Category Archives: Column

Republicans forcing Democrats to set priorities. Maybe this will get results

Rep. Jeff Timberlake, R-Turner, a member of the Legislature's Appropriations Committee. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Republican leaders in Augusta have reacted to Democrats’ spending wish list for the legislative session with a surprise strategy. They’re not negotiating on individual items, and they’re not simply opposing any new spending. Instead, they’re attempting to use it as leverage to revive a competing measure to the minimum wage increase measure headed for the […]

How compromise made a surprising return to Augusta

Gov. Paul LePage takes the stage at his inauguration last year while House Speaker Mark Eves applauds. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

It seemed like an irreconcilable conflict between the two parties, but they resolved it last week in a bipartisan way. The showdown over time-sensitive tax conformity legislation, vitally important to small business owners across the state, had stretched on for weeks this winter. Democrats had been opposing the legislation, holding it hostage to their demand […]

The voting finally begins in Iowa — but why should it?

Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson fires up the crowd by attacking President Obama before Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz takes the stage at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City on Saturday. Dave Kaup | Reuters

Today, after many, seemingly endless months of campaigning, debating, attacking, debunking, and defending, actual voting begins in the 2016 presidential election. Across Iowa, voters will gather to express their preference for whom they would like to see as their party’s nominee. This will give the state an extraordinary amount of influence over the selection of […]

Defeating Trump, Sanders will take someone other than Michael Bloomberg

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in December 2015. Stephane Mahe | Reuters

As D.C. residents were preparing for, and then digging out from, the winter storm of the century, the already-volatile 2016 presidential race faced a potential storm of its own: the prospect of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, mounting an independent bid for the White House. Now, these rumors have surfaced before […]

Impeachment debacle shows Maine Democrat split: solutions vs. extremism

Rep. Ben Chipman, D-Portland, introduces an impeachment order against Gov. Paul LePage on Thursday in the Maine House. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

In recent days, Maine Democrats managed to embarrass not only themselves, but the institution of the Maine Legislature, with a ridiculous debate over impeaching Republican Gov. Paul LePage. At a time when the state has real problems that desperately need serious discussion and bipartisan solutions — like the drug crisis that has gripped our state […]