King of the freaks

By AL DIAMON  |  November 8, 2006

The Biggest-Waste-Of-Water-And-Ink Award goes to the Lewiston Sun Journal for the, uh, off-beat aspects of its gubernatorial coverage. First, the newspaper plopped five goldfish in a tank of Androscoggin River water, named each one after a candidate and put them in front of a Web cam to “highlight water-quality issues.” The lucky fish died. The survivors were subjected to cutesy reports each day and visits from their namesakes. (Where’s PETA when you need it?) Then, the Sun Journal, in a desperate attempt to appear hip to 20-somethings who don’t read daily papers, asked the candidates for governor a series of pop-culture questions — such as how often they drink Moxie, whether they drive a greasecar or an SUV, and what kind of underwear they prefer. Hey, dudes, welcome to MTV, circa 1992.

The Tom-Connolly-Must-Be-Secretly-Running-Your-Campaign Award goes to GOP gubernatorial candidate Chandler Woodcock, who managed to keep stories about his repeated failures to pay his taxes on time on the front pages for three consecutive days in late October. The whole issue would have disappeared in 24 hours if Woodcock had just shut up. Of course, he also could have revealed his tax problems himself months ago, thereby avoiding a last-minute ambush. But Woodcock and his secret campaign manager were probably too busy trying to find an Osama bin Laden costume that went well with his bow tie.

That’s our award show for this year. Goodnight, Hayes Gahagan, wherever you are. I hope you’re keeping your hairline properly covered.

Comments, subliminal or otherwise, can be e-mailed to me at

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