I just read your story in the Portland Phoenix on Maine’s “longshot” independent Senate candidates (see "The Outsiders," by Deirdre Fulton, March 7) and found it quite intriguing. I do have to say, however, your prediction that none of these “outsiders” has a chance of un-seating Republican incumbent Susan Collins seems both premature and unfair.
While it is true that historically independent candidates do not have a significant effect on elections, I’m surprised at how quick you are to write off candidates like Herb Hoffman, Laurie Dobson, and Tom Ledue, particularly given how progressive the Phoenix typically is.
Dobson and Hoffman are true progressives intent on upholding the rule of law, accountability, and preserving our civil liberties. Either one of them would be an excellent leader for the state of Maine.
Tom Allen, on the other hand, has failed his constituents miserably, by both failing to take steps to impeach Vice-President Dick Cheney or President Bush for multiple impeachable offenses, and for refusing to cut off all funding for the Iraq war, despite his anti-war rhetoric.
Many Maine voters are very upset with Allen for these and other reasons, so it is not inconceiveable that he will experience a strong backlash come November.
I would not be so quick to write off any of these senatorial candidates. While they may not be very well-known around Maine right now, it is only March. Give them some time.
This story comes on the heels of one on the “quixotic” presidential campaign of Dennis Kucinich which was similarly skeptical of his “electability” (see "Staying Afloat," by Deirdre Fulton, January 18). Is it just me, or is the Phoenix striving to become more corporate like the Portland Press Herald and the Journal Tribune? I certainly hope this is not the case.