Category Archives: Politics


MODNIGHT was a night of firsts, marking my introductory foray into SPACE Gallery parties, and my first feeble humble at flash/event photography.

The night was a riot. Everyone was having a great time (except for the girl I overheard crying outside, whose ex-boyfriend had apparently spilled beer on her hair and slashed her tires. She wasn’t having a good time; he probably was, because he was clearly a jerk). I hope I was able to capture how much fun everyone was having, except for the beer-sodden ride-less gal, who I don’t think is in any of these photos anyway.

Kudos to SPACE Gallery for hosting such an great event. My fingers are crossed for this becoming a regular thing, like ’80s night at Asylum, but better.

Comment with any thoughts/ideas/suggestions/compliments(?), especially if you’ve got any tips on flash. Hope you like it.


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How Journalists Incite Violence, Courtesy of Sarah Palin

Yesterday, Politico ran a story about how Republican 2012 hopefuls are responding to the shooting Saturday of Democratic Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (among many others) in Tuscon. She wrote,

“Palin, for her part, has practically gone underground since posting a message of sympathy for the victims on her Facebook page and removing the target map from her website.”

Map from SarahPAC, depicting target districts for the 2010 election, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords'.

That was the story yesterday regarding Sarah Palin. Despite being at the eye of Hurricane Rhetoric, Palin all but ducked. (The target map mentioned can be seen above. SarahPAC depicted target swing districts with a rifle’s crosshairs, including Rep. Giffords’ district).

But that was yesterday. Today, Palin released  her video response, “America’s Enduring Strength” (catchy title, huh?). In it, the Mama Grizzly rejected the idea that violent or heated political rhetoric could contribute to actual violence, saying:

“Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state. Not with those who listen to talk radio. Not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle. Not by law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their first amendment rights at campaign rallies.”

Later in the video, Palin says:

“Within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

So there you have it: Rhetoric from Sarah Palin cannot possibly contribute to violence in society. That unique power is the sole propriety of journalists.

</logic fail> </insanity>

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What the fuck is a ‘Washington, D.C.’?

From McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Via Eryk Salvaggio, I think. If it wasn’t via Eryk Salvaggio, that’s OK because he’s been in McSweeney’s and that’s cool.

In closing, I’d like to share with you a conversation I had with my six-year-old granddaughter just the other day that I think pretty much sums it up. She asked me: “Grandpa, why aren’t the empty suits in Washington, DC doing anything to help regular folks like us?” And do you know what I told her? I said: “Sweetheart, what the fuck is a ‘Washington, DC’?”

excerpt from “An Anti-Washington Candidate’s Stump Speech,” by Pete Reynolds

Please read the whole thing. Because it’s hilarious, that’s why. And vote today. For whomever may or may not hate Washington, D.C. that you think might do an OK job of whatever it is you think should be done.

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Scarcelli and Franco-Mainers

According to the 2005 American Community Survey,  4.47 percent of Maine’s population speaks French. In Louisiana, that number is only 3.19 percent, making Maine the most French-speaking state per capita in the country.

In an effort to target Franco-American voters, Rosa Scarcelli is airing radio ads in French out of WEZR in Lewiston, according to an AP wire story from the Bangor Daily News.

This is at least the second attempt from Rosa to reach out to Franco-Mainers, after her campaign pushed out this video in early May. The video features a Franco-Mainer discussing the plight of Francos in Maine and voicing her support for Scarcelli. She even throws in a little French for good measure, but I’m not sure the video does a great job explaining why Franco-Mainers should support Rosa.

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Chat archives with gubernatorial candidates

Sorry for my lack of posting over the last few days, folks. But here’s something great, courtesy of the Kennebec Journal: You can see the archived gubernatorial chats that have already been conducted and keep up with the ones coming soon. Click here.

I haven’t got to read them all yet, but kudos to the KJ for finding new, creative ways to bring readers in and involve them in the gubernatorial race (and the news). The KJ is keeping up with the chats, and will finish all the candidates in the coming week. starting with Les Otten today, Bruce Policquin tomorrow and independent candidate Elliot Cutler on Wednesday.

