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Susan Collins, Big Money Candidate. Shenna Bellows, Small Money Candidate. Who Wins?

Contribution totals in the Maine Senate race through October 15, 2014 have become available at the Federal Election Commission, and they tell a story of strong contrasts.

Here’s a graphic profile of Democrat Shenna Bellows’ campaign contributors:

And here’s a graphic profile of Republican Susan Collins’ campaign contributors:

Less than 1 in 10 [...]

If New Jersey Families Want Tom MacArthur In Congress, Why Are Secret Sources Struggling To Prop Up His Campaign?

Tom MacArthur is the Republican candidate in New Jersey’s third congressional district, an open seat being vacated by current U.S. Representative Jon Runyan. This week, MacArthur was the beneficiary of a payment made to Spectrum Marketing Companies on behalf of an organization that calls itself New Jersey Family First Inc.

New Jersey Family First Inc.? [...]

Barack Obama: 496 Days of Broken Promises on the Petition to Pardon Edward Snowden

The presidential administration of Barack Obama has promised to respond to any petition on petitions.whitehouse.gov gaining more than 100,000 signatures in 30 days or less.

On June 22, 2013, the petition to pardon civil liberties whistleblower Edward Snowden surpassed a hundred thousand signatures, only 14 days after the petition was started.

It’s October 30, 2014 [...]

What “Filing a Republican Candidate in Every District” Looks Like in Maine

“Surprisingly surprising is the politics of politics.”– Maine State Representative Jennifer DeChant

In the Spring of 2014, the Maine Republican Party political director Justin Richards declared his party had a new strength. “The Maine Senate is absolutely a target for us and the House is a top target as well. The reason,” said Richards, “is [...]

MayDay PAC Tries To Buy Grassroots With David Perelman

The core idea of grassroots activism is that it’s supposed to come from the bottom up, through the spontaneous acts of motivated individual citizens who don’t have much money or other forms of power themselves, but can join together in organizations that they control themselves in order to make change take place.

The MayDay [...]

“Religious Beliefs Aren’t Reasonable!” — Justice Antonin Scalia, October 7 2014

“Religious beliefs aren’t reasonable!”

So said Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on October 7, 2014 — and he said it as if this was a compliment.

Really, I’m not kidding. You can listen to Justice Scalia utter these words himself, in his questioning during arguments in the Holt v. Hobbs case this month: in [...]

Sing Along With Me: the Opposition Stole My Sign!

As we get close to Election Day 2014, can I ask everyone to join in the chorus. Sing with me: “the opposition stole my sign!”

When the Belgrade Maine Republican Committee noticed one of its campaign signs was missing this month, it jumped on the chance to cry “theft!”

“One of our signs was [...]

National Impeach Obama Week Staggers Drunkenly Into Second Week

Last week, I observed that the preparations for National Impeach Obama Week looked sparse and half-hearted. Now that we’re in the middle of National Impeach Obama Week, those weak preparations have extended into an anemic performance.

The images available of impeachment protests so far show a few lonely people standing out on the street corners, [...]

Americans Elect Veterans Form Two Groups to Interfere in Kansas Senate Race

Kenneth Vogel and Tarini Parti of Politico have come out with a scoop: the people behind the 2012 privatize corporate presidential election effort called Americans Elect are regathering their forces to sway a U.S. Senate race in Kansas. Private equity tycoons Peter Ackerman and Thomas Burbank, who used the Americans Elect brand to massively fund [...]

Elm Tree Dreams Die Quietly

1930 — The parasitic fungus Ophiostoma appears in Cleveland, Ohio and begins attacking American elm trees.

1950s to 1980s — 40 million elm trees die across the United States.

1970s — Start of government-university-community cooperative efforts to identify and propagate resistant elm trees.

1999 — Maine State Legislature creates Elm Tree Restoration Fund. 12 ME [...]

Mayday PAC Avoids Cronyism by Avoiding Nick Troiano

This last July, I found myself wondering aloud: would the Mayday Super PAC (using big money in politics to undermine the use of big money in politics) endorse and fund the campaign of Nick Troiano for Congress? If the Mayday PAC ended up funnelling money to Troiano, that would represent the crassest sort of insider [...]