Super Tuesday Bruises


Jon Reisman

Bruises often turn purple, which is a much more interesting political color than red or blue. I took a couple of blows on Super Tuesday…what the bruises will look like and the degree to which they will heal remains to be seen.

The Maine House voted on LD 1578, the National Popular Vote (NPV) Interstate Compact, on Tuesday morning. Despite the Veteran and Legal Affairs (VLA) committee giving the most support to “Ought Not to Pass” (supported by all five VLA committee Republicans plus Karen Montell (D-Gardiner), House Speaker and 1578 co-sponsor Rachel Talbot Ross brought the minority ought to pass as amended (supported by 5 VLA committee House Democrats) to the floor for a vote. This action disrespecting tradition and custom was protested by Republican leader Faulkingham but to no avail. Every Republican voting (4 were missing) plus three small-town/rural Democrats voted no, but it was not enough. The bill passed the House 74-67. Several Republicans gave impassioned speeches in opposition, including 2nd Congressional District candidates Sobeleski and Theriault, Laurel Libby, and (former Speaker) Brian Nutting. Anne Perry (D-Calais) voted and spoke in favor of disenfranchising her right-of-center constituents, saying it was for “equity,” which she did not define. I hope her likely opponent, Art Mingo, can make an issue of it.

The NPV now goes to the Democratic-controlled Senate, led by 1578 co-sponsor Troy Jackson. The two Democratic Senators on the Committee supported a third “ought to pass as amended” alternative featuring a required statewide referendum on the matter. We will see what version Jackson brings to the Senate and if that body will support the House version without a referendum or will support their members. It is possible the two bodies will not agree on the best path forward for disenfranchising the right-of-center voters in the 2nd District, which would mean the votes will leave an ugly bruise that will turn purple and heal. It’s also possible that the Democratic majority will recognize that disenfranchising 2nd CD Trump voters must be accomplished by any means necessary and do it, as Rep. Perry advocated, in the name of (undefined) “equity,” in which case the bruises will turn gangrenous and prove fatal to the Republic. Governor Mills, who often touts her 2nd District rural Maine bona fides, has not said a word on the matter. In my opinion, if rural Maine is depending on her, the bruises are already gangrenous.

After absorbing the body-blow NPV vote on Tuesday morning, I went up Cooper Hill to vote in the Republican primary shortly after noon. I brought the poll workers some chocolate cake, which was well received. I was informed that only Republicans had shown up so far, but the lonely Democrat poll worker did not seem overly concerned (Cooper is red with a purple/blue streak here and there). I took my Republican ballot and used rank-choice voting to express my Presidential preferences and concerns. My ballot read:

1.) DeSantis

2.) Trump

3.) Ramaswamy

4.) Haley

I shared some spaghetti and moose meatballs with the poll workers, discussed the latest child protective services disaster, and how Maine seemed to be prioritizing illegal immigrants over homeless vets. The bruises from those policy wounds are just starting to become visible.

As I left the Cooper Community Center, two of my neighbors, both Democrats, drove in. I did not ask them if they were voting for Biden or not. I did not need any more bruises.

Jon Reisman is an economist and policy analyst who retired from the University of Maine at Machias after 38 years. He resides on Cathance Lake in Cooper, where he is a Selectman and a Statler and Waldorf intern. Mr. Reisman’s views are his own, and he welcomes comments as letters to the editor here or to him directly via email at [email protected].

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