If, on the other hand, you are concerned that the Democrats might achieve a filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate, a vote for Collins may not reverse the course of history, but might slow it down just a bit.

Pingree for US House, District 1
A dedicated progressive, Democrat Chellie Pingree has spent years in public service working for the people of Maine in Augusta, and, for a time, all Americans while leading the Common Cause good-government activist group in Washington DC. Her accomplishments, including the landmark MaineRx program, which reduced prescription-drug prices, her expectations for the Wall Street bailout — namely that taxpayers’ investments in the failed financial sector are protected — and her outspoken support of quickly ending the Iraq war, improving government openness, and fixing unfair tax policies are all indicators of what we can expect of her in Congress.

Michaud for US House, District 2
Democrat Mike Michaud is a man of the people, who hasn’t forgotten where he comes from. He opposes the Iraq War, the USA PATRIOT Act, and most other Bush policies (though he opposes Net neutrality and supports offshore drilling and military tribunals for terror suspects, which are troublesome stands). His efforts on behalf of veterans and small businesses, and his insistence on including democracy-building restrictions in free-trade bills reflect well on all Mainers.

Yes on Question 1
While expanding access to healthcare is a laudable goal that we strongly support, the Dirigo Health plan has been failing since its inception, and may now be surviving only because it limited its own costs by suspending new enrollments more than a year ago. And even then, to support the dwindling numbers of its members, the program has only appeared to have enough funding thanks to questionable accounting practices by state officials.

Dirigo’s supporters say we should all be happy to pay a few cents more on certain items to support healthcare for all, and that’s reasonable — but this effort, these few cents, won’t help anyone at all. And don’t worry, those people Dirigo does cover won’t lose their healthcare as a result of the vote — that’s just a scare tactic. Voting “yes” on Question 1 is a vote against a new bottle tax.

No on Question 2
The casino wasn’t a great idea when an in-state company was planning to build it, even though the plan was for it to give 39 percent of its post-winnings-payout income to the state. The first problem was that none of the money would go to cover overall state spending — rather, every dollar is earmarked for a specific fund (admittedly, some with good intentions, like UMaine scholarship support). And then there was the requirement that the casino owners would then be allowed to sit — and vote — on every single board that oversaw how the money would be distributed. And there were other pesky problems, like lowering the gambling age from 21 to 19, and allowing the casino to lend gamblers money directly.

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