Tag Archives: Budget

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 […]

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 […]

Time for a real budget discussion in Augusta, please

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

It’s that time of the year again. The snow has stopped falling (at least momentarily), baseball is fast approaching, and winter is melting away. Mud is overtaking the state, reminding us yet again, as it does every year, that at times it can be more slippery than ice — and always dirtier. In Augusta this […]

It’s time to stand up and fight taxnesia

BDN OpArt by George Danby.

For the past two years, a curious malady seems to have gripped Maine Democrats. It’s most pronounced in legislators who have served since 2010, but it’s spread to new legislators as well, to varying degrees, and even is appearing in regular Mainers. It’s a form of amnesia – or, perhaps, self-hypnosis – that is remarkably […]

Beware the perils of fake bipartisanship

Not all bipartisanship is created equal: There’s real bipartisanship and fake bipartisanship. There was plenty of both on full display in the Legislature this week. In real bipartisanship, both sides actually come together to solve a problem. They negotiate to find a solution that both of them can support. They make sacrifices, and nobody gets […]

Compromise on budget deal can be a boost for cooperation in Augusta

Over the past week, something unexpected and — of late at least — rather remarkable happened: bipartisanship in the Maine Legislature. The powerful Appropriations Committee, which seemed to have broken down in a remarkably public partisan spat over a bill that used reserves from the state’s rainy day fund to pay for municipal revenue sharing, rediscovered its […]