How the GOP can show it’s the party of opportunity

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, gives his stump speech to supporters on Tuesday in Freeport. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

With the Republican presidential field — or two candidates, at least — touching down in Maine this week, it’s worth taking a moment to re-examine the difference between the two major parties, and what it really means to be a Republican. A central problem the GOP has faced on both a national basis and, all […]

Coming next fall, a referendum to abridge your rights

Michael Bloomberg speaks during the Sohn Investment Conference in New York in May. Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Although they decided to forgo a people’s veto of constitutional carry, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his legion of minions have not yet given up on Maine. Rather than attempting to override legislation passed in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner, Bloomberg’s followers have vowed to bring a referendum on so-called universal background checks […]

The GOP’s 17-candidate primary is a blessing, not a curse

Ten of the 17 Republican candidates for president at the first official debate of the 2016 primary. Brian Snyder | Reuters

With the first debate last week in Cleveland, the 2016 presidential election has entered a new, more serious phase. During that debate, Sen. Marco Rubio said that the Republican Party had been blessed with very good candidates while the Democrats “can’t even find one.” Though intended as a one-liner, Rubio was absolutely correct: the current […]

Question King, not Collins after Planned Parenthood defunding push

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King in Skowhegan in May 2014. Gabor Degre | BDN

The release of a series of undercover videos focused on Planned Parenthood, which show officials of the group discussing the procurement of fetal tissue for medical research, have become the focus of national politics in recent days. This has resulted in a push by many conservatives to ban all federal funding for Planned Parenthood (current […]

Illegal immigration is a serious issue, not a sideshow

A sign in Coronado National Forest in Arivaca, Ariz. Will Seberger | MCT

One of the things that the meteoric rise of media mogul Donald Trump in the Republican primary has taught us is not that money or hair can buy good polling, but that there is a serious issue of major concern to many Americans that the other Republican candidates are completely failing to address: illegal immigration. […]

Donald Trump needs to end his travashamockery of a campaign

Donald Trump listens to a question at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa,  on July 18. Jim Young | Reuters

In recent days, Donald Trump reached new levels of insanity with the attack he leveled against U.S. Sen. John McCain. Now, having never been much of a John McCain fan — I voted for other candidates in the primaries (and caucuses) both times he ran for president — I never thought I’d find myself in […]

For Clinton, the new economy undercuts allies she depends on

Hillary Clinton poses with Senates pages Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Yuri Gripas | Reuters

There was an interesting dichotomy on display this week, as Hillary Clinton launched a new phase of her campaign (her third re-launch? her fourth?) with a focus on the economy. This was clearly a response to Bernie Sanders, the self-described socialist who has been drawing enormous crowds across the country as he began his campaign […]

Battle over constitutional carry may not yet be done

Senator Eric Brakey watches as Governor LePage signs constitutional carry into law. Photo by Jason Savage.

Gov. Paul LePage quietly signed one of the most controversial bills of the session into law this week, as he affixed his signature to LD 652, “An Act To Authorize the Carrying of Concealed Handguns without a Permit.” The bill, sponsored by first-term Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, did not follow an easy path through the […]

Democrats slay welfare reform under cover of darkness

A sample photo EBT card. Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN

On Monday night, Augusta Democrats — desperate to kill off as many good ideas to save taxpayers money as they could before session ended — held a series of debates and votes on welfare reform initiatives. Last year, welfare reform proved to be a crucial issue for Republicans across the state. GOP candidates, from Gov. […]

Maine’s party differences as clear as ever: GOP wants reform, Dems say no

Republican legislative leaders at the Maine State House. Mario Moretto | BDN

Despite the odd dynamics of the debate, the showdown over the state budget has managed to expose some real differences between Democrats and Republicans. Setting aside the complexities of the intra-party skirmish for the moment, all elements of the Maine GOP have come together on a number of goals: they just disagree on the details […]

If the GOP truly embraces small government, it can win

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, speaks at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on June 2. Gary Cameron | Reuters

In Augusta and Washington in recent days, we have seen leaders of what is supposed to be the party of small government fail to fight for that philosophy. Though the debates were on very distinct issues, they both featured at least part of the Republican Party’s leadership defending big government, rather than fiercely fighting to reduce […]