Endorsements for races for the Portland city council, the state House of Representatives, the State Senate, the US House of Representatives, the US Senate, and, of course, the governor.
The Portland Phoenix staff packaged up our hopes for a vibrant Maine and stuffed them in this Voter’s Guide. You’ll also find this handy issues chart for the city council, in which candidates answer various key questions about our city, and where we stand on the two statewide ballot questions. Yes, that means TABOR. Culled from our interviews with the candidates, our observations of various area debates, and our experience covering the Portland community, this guide is our take on who will help lead Maine toward a stronger, youthful future.
LaMarche for Governor
Maine needs a new way forward. Green Independent Pat LaMarche has plans for taking us in the direction we all say we want, but with different ideas and approaches than the ones that have us stuck where we are. Her ideas include real innovation to lower the cost of health care for both businesses and individuals, and she has a mindset that government must neither neglect society’s weakest members nor fail to boost its most promising rising stars.
Maine has seen what LaMarche’s established-party opponents can do, with the likes of Democrat John Baldacci, Republican Chandler Woodcock, and longtime-Democrat-turned-independent Barbara Merrill. LaMarche would bring good people into her cabinet — including talented Republicans and Democrats with specialized expertise — to forge a multi-partisan approach based on what the best ideas are, without worrying about which party the brainstorm came from.
It is time for real change, and Pat LaMarche will brighten the future of Maine.
Snowe for US Senate
As far as independent-minded centrist politicians go, you don’t get any better than Republican Olympia Snowe. Her crystallizing doubts about the war in Iraq will make her an important player in determining the future of US policy in the Middle East.
Her leadership on keeping the Internet “neutral” — meaning that accessibility, reliability, and speed of online traffic would not depend on how much money you can spend securing a top-notch connection — is a very important position for which all Americans, not just Mainers, should really be grateful.
Her measured consideration on all subjects before the Senate is a vital service to our nation that many elected officials are neglecting, at our peril. Neither of her opponents, Democrat Jean Hay Bright and independent Bill Slavick, is a serious challenger to Snowe’s experience, expertise, and integrity.
Snowe is a bulwark of moderate Republicanism, but we can’t let this opportunity pass without mentioning that other members of her party are bent on looking backwards and isolating the US, rather than looking forward and making America part of the world community.
Allen for US House
Tom Allen, the incumbent Democrat in Maine’s 1st Congressional District, should be reelected. His record of fighting for Maine is strong, and though he has been criticized for giving up his seat on the House Armed Services Committee, he has proved effective in other ways, particularly in pushing the control of prescription-drug prices at the federal level. His opponents are not serious alternatives. Independent Dexter Kamilewicz is a single-issue candidate, and while opposing the war is important, Maine needs more than that in an elected official. And Republican Darlene Curley is not prepared for a federal-level office, not least because she is a registered nurse whose healthcare policy is poorly articulated.