At Down East today, I take a quick look at the resignation of Democratic State Senator Larry Bliss of South Portland and the special election that will take place after he leaves the Legislature on April 15th.
Bliss, who lost his job at the University of Southern Maine 16 months ago, is leaving for a position in California. He won a very close race in 2010 against local radio personality and small business owner Joe Palmieri.
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The Christian Civic League publicly lashed out at a Maine State Representative today. From Bigot in Chief Michael Heath:
"I am proud of the League for pointing out the connection between Mr. Bliss's political views and his lifestyle. Homosexuality is immoral. Everyone knows it in their hearts, even openly 'gay' candidate Bliss"
David Offer's column in the Kennebec Journal today examines a report released earlier this year by the PEW Center on the States in which Maine's government receives a "C" grade for performance management.
Some of the issues the report highlights are unavoidable - for instance the unpredictability introduced by the citizen initiative process. The report provide recommendations for ameliorating other issues, however, including the development of a state-wide strategic plan and better tracking of program goals and outcomes.
I imagine Tom Dunne, the former director of Dirigo Health and now a Republican Senate candidate in District 7 (South Portland and Cape Elizabeth), would agree with these sentiments. He recently wrote an op-ed titled Dirigo: Fix it up or shut it down lamenting the lack of accountability for Dirigo Health. Soon after, he was approached by the Republicans to run for Senate (he was previously an independent) and seems to be basing his campaign entirely on good government and strategic management (see this issue of the South Portland Sentry - Page 6). He'll be facing Representative Lawrence Bliss in November, an experienced and capable legislator who should win easily in the Democratic-leaning district.