The Coastal Packet

The longtime national journal, Progressive Review, has moved its headquarters from Washington DC to Freeport, Maine, where its editor, Sam Smith, has long ties. This is a local edition dealing with Maine news and progressive politics.



Enrollment at the Northern Maine Community College is up 15 percent, the highest since the mid 1990s.

A Skowhegan man caught a record-setting rainbow trout on Lake George in Canaan, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Michael Thebarge of Skowhegan landed the trout that weighed 7 pounds on a certified scale. It wasn't until this week that Mr. Thebarge decided to contact IF&W and the Maine Sportsman, which maintains that state record book, to see if it was a record.

Morning Sentinel - A nationwide initiative to elect the president of the United States by popular vote has reached Maine, and will be considered by the House of Representatives this week. "I think that most Americans feel strongly that we ought to be electing a president by popular vote," said Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, sponsor of the legislation, L.D. 56. "We've had at least three instances where we elected a president (with a minority of the popular vote), and the popular vote was ignored because of the Electoral College method." The bill would require states that enact it to commit all of their electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote. If the bill had been in effect in 2000, Al Gore would have become president instead of George W. Bush.

Representative Michael Shaw is practicing the growing political mis-craft of pretending you're doing something useful by either banning it or fining it. Shaw wants to boost the penalties for writing bad checks. . . Maine Public Broadcasting - For example, he suggests that a bad check of $500 or more be made a felony and that those convicted pay triple damages as well as court costs and attorney fees. Jack Comart, an attorney for Maine Equal Justice, a low-income advocacy group, says requiring people to spend more time in jail for writing $500 worth of bouncing checks is the wrong solution. "The bill makes no distinction between those who, through no fault of their own, are not able to tender the amount of the check and fees within ten days," Comart said. "We often deal with people living on fixed incomes such as social security. . . nd many times they don't get their direct deposit check through no fault of their own but through a bureaucratic mixup.". . . And, says John Pelletier, executive director of the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services. . . when low-risk offenders are subjected to stiff sanctions for behavior that is an anomoly they can become high risk offenders. He says making bad check writers pay simple restitution to merchants is probably a more effective sentence. Others say uniform enforcement by district attorneys across the state could also help.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A survey of 800 Maine voters showed 77% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 85% among Democrats, 70% among Republicans, and 73% among others.

By gender, support for a national popular vote was 82% among women and 71% among men.

By age, support for a national popular vote was 79% among 18-29 year olds, 67% among 30-45 year olds, 78% among 46-65 year olds, and 82% for those older than 65.

By congressional district, support for a national popular vote was 78% in the First congressional district and 76% in the Second district.

By race, support for a national popular vote was 79% among whites (representing 94% of respondents) and 56% among others (representing 6% of respondents).

In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Maine’s electoral votes,

* 71% favored a national popular vote;
* 21% favored Maine’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
* 8% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Maine’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).

for more information about the poll see

January 26, 2010 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The Constitution gives every state the power to allocate its electoral votes for president, as well as to change state law on how those votes are awarded.

The bill is currently endorsed by over 1,659 state legislators (in 48 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. This national result is similar to recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado-- 68%, Iowa --75%, Michigan-- 73%, Missouri-- 70%, New Hampshire-- 69%, Nevada-- 72%, New Mexico-- 76%, North Carolina-- 74%, Ohio-- 70%, Pennsylvania -- 78%, Virginia -- 74%, and Wisconsin -- 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Delaware --75%, Maine -- 77%, Nebraska -- 74%, New Hampshire --69%, Nevada -- 72%, New Mexico -- 76%, Rhode Island -- 74%, and Vermont -- 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas --80%, Kentucky -- 80%, Mississippi --77%, Missouri -- 70%, North Carolina -- 74%, and Virginia -- 74%; and in other states polled: California -- 70%, Connecticut -- 74% , Massachusetts -- 73%, New York -- 79%, Washington -- 77%, and West Virginia- 81%. Support is strong in every partisan and demographic group surveyed.

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 29 state legislative chambers, in 19 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon, and both houses in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington. These five states possess 61 electoral votes -- 23% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


January 26, 2010 9:23 AM  

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