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TABOR

Election Night Live Blog

Live blog over, election night posts can be found on twitter.

Not sure how much of a chance I'll get to blog tonight, but I'll try to keep up the twitter feed above. Feel free to give me a call or an email using the links above and on the right.

Last year, the BDN was the best at getting numbers online. Here's their results page.

Also: WGME, WMTW

Know of another online resource? Please leave a comment.

No on 2 and 4 GOTV

An Election Day video from the No on 2 and 4 campaigns, featuring a bunch of awesome people:

GOTV

A look at the Get Out The Vote efforts on Question 1:


And Question 4:

Making Tough Times Tougher

The first No on 4 TV ad is up.

One Down, Two to Go

Word was handed down by the Secretary of State's office yesterday that four citizen-initiated referenda were approved for the November ballot, including a referendum on providing medical marijuana, a proposed veto of the school consolidation bill passed last session, and two tax measures written and supported by the Maine Heritage Policy Center and Maine Leads, a pair of conservative interest groups.

These two groups had also submitted a petition for a third referendum which would have deregulated Maine's health insurance industry, but every single signature was rejected due to a mistake in the signature gathering process. Apparently, the pages on which the legislation was printed were presented out of order, making it difficult for signatories to judge the full intent of the referendum.

Even if the petitions had been printed correctly, other signature collection and administration mistakes would have invalidated 9,509 signatures, according to the Secretary of State's decision, dropping the number below the 55,087 needed to secure a spot on the ballot.

All of these measures will make for an interesting election in November, but the campaign for the new TABOR referendum may be the one to watch. Will Mainers resent the fact that these groups are trying to push a piece of legislation that's already been rejected once, or will they feel that the state fiscal and political situation has changed enough (or has failed to change) so that this kind of blunt tax reform is advisable? We'll start to find out soon.

TABOR: Take 2

According to the West End News, a group in favor of a "Tax-Payer Bill of Rights" is launching their campaign next week.

On February 23rd, the Secretary of State will announce that a new Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, initiative will appear on the November 2009 ballot.

The new TABOR would limit government spending to inflation plus population growth, and require voter approval to exceed that limit. Voters would also get the final say before the legislature can pass any new tax or tax increase.

The TABOR NOW Campaign Kickoff Fundraiser will be held on Monday, February 23rd at 6:00 pm at The Portland Club on State Street.


A similar proposal, also called TABOR, was defeated at the polls in 2006. 54% of Maine voters rejected the measure, which was seen by many as a blunt policy instrument meant to push a conservative agenda and abrogate local control.

Speaking of referenda, what's the deal with referendum backers running afoul of the law? Carol Palesky, author of the "Palesky tax cap" referendum and Seth Carey, author of last year's casino referendum have both been in the news lately. Paleksy, herself a convicted felon, passed on her tax preparation business to her daughter, who proceeded to get herself in serious legal trouble for claiming false deductions for nearly every client she served, while Carey was just suspended from the bar for thoroughly unlawerly conduct.

The decision by Maine Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Andrew Mead on the Carey case is a great read, (I especially enjoyed the part where Carey started accusing people of conspiring against him) but doesn't even address all of Carey's questionable behavior, according to the Sun Journal.

An additional complaint, filed in October, was not addressed in Mead's recent order.

In that complaint, a lawyer and professor who researches the professional development of lawyers recounted Carey's rants against the Board of Overseers of the Bar's prosecutor. Anne Corbin wrote in her complaint that Carey physically abused her German shepherd puppy, who was being trained as a therapy dog. He also refused to leave her home.

"While I was not afraid for my well-being, I was very uncomfortable and extremely wary of his 'unhinged' demeanor," she wrote in her complaint.

TABOR: Take Two

Anti-tax activist Roy Lenardson has announced that his organization has gathered enough signatures to put two new tax cut proposals on the ballot in 2009.

One is a Taxpayer Bill of Rights, similar to the bill that Maine voters rejected in 2006. The other initiative would reduce the motor vehicle excise tax, which is a major source of revenue at the municipal level.