Odd Maine gubernatorial statistic

I got to thinking today how many incumbents or incumbent parties have won the Blaine House. I started with the election of Democrat Joseph Brennan in 1978. There is a strange pattern. Every governor stays in office for their two term limit. Brennan, McKernan, King, and Baldacci all fit this pattern. At the end of the incumbent parties lost the Blaine House. Democrat to Republican to Independent to Democrat.

If the current model holds then the Democrats may be in hot water this election season. Still, like the it’s weather, Maine’s politics is bound to surprise.

The Bolt to the Blaine House ’10 – Rosa Scarchelli (D)

Now that she’s announced her candidacy, it’s time to find out what Rosa Scarcelli is all about.

Yesterday I mentioned that the color scheme on Scarcelli’s website were a bit jarring. Not that it has much barring on the election, Matt Gagnon at Pine Tree Politics has an interesting comment on that strange matching of orange and blue.

from Pine Tree Politics:

Scarcelli’s website is a little odd – not because it looks bad (its decent enough), but more because its color scheme looks like something out of a political race in Virginia with its orange and blue accents (something very common down here in my neck of the woods). Usually in Maine you see variations of blue and green – so it looks a tad out of place, but then again should I really be picking on color schemes?

I can hear the shouts already. “She’s from away! She’s from away! Don’t let her within 50 miles of Augusta!” Of course those who would focus on that probably still think Obama is not an American citizens and we never landed on the Moon. Personally I just find it to be an interesting fact, much in the same way I enjoy Mental Floss. Maybe Scarcelli chose the scheme to highlight her difference from the other Democratic contenders, who have all been involved in politics in one way or another. Only she knows for sure.

As Pine Tree Politics points out, Scarcelli is already in the game with a Tweet and Facebook. Scarcelli’s Tweet already has 138 followers and 67 updates, while she is following 123 tweets. Steve Rowe, whose been in this thing for a while now, still only has 114 followers and a meager 3 updates. Democratic challenger Dawn Hill unaccounted for on Twitter. Scarcelli’s Tweet is an interesting blend of the personal and political. Everything from family outings to personal opinions to Maine political news is there. Some of that may sound trivial, but I argue it’s relevant to creating the well rounded image of a real person, not just a face on a poster. For someone who is running as a political outsider Scarcelli is hitting the right buttons with her Tweet.

Steve Rowe still leads in Facebook followers, 616 to Scarcelli’s 247. Though Rowe’s Facebook seems to have a lot of supporter commenting, Scarcelli is using Facebook as another way to present her platform. Scarcelli posts links to articles in MaineBiz, videos of speeches, and other announcements. There isn’t a whole lot to look at yet, but I’m sure that will change.

On to Scarcelli’s credentials.

Scarcelli, like many others in this election, does not come from a political background, but a business one. Scarcelli’s business experience differs from someone like Matt Jacobson or Bruce Poliquin. Jacobson and Poliquin’s experience are in running large organizations and investment in bringing business and jobs to Maine. Scarcelli’s background is rooted in a smaller scale public service business – providing low cost housing to those in need. Is this experience better or preferable than other candidates’ business knowledge? That depends on which voter you talk to. Personally any leadership experience is a plus for a candidate. Then again, how good a leader they actually were cannot be ignored either.

How about Scarcelli’s positions on the issues.

Scarcelli’s recipe for job creation is not all that varied from anything we’ve heard yet. Make Maine business friendly through tax incentives and trim the fat in Augusta, operate more efficiently. Not a bad plan, which is why almost everyone is using it. Scarcelli also advocates a reinvestment and refitting of our current failing industries such as logging and fishing. You’ve got to spend money to make money right.

Scarcelli’s education platform is nothing new either, just maintain current support of K-12. However, her commitment to link community colleges with businesses is interesting. Community colleges should be relevant options for those who don’t wish, or cannot at that time attend a four year school. Linking degree programs directly to employers will give graduates a leg up when they enter the already crowded workforce. And I can’t say I disagree with Scarcelli’s assertion that the UMaine system needs an overhaul.

