One yes. One maybe.

Another Democrat has jumped into battle royal for Maine governor.

Rep Dawn Hill (D) from York has decided to run for governor in 2010. More on her soon.

Also in, former American Ski Co. owner and part owner of the Red Sox Les Otten will hold a conference next Monday announcing an exploratory committee on running for governor. Otten has yet to state if he will run Democrat, Republican, or Independent.

More news as it comes in.


Calling all bloggers

I’ve recently cross posted at d-eris’ Poli-Tea Party, a blog focused independent, third party politics, and breaking the lock of the two major parties on politics. You may also notice that John Burke from The Purple Center will be posting here from time to time as well.

I’d like to open The Maine View up to other bloggers as well. Any writers of political, education, or general news blogs are welcome to start sharing, especially if you are a Mainer. I’d be glad to share with you as well. If you’re interested please contact me by email. The more views we have to round out The Maine View the better.

Guest Post – Maine puts all political parties on equal footing

by d-eris from the Poli-Tea Party

The recent Pew Research Poll which found that self-identified independents now outnumber Republicans and Democrats is likely a cause of great concern for partisans of the duopoly parties. The trend clearly indicates a growing discontent with the politics of the two-party system, but it has not yet translated into widespread support for third party and independent candidates for office. How can we make sense of this apparent paradox? Undoubtedly, many voters shy away from supporting third party and independent campaigns because they have been convinced that such campaigns do not represent a viable alternative to the usual suspects offered up by the Republican and Democratic parties, and thus conclude that a vote for a third party or independent candidate is equivalent to throwing one’s vote away. This is the precise rationale that supports lesser-of-two-evils voting and ensures that, come election day, voters are presented only with a choice between the lesser and greater of two evils. However, the difference between a viable and non-viable third party or independent campaign is the difference between the number of voters who throw their vote away on the lesser of two evils and the number of voters who are willing to cast their ballots in support of a positive alternative to the duopoly charade.

Though they agree on little else, it is thus no surprise that Democratic and Republican lawmakers across the country have come to a bipartisan consensus which dictates that third party and independent candidates must be kept off our ballots at all costs. So, while the duopoly candidates are out campaigning, their third party and independent counterparts can often be found spending precious resources amassing petition signatures to ensure only that their names appear on the ballot. Reform of ballot access laws should be a top priority for everyone interested in widening the scope of representation in our local, state and national governments. Significantly, Maine has just passed a bill into law which eases ballot restrictions on minor parties. The indispensable Ballot Access News reports:

“On June 17, Maine Governor John Balducci signed LD 1041, the bill that alters how a party remains on the ballot. The old law requires a party to have polled 5% for the office at the top of the ballot, at either of the last two elections (i.e., President or Governor). The new law lets it remain on the ballot if it has 10,000 registrants who voted in the last general election. 10,000 is now 1.06% of the number of registered voters. The Green Party of Maine, the only ballot-qualified party other than the Democratic and Republican Parties, has about 31,000 registrants, three-fourths of whom typically vote in the general election. Thus the immediate effect of the bill is that the Green Party is virtually assured of remaining on the ballot for an indefinite time into the future, no matter whether it polls 5% for Governor in the future or not.”

This is a step in the right direction, and provides incentive to independent and third party hopefuls seeking the governorship in 2010. Hopefully other states will follow Maine’s lead in this regard: the lesser of two evils is the enemy of the greater good.

We’ve got to learn civics before it swims up and bite us on the ass!

Americans seem to have no idea how their government functions, who is running things, or what it’s founding documents even mean. How can we effectively participate in this system without understanding it, or caring in some cases. If we really want to improve our communities and get people involved again the best way to do that is through education. This is a topic I have covered here at The Maine View in the past (here and here.) Well now the cause has a celebrity backer. Richard Dreyfuss.

In recent years Dreyfuss has been touring spreading his passion for civics education. Dreyfuss pursued various avenues to spread his message including a two hour television show. Next fall Dreyfuss plans to have a civics curriculum he developed in use on Martha’s Vineyard.


Years ago, Dreyfuss began contemplating ways of teaching schoolchildren the fundamentals of citizenship in a modern democracy. His first notion, a two-hour TV show, never got off the ground. His Oxford studies kept the idea alive, though, and last year Dreyfuss began work on a public-school civic s curriculum. He hopes to have a pilot program up and running on Martha’s Vineyard next fall.

The Vineyard connection harkens back to “Jaws.” A mutual friend who worked on the film with Dreyfuss introduced him to Robert Tankard , a local teacher and school administrator. The two struck up a friendship that deepened over time.

“We talk about government and education, not acting,” says Tankard, currently a Vineyard school committee member. “Richard is extremely passionate. He loves this country but feels it can do a better job educating our kids how to become better citizens.”

Dreyfuss will be speaking this Friday in Bar Harbor, Maine. He will address the Maine State Bar Association on his civics projects.