Moody blue

What stands in Shawn Moody's way
By AL DIAMON  |  July 14, 2010

Independent Shawn Moody of Gorham could become the next governor of Maine. Of course, all of the following would have to happen first:

--  Democratic candidate Libby Mitchell of Vassalboro must continue her clueless insistence that the state's economy is in fundamentally sound shape and just needs a tweak here and there (such as a sizable tax increase) to restore prosperity.

-- Republican nominee Paul LePage of Waterville must continue making promises he can't keep (a 30-percent reduction in the tax burden), claims that aren't backed up by facts (he insists logging is banned on property acquired by the Land for Maine's Future program, even though it often isn't), and confusion over his own positions (he's for allowing gay couples to have civil unions — as long as they aren't called civil unions).

--  Independent Eliot Cutler of Cape Elizabeth must continue to act like an arrogant big-shot lawyer, who hasn't lived in Maine for decades and who treats the people he needs to vote for him as if they were ignorant rubes.

-- Independent Kevin Scott of Andover must continue to be invisible.

In addition, a Moody victory would require a miracle.

"I'm not a liberal," Moody is fond of saying. "I'm not a conservative."

I'm not sure how telling us what he's not helps us decide whether to vote for him, but on the off chance it does, here are some other things Moody isn't: politically adept, well-versed on the issues, and properly groomed for television close-ups in the eyebrow area.

None of which seems to bother him. When it comes to fixing what's wrong with Maine, he's convinced he's got the solutions. As he put it on his Web site, "It's not complicated."

Except, maybe it is.

Take health care for example. Moody has a clear position:

"I would immediately phase out Dirigo Health," he told me. "It's a black hole."

And then, he has some unclear positions.

He'd increase competition among insurance companies, but he's not sure how. So, he'd leave it up to some sort of blue-ribbon commission and the Legislature to figure it out.

On taxes, Moody sounds a lot like Mitchell, refusing to pledge not to raise them.

"We've got to start taking care of people first," he said, "and let the money take care of itself."

But on his website he talks about "fiscal discipline," "shared sacrifices," and restoring the state's Rainy Day Fund.

These kinds of contradictions don't seem to bother the candidate. "We're all-of-the-above or none-of-the-above," he said. "I think that's one of our strengths. We're just people helping people."

How about helping people by explaining your plan to cut spending?

"We'll empower people in each state department to find savings," he said. This empowering will be done by providing cash incentives for good suggestions.

Moody is apparently unaware that same idea has been tried before in Maine with negligible results.

On his Web site, he extols the virtues of offshore wind power, but doesn't appear to understand the difference between the shallow-water turbines already in use in other parts of the world and the experimental deep-water wind mills being considered for the Gulf of Maine.

The rest of Moody's power plan is equally vague:

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