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On lawn signs and voter ID

After the much talked about polling results from Critical Insight showed that Les Otten enjoys twice the voter recognition, or voter ID, of the next most known candidate, Peter Mills, I started thinking about lawn signs.

Lawn signs are distributed by campaigns to supporters who are expected to post them at their homes and in public places. My friend Gabi, who has worked on political campaigns for as longs as I can remember, would have you know that lawn signs win elections. They are also a key factor in voter ID. (Remember, voter ID isn’t the ability of the voter to tell you anything about a candidate. They just need to know the name).

I live in Rockland, and at least three days a week I work in Bangor. That’s a 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive. I pass a lot of lawn signs on the way. In Rockland, it’s been Mills (16 percent voter ID) and Bruce Poliquin (eight percent) duking it out at the few small grassy parks throughout town, but over the last few days some Otten (30 percent) signs have shown up as well.

I have to get to Camden before I see anyone else’s name (Abbot’s, eight percent, and LePage, seven percent) and I have to get to Belfast before I see any mention of anyone else (Matt Jacobson has signs on the Route 1 overpass in Belfast, and a 3 percent voter ID).

Notice any missing names? Bill Beardsly. The guy has no ground campaign, if lawn signs are any indicator. (Or, you know, a lack of any concentrated media campaign. No Peter Mills-style ads on Augusta Insider, no TV spots).

Also, no democrats until Bangor (Steve Rowe, 11 percent, in the window for the local Pakistani restaurant. I guess they really like the guy). I saw some Rosa Scarcelli (seven percent) signs somewhere along the way too, but only one, and I don’t remember where. Libby Mitchell (the most recognized Democratic candidate with 16 percent voter ID) has no signs on Route 1.

So from what I can tell, the voter ID numbers match roughly with what I’ve seen from lawn signs. Lots of Otten (even if not in Rockland) with Mills and Poliquin not far behind. On my daily commute, Jacobson exists in only Belfast, which makes the 3 percent ID make sense. Rowe is the only democrat I’ve seen signs from, which explains why he’s ahead of Democratic hopefulls Scarcelli and McGowan in Voter ID. The big mystery is Mitchell, but not really when you consider she is Senate President.

What about the rest of you? Have you guys noticed any lawn sign trends in your hometowns or commuter zones?

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Jacobson campaign links U.S. Chamber of Commerce to NYC bomb plot

After today’s announcement that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will run ads in support of Republican Steve Abbott for governor, fellow Republican candidate Matt Jacobson’s campaign manager Bill Becker had this to say in a press release:

On a day when an arrest has been made right here in Maine in connection with the attempted Times Square bombing and illegal immigration charges, Mainers should be wary of recommendations by the US Chamber of Commerce whose support of amnesty undermines the constitution and the security of our state and nation.

Of course, Becker didn’t link the Chamber directly to the Times Square bomb attempt (that would be insane), but to mention them in the same paragraph and say their legislative goals would make the country less safe, while hammering on the immigration issue, is a pretty clear attempt to get conservatives under Jacobson despite the Chamber’s support for Abbott.

(For the record: According to its website, the USCC wants immigration reform that includes “an earned pathway to legalization for undocumented workers already contributing to our economy, provided that they are law-abiding and prepared to embrace the obligations and values of our society.”)

The Jacobson campaign must view this endorsement as a serious blow, as their candidate has been promoting his past as a business leader and proponent of economic growth everywhere he possibly could. On the stump, he often recalls a “sleepless night” worrying about the future of Maine children because a manufacturing company decided not to come to Maine.

The guy really, really, wants to be the Republicans’ pro-business, pro-jobs candidate. That’s hard to do when the director of media relations for the largest nonprofit lobbying group, whose job it is to represent business, tells the Lewiston Sun Journal that Steve Abbott “understands what the issues are that are going to create jobs” in Maine.

This certainly doesn’t bode well for Bruce Poliquin or Les Otten, each of whom have also tried to establish themselves as the “business” candidate and ran TV spots about their jobs plans. Even if the Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement doesn’t directly translate to voter support, I’m sure they would’ve liked to have seen its money directed toward ads for their campaigns, not Abbotts.

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