The soon-to-be-ex-head of the Maine Republican Party rightly exited his leadership post in the wake of this year's election results. He would have gotten on this list for that debacle alone. But there's way more: like the delegate disaster at the Republican National Convention an embarrassment for Maine conservatives — remember the disqualification of the duly elected Ron Paul delegates because they might not support Romney? Then there was that nonsense World of Warcraft mailer situation, targeting Democrat Colleen Lachowicz — who won her race, despite being demonized (perhaps orc-ized?) for playing online games. And just last week, Webster, in an exit interview with Don Carrigan of WCSH, claimed that "dozens, dozens of black people" voted in Maine towns where "nobody . . . knows anyone who's black." Then he promised a voter-suppression campaign using a strategy called "caging" disguised as goodwill — sending "thank you for voting" postcards to the addresses given by these mysterious voters, and keeping track of any that got returned for invalid addresses, to challenge their votes. He's sure gobbling his words fast, though: Under withering criticism, he has said he "regrets" saying the word "black," and is "probably not" going to conduct the caging effort.
No, the other Charlie doesn't get off the hook either. After spending the past two years attempting (but, we're happy to say, apparently failing) to intimidate college students and other prospective voters, and after allowing misinformation about voting requirements to pervade municipal clerkdom (in fact, you do not need an ID to vote!), Maine's soon-to-be-ex-Secretary of State proved himself unworthy of his post. He may have known this, because he spent a bunch of his term trying to get a different job, as a US senator. But he pissed off his old boss, departing senator Olympia Snowe, by failing to endorse her in the GOP primary, thereby costing himself a powerful (and wealthy) ally. And then he just could not keep his balance, trying to play a moderate Republican in a race against a moderate Republican. As we know, the real moderate "Republican" won.
He sure is a generous man, but Bob Diamond's fortune — part of which he has shared with his alma mater, Colby College — is at least partially ill-gotten. The disgraced ex-CEO of Barclays Bank, Diamond left his top-level post (but stayed employed, apparently) when news broke that Barclays and other English banks had doctored a key indicator of the health of the allegedly free market. The Libor interest-rate scandal has resulted in parliamentary hearings and may affect trillions of dollars' worth of investments worldwide. His enablers — the President and Fellows of Colby College — get TURDUCKEN awards for allowing themselves to be stuffed inside someone with Diamond's understanding of the word "fiduciary," and for letting him remain in power over their central Maine fiefdom.
She had an impossible, thankless task: As a virtually unknown two-and-a-half term state rep from Cape Elizabeth with a half-term as a state senator, conduct an unfunded campaign for a statewide office of national significance against an overwhelmingly popular and extremely wealthy opponent. And she blew it. Of course she lost — that was a foregone conclusion. But it was by no means certain that she would lose her credibility as a politician along the way. Dill could have given the Democrats some much-needed statewide leadership and credibility with a noble effort against all the odds. Instead, she went partisan, attempting to portray Angus King as either a right-winger, or a moderate-in-sheep's-clothing, or at the very least a litmus-test-failing non-extreme-liberal. In doing that she simply colored in a cartoon of herself as everything Republicans fear (ultra-leftist), everything moderates distrust (crying about the other guy's power), and everything liberals bemoan (solidly in step with the stalled Democratic effort in DC). She had the chance to "lose forward," emerging from the battle beaten but unbowed. She finished this race in nobody's good graces, and with what might have been a promising political career in ruins.
We know how crappy the big banks are, but here's a way that we weren't expecting them to be big turkeys. In early October, TD Bank notified customers up and down the East Coast, including nearly 35,000 Mainers, that it had lost some of its data about them, including their names, addresses, Social Security numbers, account numbers, credit- or debit-card numbers, and even driver's license information. This sort of thing happens all the time, and might earn the electronic web running our lives a Turkey of its own, if not for the fact that TD Bank's loss happened in March. Yep, six months before TD bothered to tell anyone. As if the loss weren't being made worse by silence for every day of those six months. As if the loss — which was, for once, not due to hacking or poor electronic security but misplacement of actual physical backup tapes — would somehow be undone or found, because of course no one cares if their personal information has been in unknown hands for weeks on end, as long as it's back now, safe and sound. Because nobody has ever copied digital information before. If it wasn't clear before, it is now: The big banks simply don't even think of their customers.
MAINE STATE HOUSING AUTHORITY
It's bad enough that some of our fellow Mainers are poor enough that they need help affording housing. But when financial assistance, dispensed by the Maine State Housing Authority, can't even rent apartments with things like watertight roofs, properly covered electrical wiring, and nails (instead of duct tape) to hold doors in place, it's a real disaster. It seems like a slap on the wrist to hand a turkey award to these clowns — the board of commissioners, who were too focused on Dale McCormick's political assassination than making sure their agency provided what it said; the leadership, who were too focused on protecting their sinecures; and the staff, who got to go home to nice places paid for with the government salaries they earned while approving needy people's life-threatening living arrangements. When we say it's time for a house-cleaning, we don't just mean Section 8 apartments: Let's get all the turkeys out of there.