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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 […]

Augusta needs to realize Maine has a spending problem

The State House in Augusta in December 2014. BDN photo by Troy R. Bennett.

You would think that, after Gov. Paul LePage secured a re-election win over the Democrats’ best candidate, Bruce Poliquin was elected to Congress, and Republicans regained control of the Maine Senate, legislators in Augusta would hear the message loud and clear from the voters of Maine: that our state has a spending problem, not a […]

Want a conservative leadership example? Look across the pond

British Prime Minister David Cameron. Stefan Wermuth | Reuters

It is, perhaps, highly probable that many of you were not paying particularly close attention, but last week Britain’s Conservative Party — more popularly known as the Tories — secured an astonishing result: they obtained an overall majority in what all assumed would be yet another hung parliament. After the 2010 general election the Tories […]

Cate Street deal shows danger of crony capitalism

The Great Northern Paper mill in East Millinocket in 1992. Michael York | BDN

The ongoing revelations regarding the Cate Street deal, reported on extensively by the Portland Press Herald, were reported as though the failure of the complex tax credit scheme cooked up in Augusta to save a mill should be a galloping shock. However, it should have not only been no shock, it should have been obvious […]

Democrats’ tax scheme shows they missed the message

House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, and Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond, D-Portland, in 2013. BDN photo by Matthew Stone.

Last November, Maine voters sent a clear, if somewhat mixed message. By re-electing Gov. Paul LePage over Democrat Mike Michaud and giving Republicans control of the Maine Senate, they were endorsing the GOP’s message of fiscal reform and responsibility. By keeping the House in Democratic hands (with a reduced majority), they were telling Augusta politicians […]

A lack of civility threatens Maine’s democratic traditions

Maine has, historically, been known for civility in its political process. This is likely partially because we are a small, rural state with active local governance and a history of access to our politicians, from our local state rep all the way to our U.S. senators. Our congressional delegation is, for the most part, frequently […]

Maine has the chance to lead on gun rights

About 150 people turn out for a rally organized by the Maine Gun Rights Coalition in March 2013 in Wiscasset.  BDN photo by Christopher Cousins.

In the coming days, as many Mainers scramble to finalize their tax returns, the Legislature will begin debating what has already become one of the most bipartisan bills of the session. Sponsored by freshman Republican Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn, this legislation seeks to bring constitutional carry (already the law in Vermont) to Maine. Currently, […]