands on more of it in the first place), the Maine Legislature has to ramp up its energy-efficiency planning — on the double.
But Maine's new energy plan may not go far enough
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  May 22, 2009

Bigger is better

You've seen those obnoxious TV ads for phony products promising "natural male enhancement." Now, here's something that does exactly the opposite.
A smaller House
By AL DIAMON  |  May 22, 2009
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After the battle

In a fast-moving and historic couple of days in Augusta (pity they don't move so fast on other important issues), the Maine Legislature last week approved same-sex marriage, and Governor John Baldacci ended weeks of speculation about what he would do
Where will same-sex marriage be in 2010?
By JEFF INGLIS  |  May 15, 2009


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Play-by-play

On the front lines at the gay-marriage hearing
On the front lines at the gay-marriage hearing
By DEIRDRE FULTON + EMILY PARKHURST  |  May 01, 2009

Going to pot

The state's medical-marijuana laws, which govern how patients can access pot for medical purposes, is on the brink of significant change.
State medical marijuana law advances
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  April 17, 2009

Do it to debt

A friend of mine walked into the local bar during a recent happy hour and announced, "I'm furious at IGA."
Spending money to make money?
By AL DIAMON  |  April 01, 2009
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Same-sex marriage

From the podium at EqualityMaine's 25th anniversary dinner last Saturday night, former state senator Ethan Strimling posed a question to the 630 people in attendance: If gay marriage were allowed in Maine, how many of you would tie the knot?  
Fighting for a basic civil right without repeating other states' mistakes
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  March 25, 2009

Stuck in the middle with you

On the surface, moderation appears to be a simple concept. Avoid extremes. Seek compromise. ... It's sort of like being a hypocrite, except without most of the fun parts.
Alliance for Maine's Future thinks the Maine Legislature needs more moderates.
By AL DIAMON  |  February 25, 2009


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The wrong man for hard times

Most Democrats see Barack Obama’s inauguration as a clear-cut, welcome turn to the left.
State House Democrats need to stand up to the governor
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 04, 2009

We started nothing

The first thing you have to understand about how the Maine Legislature works is: It doesn't. And it isn't supposed to.
 Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  January 21, 2009
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Hey guv: stop slashing!

It seems as if there’s no light at the end of the state’s gloomy fiscal tunnel.
State budget cuts just make the recession worse
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 31, 2008

Here come the bugs

I'm not one of those people who assumes that just because somebody casually mentions they're thinking about running for governor of Maine in 2010, that they should be restrained, subjected to electro-shock therapy, and deported to someplace where they c
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  November 19, 2008

I've heard that story before

Each year, Governor John Baldacci announces his top priority in the next legislative session will be reducing the state income tax. (“Lack of political clout? What lack of political clout?”)
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  August 20, 2008


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Primary Endorsements 2008

On June 10, Mainers in both the Democratic and Republican parties will get to vote on people to represent them in Washington DC.
Who we'd like to see in the first round
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  June 04, 2008
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Taking from the poor

What values do Maine’s Democrats hold?
Democratic lawmakers show their Republican values
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 07, 2008

Twisted debate

Perhaps you didn’t even know Allen has a challenger in his bid to take on Republican US Senator Susan Collins in November.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  May 07, 2008
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Corporate welfare state

In 2006, state lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to give away millions of tax dollars a year for decades to some of Maine’s biggest corporations.
A little change in the tax law with big consequences
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 20, 2008

Stay away from me, baby

Imagine a Maine in which almost everybody is over the age of 40.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  November 14, 2007


Extreme behavior

If you wanted to make the Maine Legislature look good, you’d compare it to the Portland School Committee.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  October 31, 2007

Ills of modern man

I’m always amazed when somebody who’s famous for a really bad idea suddenly comes up with a really good idea.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  October 10, 2007

It’s not big, it’s large

Legislative candidate: “Thanks for your time, Mr. Swamp Thing.”
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  September 12, 2007
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The new nomadology

We tracked Smith down to find out how the first summer unfolded.
Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Arts’ first summer
By CHRIS THOMPSON  |  September 07, 2007