14 Feb 2011

Maine Continues to Trailblaze for Centrists

A group of legislators in Maine have created “The Moderate Caucus”, looking to bridge the gap between a narrowly split legislative chamber that the GOP recently took a majority in. These 45 lawmakers will form a buffer between the two parties to make sure that neither will be able to push legislation easily without some moderate and/or bipartisan support.

Maine has a long history of independence, having elected independent Angus King as governor in the 90’s, continuing to support moderate republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins in the U.S. Senate, and nearly electing Eliot Cutler, another independent, to the governor’s mansion this last cycle.

We could sorely use this same common sense style caucus in the House and Senate in D.C. Just a handful of votes in the Senate, and a couple dozen in the House, would all but ensure neither party could push through thoroughly partisan legislation.

Author Details
After a few years of blogging on other sites, Solomon launched ‘Rise of the Center’ – the precursor to Uniters.org, leading to a number of interviews and freelance opportunities, most notably covering the 2012 election cycle on WNYC.org – the website for the largest NPR station in the country, in New York City – and reported from the floor of the 2012 Democratic & Republican National Conventions. After a hiatus from politics, the horrific circus of the 2016 election, and more generally increasing extremism and corruption, brought him back to this project.
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After a few years of blogging on other sites, Solomon launched ‘Rise of the Center’ – the precursor to Uniters.org, leading to a number of interviews and freelance opportunities, most notably covering the 2012 election cycle on WNYC.org – the website for the largest NPR station in the country, in New York City – and reported from the floor of the 2012 Democratic & Republican National Conventions. After a hiatus from politics, the horrific circus of the 2016 election, and more generally increasing extremism and corruption, brought him back to this project.
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0 thoughts on “Maine Continues to Trailblaze for Centrists”

  1. I hope Maine leads the way for other states to follow suit. I like a lot about the way my neighbors in Maine go about politics. They’re a half a cup less full of crap than many other states. Good on ’em.
     
    Maine is also the only state, to my knowledge, that apportions presidential electoral votes in a way that empowers local voters.
     
    Every state has a number if electoral votes which corresponds to the sum of its senate and house members. Whoever wins the state vote gets the 2 “senate” electoral votes. The “house” electoral votes are apportioned to whichever candidate wins the house district.
     
    I wish every state did that. It preserves the electoral college, which is a founding compromise and IMO ought not to be superseded by anything less than an amendment. But if many states did things this way, candidates would have to compete by district, instead of by state. This would break down the blue state/red state dynamic, as even many solid blue and red states might hold competitive districts.
     
    That’s an example of change that the center could credibly support. Both parties would go ballistic, which would be a clue as to just how good an idea it is.

    1. Actually, it’s not true that Maine is the only state to apportion its electors that way. In the 19th century it was common, but more recently Maine was the first to return to that concept. It has been followed by Nebraska. and in the 2008 election there was a lot of heavy campaigning in Omaha because of that. Obama’s people thought they might be able to take the district including Omaha even if McCain won the statewide vote. And this turned out to work: see http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/us/politics/12omaha.html .

        1. Am I from Omaha? no — in fact I’ve never even been there, except passing through on a train from Chicago to the West Coast! But I remember reading about the fact that the Dems were campaigning there in 2008, as I stated in my post.

          You’ve posted a comment in my blog, so I’d have thought you’d have noticed that I’m in Maryland. But i guess it didn’t register.

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