Maine gets sold down the river again

By Paul Ackerman | Jun 14, 2018

How Maine got to this juncture of political chicanery with Ranked Choice Voting is pretty clear. Money and lots of it, the vast majority coming from out-of-state left-wing activist groups determined to prevent another conservative governor from being elected. Maine is the cheap date of the progressive left; with plenty of money to pay canvassers for signatures and population centers in southern Maine to flood with feel-good slogans for unaware voters, they love the odds here.

The number of PACs that were formed, de-formed, re-formed, funded, terminated and swapped hid where the real money came from. To see who got paid for what one must go to the Maine Election Commission website. Here is a good lesson in how to sell out to left-wing interests funded mostly from outside Maine. Ever heard of The Chamberlain Project PAC? The Proteus Piper Fund? Leveling the Playing Field? The Democracy Fund? America Elects? Fairvote? These are some of the big money, shifting sands behind the referendum push to “change Maine.” Needed $30,000 last week? Level the Playing Field of Alexandria, Va., tossed it in to push this vote yet again. Pocket change to them.

Examine the campaign finance records on the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices' website here to see where the money comes from out-of-state: The Chamberlain Project PACThe Chamber Project BQC 2018; Proteus Action League BQC

These left-wing groups bankrolled the push to jam through Ranked Choice Voting, and they expect you to believe they have Maine’s best interests at heart because they “know better” how voters should be able to vote than you do. That is just scratching the surface of the organizations determined to create another voter’s utopia, in their ideological view.

By the time this column is printed, Maine will have experienced the first statewide primary election using this very confusing system. Even the California system using this currently is described as a “jungle primary,” due to the fractious nature of the campaigns and the number of candidates running. Naturally the candidates there have figured a way to game the system to move forward as votes are tallied, hoping for an instant runoff if they get to the number-two slot.

All of this costs the state taxpayers money. A charitable guess by Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is that the current primary election being done by Ranked Choice will add “about $110,000” in costs. My bet is it costs far more than that, and ends up being very confusing, with “spoiled ballots” being a source of much more confusion.

Then there is the judgment of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court that Ranked Choice Voting violates the terms of the Maine Constitution.

Proponents argue this is splitting hairs, and not to worry. It is only when the legal hair being split goes against their agenda that it is a “hair”; otherwise, it would be “settled law.” The political left’s view is always heads-I-win/tails-you-lose. Probably until a Republican wins a Ranked Choice runoff, the people pushing this unconstitutional mess will continue to claim it is the path to voter utopia. Then it won’t be.

Comments (6)
Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Jun 26, 2018 20:07

Maine voters approved Ranked Choice Voting in referendum. The people of Maine have spoken and voted ranked choice in the June primaries. Maine is the first state in the nation to approve and use ranked-choice. We fulfilled the promise of "As Maine goes, so goes the nation." Australia has had ranked-choice for over 70 years and has survived and thrived.

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jun 15, 2018 18:54

Mr. Tranfaglia.  How can a depraved degenerate, a business bankrupt, an admitted sexual predator, an habitual liar, a wage cheat, a tax evader, an associate of mafia thugs, a probable Russian agent under FBI investigation, a draft-dodger, and an offender of every American principle and value be called "president."  In this nightmare called the age of trump anything is possible.

Posted by: Roger Tranfaglia | Jun 15, 2018 16:18

Mr. Horvath, Mr. Hall...

HOW can the Koch brothers be alt-right wingers...If they are REGISTERED democrats???

Posted by: Seth Hall | Jun 15, 2018 09:15

Poor Mr. Ackerman! The real issue here is that the Maine Legislature, after doing nothing for almost eight years of Republican dominance in State politics, has serially obstructed the people's will, as clearly expressed through a series of recent State referenda,  Here, in the case of Ranked Choice Voting, the people have simply had enough, and have yet again spoken clearly and eloquently that they want the status quo to change, and if the Legislature won't do in, they will.

To claim that Mainers are being deluded by vast sums of dark liberal out-of-state political money is simply farcical; the reality is that Mainers are showing their abundant common sense, and are finally, and properly, taking control of their own destiny.

I find it laughable that Mr. Ackerman claims 'outside' liberal money is tainting our politics. While attending the Legislature's Standing Joint Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology a year or so ago, the co-chairman, Rep. Seth Berry, asked the chief lobbyist for CMP and the anti-solar folks (a professor from Harvard, well known as a right-wing anti-solar shill),  who paid him and how much. The response was The Edison Institute, and $600/hr!  This one lobbyist was undoubtedly paid more than the $30,000 Mr. Ackerman cites, for just a few hours of  'testimony'.

And has Mr. Ackerman never heard of the Koch brothers, the Mercer family, and their truly vast network of extreme right wing billionaires, who's favorite blood sport is frustrating the will of the people, mostly to protect their personal fortunes and huge fossil fuel businesses and Wall Street investments?

This is what Mainers are up against, and they simply aren't going to take it any more! That Mr. Ackerman is upset that his time worn, Kock Brothers money driven, conservative sniveling isn't getting the traction it once did is evidence that the people are tired of all the Faux News lies and disinformation coming from the Republicans, and are finally taking the reins into their own hands. I say: look out, we're just beginning, and November is coming!

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jun 14, 2018 17:10

My, my, such a hissy-fit from the "stalwart" right.  Dare I say it;  Snowflake, much?  And how convenient is that the right always forgets the Koch money that flows into any state with a contest between reason and conservative dogma?  It's always the other sides fault.  How tiresome the right is.  Fortunately there are some "conservatives" still clinging to rationality.  Here's one:


"Now the two-party system has rigidified and ossified. The two parties no longer bend to the center. They push to the extremes, where the donor bases and their media propaganda arms are. More and more people feel politically homeless, alienated from both parties and without any say in how the country is run."

"The result is that people, especially the young, lose faith in democratic norms altogether. There are over 6,000 breweries in America, but when it comes to our politics, we get to choose between Soviet Refrigerator Factory A and Soviet Refrigerator Factory B."

"The good news is that we don’t have to live with this system. There’s nothing in the Constitution that says there have to be only two parties. There’s nothing in the Constitution about parties at all. There’s not even anything in the Constitution mandating that each congressional district have only one member and be represented by one party. We could have a much fairer and better system with the passage of a law.

The way to do that is through multimember districts and ranked-choice voting. In populous states, the congressional districts would be bigger, with around three to five members per district. Voters would rank the candidates on the ballot. If no candidate had a majority of first-place votes, then the candidate with the fewest first-place votes would be eliminated. Voters who preferred that candidate would have their second-choice vote counted instead. The process would be repeated until you get your winners." -David Brooks, One Reform to Save America



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jun 14, 2018 16:12

This why they don't want rank choice voting. Look who our Governor is in cahoots with to split the vote once again:

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