What they write about

The Maine Democratic Party's US Senate prospects
By AL DIAMON  |  February 15, 2012

Thanks for coming to my power-point presentation on the Maine Democratic Party's US Senate prospects. As this first shot shows — oops, that's an old Libby Mitchell screen saver, just forget you saw that — the party is well positioned to return to prominence this year by following bright young leaders like . . .

Hmmm, blank screen. Can't imagine what the problem is. Maybe if I reboot.

Ah, here we go. This is state Senator Cynthia Dill of Cape Elizabeth, a candidate for the seat currently held by Republican Olympia Snowe. Dill is the creator of one of the most interesting economic-development schemes ever advanced by someone not named Ponzi. She gets paid for writing her blog, Dill's Conventional Wisdom, by her own political-action committee, Dill Leadership PAC. Last year, she wrote checks to herself for a nifty four grand for turning out 31 short essays, which comes to about $129 each.

Here's the beginning of one of them:

"Pretend for a moment that I am legislator (sic). Now imagine me readings (sic) bills that would deny legal immigrants welfare benefits."

Apparently, proof reading costs extra.

Another — one that's all of four paragraphs long or about $32 for every time Dill hit the tab key — kicks off with "Why do brash liberal pansies blog for nothing?"

Brash pansies? Could someone turn off the oxymoron alarm?

Dill is no shrinking violet, but she has to know she has virtually no chance in this June's Democratic primary, because she lacks statewide name recognition (I assume I'll get a nice thank-you note for helping with that problem). She's running for the Senate not to win, but to bolster her image in preparation for a campaign for governor in 2014. Although, it's tough to figure how finishing third in a four-way race is going to accomplish that.

No matter. The Dems have other hot prospects for that Senate seat. Hot when compared to Libby Mitchell, I mean.

For example, there's Benjamin Pollard, who according to Wikipedia was the Anglican bishop of Sodor and Man in 1954. He seems to be dead. Might be the wrong guy, but if it isn't, he could really help with conservative religious voters.

Maybe it's supposed to be Justin Benjamin Pollard, who graduated from Yale in 2004 and owns, according to LinkedIn, an "ecologically sustainable construction company" in Portland. Zero political experience. Zero track record. Zero name recognition. But at least he pays himself to do something besides blog.

It's possible Dill hired him to be a candidate to make sure she won't finish last.

Might not work. Particularly if he turns out to be that dead bishop.

Next up is Jon Hinck, who's a state representative from the ultra-liberal West End of Portland. He's a lawyer in real life, as is his wife, who represents wind-power companies, which he's gone to great lengths to explain has nothing to do with his support in the Legislature for putting turbines on every wilderness mountaintop in the state. Nor is it the inspiration for his campaign slogan, "New Energy For Maine."

Probably means peat.

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