The campaign is over. It's time to get gussied up for Maine's premier political awards show. Pull the fancy duds out of storage, and cover up any moth holes with duct tape and Bondo. (Those of you without dinner wear and designer gowns will still be admitted in denim jeans, shirts, and jackets — an outfit sometimes referred to as a "lumberjack tuxedo.")
Yes, it's the Gaggies, honoring those who have taken ineptitude in the pursuit of power to new heights. Or depths.
The Gaggies are named after Hayes Gahagan, who in 1978 set the record for quirkiest news conference by a candidate. The then-independent US Senate hopeful summoned reporters to announce that persons unknown had placed subliminal images of genitalia in the hairline in his photos.
He provided enlargements. Looked like dandruff to me.
Today, Gahagan sits on the Republican State Committee, where he's considered a member of the party establishment. He still has enough hair on his head to hide almost anything, except common sense.
Now, let's have the envelope for the first of this year's Gaggie Award winners.
The "Hanging Around With A Bad Crowd" prize goes to MATT VACHON, a candidate for the Brewer City Council. In October, Vachon complained on Facebook and in the media that somebody was stealing his campaign signs. His opponents' supporters? Nope. Vachon said it was his pals, who wanted them for souvenirs. We're pleased to present him with a vintage copy of Merle Haggard's "From Now On, All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers."
Portland is always good for a Gaggie or two, and this year is no exception. The state's most populous burg offered up a City Council candidate nicknamed "Wells," even though nearly everyone has public water. Or how about "Holly D'anger," a burlesque performer (that's what polite people call a stripper, because it somehow excuses them from public disdain for paying to watch women take off their clothes), who was seeking a seat on the school committee. And then there's "Taffy Pulls," a drag queen running for the council under his real name, which is nowhere near as interesting. For that diverse showing, PORTLAND earns the trophy for "City Most Likely To Cause Hayes Gahagan To Run Screaming From It While Tearing Out His Hair."
Concern for Children is some sort of North Dakota-based organism that bought mind-boggling ads in the Bangor Daily News opposing same-sex marriage. Here's a sample: "To better insure that there will be sexually disease free candidates for marriage, the public schools have worked with youth and their parents to implement programs with the intent of keeping sexually transmitted diseases out of the institution of marriage and society. Unfortunately, teaching safe, same gender sexual expression falls within the realm of teaching youth how to smoke safely." The ad also claims "The Center (sic) for Disease Control" is a "private governmental agency." CONCERN FOR CHILDREN is the winner of the "Concern For Adults Who Don't Know The Difference Between Private and Governmental, Have Trouble Writing Coherent Sentences, And Have Apparently Never Heard Of Condoms" loving cup.