Category Archives: Politics

Where political cash bought a whole lot of nothing Tuesday

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Money did not rule the day for candidates in primary contests Tuesday, particularly for the three-way Democratic primary in Portland’s Senate District 27. That primary had most of my attention looking at campaign spending Tuesday night because my eyes are on the money (I also happen to live in the district). In this post, I’ll also give a look […]

Cruz, Sanders, Clinton upped Maine cash haul in March

Floating heads

Underdog presidential candidates continued to hold favor with Maine’s largest individual campaign donors through March, as libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s campaign put its first point on the scoreboard here. On the Republican side, Maine caucus winner and Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz continued to report the most vigorous fundraising operation in the state. Democratic donors continued to favor Vermont U.S. Sen. […]

Sanders sweeps Maine counties; Cruz takes all but two

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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won majorities from Democratic caucus voters in every county around Maine Sunday, one day after Republican caucus voters in all but two counties preferred Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to billionaire Donald Trump. Here’s a look at the numbers, county-by-county. The Republican race The race still has four leading contenders who have all said they’d support Trump as the […]

In presidential politics, these are Maine’s most partisan towns

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The presidential money race in Maine gives some of the only hard numbers about how the March 5 and 6 caucuses will shake out, but they leave much to the imagination. While conclusions are elusive about specific candidates, contributions through Jan. 31 do show the presidential partisan leanings of many cities and towns statewide. Those dynamics are […]

Mainers in these towns spent $118K on presidential dropouts

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By the end of 2015, Mainers gave at least $118,000 to presidential hopefuls who have called it quits, with a full half of that going to Carly Fiorina. Fiorina was second in Maine fundraising only to Jeb Bush in the Republican field, but the former HP executive dropped out of the race Wednesday after poor showings in the New […]

How we pieced together a lobbying puzzle

AUGUSTA, MAINE -- 02/02/16 -- Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, (from left), Sen. Anne Haskell, D-Portland, lobbyist Chris Jackson and Rep. Ralph Tucker, D-Brunswick, haunt the halls of the State House on Tuesday. Jackson represents 21 different clients, including J.D. Irving subsidiary Aroostook Resources, Inc., which spent over $100,000 on six lobbyists in 2015. Maine is poised to take a step forward for transparency in Augusta by updating the website where the public can access campaign finance and monthly lobbying disclosures. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Maine’s working to update how it presents campaign finance and lobbying reports, an acknowledgment that moving government transparency online is a long and ongoing process. I took a closer look at ways of presenting that information in a story today, finding a different perspective on the lawmaking process in 2015. It’s an important part. The disclosed amount paid to communicate […]

More money meant more winning in Portland races

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Portland’s mayor-elect and committees winning local referendum questions far out-raised the campaigns they trounced. Now, that’s quite cynical (I’ll explain), but vote totals from last night give us the denominator for the fun equation: $$$ / vote. The graph (comparing spending with vote totals from Tuesday night) says it better than I can: Now, there are a few caveats, particularly with the […]

Is your Facebook feed nothing but politics? In Maine, probably

The Facebook logo is pictured at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, in this Jan. 29, 2013 file photo. ROBERT GALBRAITH | REUTERS

It’s one thing to get bombarded by political advertisements like never before, but political chatter in Maine’s making things personal, at least for Facebook users. Facebook provided The Washington Post’s Darla Cameron with data showing nearly one in five Facebook users in Maine have either posted about the elections or liked a candidates’ page from July 10 to Oct. 19. That’s the most […]

Auburn’s Jim Wellehan, owner of Lamey-Wellehan, featured in Obama’s video campaign to raise the minimum wage

Lamey-Wellehan video

Auburn shoe store owner Jim Wellehan may be retiring and selling his company to its employees this year, but he’s not stepping down from the spotlight. Wellehan, the second generation of family leadership for the business founded in 1914, got recent social media mentions from President Barack Obama for his participation in a video campaign about raising the federal minimum wage. […]