Energy and environmental issues, though not as power as jobs or the economy, will still play an important role in this election. Scarcelli minces no words on her environmental policy. ” I will accept no compromise when it comes to enforcing our environmental laws and regulations.” ,Scarcelli says on her website. Before you start to think Scarcelli is a Green in disguise, Scarchelli doesn’t reject business over environment. Scarcelli believes job growth and protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive. That is the thrust of Scarcelli’s energy policy as well. “And we can work with the federal government to encourage research and development of alternative energy sources such as offshore wind, solar and tidal energy – part of new green economy that creates jobs in Maine that can’t be shipped overseas.”

There will be a few questions Democrats will need to ask themselves before the upcoming primary: Is Steve Rowe too close to the old guard to win the state or does his experience and name carry him? Is an Augusta outsider a safer bet? Scarcelli could be that outsider Democrats are looking for in their nominee.

Two more Dems enter the race

Portland business owner Rosa Scarcelli has stepped up to challenge Steve Rowe and Dawn Hill for the Democratic nomination for governor. Scarcelli has a website, Facebook page, and Twitter ready to go. Not sure if I like the color scheme of her site, but this isn’t a fashion show, not completely at least. More substantial analysis later, I promise.

The next entrant is Donna J. Dion. You may remember Donna J. Dion as mayor of Biddeford from 97 -03. During her term of service Dion was involved in a lawsuit for censoring a local cable access show. I don’t know much about Dion or that event. Maybe someone can chime in with a little more on Biddeford politics? Dion has a basic website set up with a bit of information on her qualifications. I’m sure there will be something more in keeping with the other candidates at some point.

Walking Down the Center of the Political Road

Any one who deviates from the Democratic or Republican base isn’t welcome anymore. It used to be that moderates could drive safely, while the extreme ideologues passed them in the breakdown lanes. Lately moderates have been pushed closer and closer to the center line. It feels like there wont be any room left on the major party highway soon.

We all know the Republican party has been pushing out those they deem “RINOs” for some time now. There was the “with us or against us” mentality of the Bush years, which has carried on in GOP rhetoric. Rush Limbaugh and a few other extreme conservative pundits have carried the torch. Republican senators have apologized to Limbaugh for challenging him. Dick Cheney and Colin Powell have had a publicized debate on the direction of the GOP, who belongs and who doesn’t.

And of course there is the internet chatter. Commenters on conservative blogs are quick to judge others who don’t quite fit the mold. Hell, they will turn on their own in a second like sharks at a feeding frenzy. There is strict code of what a Republican should be and if you deviate even an iota you’re fish food.

Tim from Balloon Juice has broken down this phenomenon for us in a handy to read post. Republicans must live up to what Tim calls “The List”

from Balloon Juice:

D.F. must simultaneously oppose abortion (always), support torture, wiretapping and aggressive war, question evolution and doubt global warming, fear muslims, hate taxes and really hate government healthcare. If D.F. fails a single point on the list then he’s clearly a bogus conservative, anathema and unwelcome to taint the pristine boards with his heterodoxy. The question of the day (e.g., did Sarah Palin harm the ticket) usually makes a guest appearance on The List, conveniently anathematizing anyone who disagrees with the putative topic of the thread.

I read a few Conservative blogs and check some to cite a story from time to time. Tim really isn’t far off. Commenters really do bash dissenters. That kind of behavior is not exclusive to Conservative blogs. Pick a topic people are passionate about. Search forums or blog comments on that topic and you will find the same kind of behavior. That doesn’t make it any less unsavory, especially for Republicans who have opinions on abortion, gay marriage, guns, etc., in conflict with the far right.

Unfortunately for old school Republicans much of the list doesn’t always mesh with core Republican values. All the baggage brought by the religious right when the Republicans whored themselves to the rr to pad the ballot box are not the same values men like Goldwater, Buckley, or Reagan cherished. Now the GOP is paying the piper, but unfortunately so are moderate Republicans.

Democrats will often try to claim the high ground on this issue. That they are all inclusive and friendly. Well that’s not quite so. Far left liberals can push those they don’t agree with away just as quickly and easily.

Robin at American Thinker wrote a few days ago about her experience as a Democrat who chose to vote for McCain. She might as well have been a leper the way her liberal friends, husband, and therapist were treating her. While debate and disagreement is healthy, people downright loathed her for her choice, and it is her choice to vote for whoever she wants, to vote for McCain. If McCain had campaigned as the McCain we once knew I may have voted for him too.

In the hey-day of Obama excitement, you really were a brave soul to admit to voting for McCain or once he was elected disagree with him. A youtube video posted by bloggerinterrupted even questioned a black man who said he would vote for McCain, practically saying he HAD to vote Obama just because he was black. Yes shame people over to your point of view.

Of course just because you’re a Democrat that doesn’t make you exempt from the “with us or against us” behavior. Moderate Dems have been pushed around by the party base. Back in February Blue Dogs senators complained that Nancy Pelosi treated them like “mushrooms” and got perturbed when they wanted to do outlandish things like read the legislation they were voting on. I wrote on my distaste for Harry Reid’s remarks on bipartisan efforts in regards to Mr. Obama’s economic stimulus bill. His posturing at the time was just what I never liked about the Bush administration. Now that the Dems were in power they were doing it too.

So where does this leave moderates? Quite possibly taking an exit to a new road. One where moderates can express their views and not be immediately attacked as a “traitor”. One where they can vote for a candidate that espouses all of their core values, not just some candidate all over the political map. Third party country, here we come!

Is Three A Magic Number for Politicians?

If you follow politics even peripherally you’d know that there has been a lot of political infighting. “Blue Dog” democrats bicker over budget details with more liberal colleagues. Republicans have turned their big tent into a pillow fort. The social liberals/fiscal conservatives in each party are being pushed aside. On of the Republican prophets of a coming change has been Meghan McCain.

from The Moderate Voice

People in our country have much more important issues to deal with on a daily basis. But the experience did reinforce what I learned on the campaign trail in some major ways.

I’ll summarize them in three points:

1. Most of our nation wants our nation to succeed.
2. Most people are ready to move on to the future, not live in the past.
3. Most of the old school Republicans are scared shitless of that future…

..I feel too many Republicans want to cling to past successes. There are those who think we can win the White House and Congress back by being “more” conservative. Worse, there are those who think we can win by changing nothing at all about what our party has become. They just want to wait for the other side to be perceived as worse than us. I think we’re seeing a war brewing in the Republican party, but it is not between us and Democrats. It is not between us and liberals. It is between the future and the past. I believe most people are ready to move on to that future…

…Simply embracing technology isn’t going to fix our problem either. Republicans using Twitter and Facebook isn’t going to miraculously make people think we’re cool again. Breaking free from obsolete positions and providing real solutions that don’t divide our nation further will. That’s why some in our party are scared. They sense the world around them is changing and they are unable to take the risk to jump free of what’s keeping our party down…

…I am concerned about the environment. I love to wear black. I think government is best when it stays out of people’s lives and business as much as possible. I love punk rock. I believe in a strong national defense. I have a tattoo. I believe government should always be efficient and accountable. I have lots of gay friends. And yes, I am a Republican.

What can come of all this infighting? Are we moving toward having one large viable third party? The Repubs are boarding on a “civil war”, mostly over social issues. Dems are in a similar situation, except over fiscal issues. Will the social liberal/fiscal conservatives in each party break tradition and join each other?

While I don’t think this is likely, it makes for some interesting speculation. What would a three party US look like? What would that do to the political structure of this country? Political financing? What would this alternate history look like?

Opinions?

Rachel Maddow Declares War on Moderates

Et tu, Rachel?

I have watched Rachel Maddow from time to time. I would even make a point to catch her on Air America. Maddow appeared to be a sensible alternative to the screaming swelled heads of O’Reilly, Olbermann, and others of their ilk. Even as an occasional viewer I could tell that Maddow’s political leanings were left-liberal. Still, she would provide a sound point of view backed by facts. Maddow gave the other side respect instead of just yelling in their faces. I really respected Maddow, until now.

from The Purple Center

With MSNBC host Rachel Maddow beating the drum for them, self-styled “progressives” have launched a campaign to beat up on moderate Democrats, newly dubbed “Conservadems.” The main targets appear to be Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh — who just last year was among Barack Obama’s final three picks for VP — and the 15 Democratic Senators Bayh has pulled together in a new centrist caucus. Also in their sights are the 49 House Democrats who make up the Blue Dog Coalition .

The “Dog the (Blue) Dogs” campaign is spearheaded by The Campaign for America’s Future, which bills itself as “the strategy center for the progressive movement” and USAction, a union-supported outfit that claims to build grassroots campaigns. Naturally, left-leaning blogs like firedoglake, digby and Crooks and Liars — who have a penchant for forming circular firing squads — are taking up the new cause with a vengeance.

These “progressives” are not content to take these moderate Democrats to task on the merits of their positions, which generally lean toward prudence in taxation and fiscal policy. They prefer to try to delegitimize them as Democrats with the label “Conservadems,” lump them together with the most right-wing Republicans, and revile them for the crime of reflecting the moderate voters in their states — states like Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia that provided the swing votes to elect a Democratic President and return big Democratic majorities to Congress last November.

Rachel I thought you had more sense than that. Don’t you realize what you’re doing? Attempting to shame other Dems further left will only further alienate them. When you do want their support where will you turn. They can swing their votes just as easily as a moderate Republican.

Does all of this sound familiar? It should. Rush Limbaugh has attacked Republicans who don’t fit into his narrow view of conservatism recently, including RNC Chair Michael Steele. Maddow is taking a page straight from the Limbo playbook? Kick anyone out of our tent that doesn’t hold the exact same “progressive” ideals that we do. Look how well that has worked for Rush’s ratings and the Republican party at large. Your sounds really progressive Rachel.

Rachel Maddow Declares War on Moderates

Et tu, Rachel?

I have watched Rachel Maddow from time to time. I would even make a point to catch her on Air America. Maddow appeared to be a sensible alternative to the screaming swelled heads of O’Reilly, Olbermann, and others of their ilk. Even as an occasional viewer I could tell that Maddow’s political leanings were left-liberal. Still, she would provide a sound point of view backed by facts. Maddow gave the other side respect instead of just yelling in their faces. I really respected Maddow, until now.

from The Purple Center

With MSNBC host Rachel Maddow beating the drum for them, self-styled “progressives” have launched a campaign to beat up on moderate Democrats, newly dubbed “Conservadems.” The main targets appear to be Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh — who just last year was among Barack Obama’s final three picks for VP — and the 15 Democratic Senators Bayh has pulled together in a new centrist caucus. Also in their sights are the 49 House Democrats who make up the Blue Dog Coalition .

The “Dog the (Blue) Dogs” campaign is spearheaded by The Campaign for America’s Future, which bills itself as “the strategy center for the progressive movement” and USAction, a union-supported outfit that claims to build grassroots campaigns. Naturally, left-leaning blogs like firedoglake, digby and Crooks and Liars — who have a penchant for forming circular firing squads — are taking up the new cause with a vengeance.

These “progressives” are not content to take these moderate Democrats to task on the merits of their positions, which generally lean toward prudence in taxation and fiscal policy. They prefer to try to delegitimize them as Democrats with the label “Conservadems,” lump them together with the most right-wing Republicans, and revile them for the crime of reflecting the moderate voters in their states — states like Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia that provided the swing votes to elect a Democratic President and return big Democratic majorities to Congress last November.

Rachel I thought you had more sense than that. Don’t you realize what you’re doing? Attempting to shame other Dems further left will only further alienate them. When you do want their support where will you turn. They can swing their votes just as easily as a moderate Republican.

Does all of this sound familiar? It should. Rush Limbaugh has attacked Republicans who don’t fit into his narrow view of conservatism recently, including RNC Chair Michael Steele. Maddow is taking a page straight from the Limbo playbook? Kick anyone out of our tent that doesn’t hold the exact same “progressive” ideals that we do. Look how well that has worked for Rush’s ratings and the Republican party at large. Your sounds really progressive Rachel.