Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The Political Brew: Long-Shot Candidates, the Big Money District Attorney Race, and Gun Reform

Maine, USA – Maine has some tall candidates seeking higher positions.

In the June 14 primary, Kairatunk selection board member Liz Caruso is challenging former U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin for the Republican nomination for Congress in Maine’s Second Congressional District. Caruso has been getting a lot of media attention lately, even as Poliquin refuses to debate it.

Ray Richardson doesn’t think Caruso has much of a chance to win, but he said, “In a primary, it’s all about showing up to vote.”

Ken Altshuler believes that voters in another district “probably aren’t prepared to go along with someone who looks somewhat out of place.” [right-wing] Fringe.”

Two nominated candidates qualified for the November vote.

In the second district race, Portland Attorney Tiffany Bond collected enough signatures to get on the ballot for a rematch against U.S. Representative Jared Golden and the winner of the GOP primary. She was one of two independents to run in the 2018 race, which was decided by rank-choice voting.

But Richardson says he lost the election not because of Poliquin rank-choice, but rather, “the fact that 60,000 people who voted for him in 2016 didn’t bother to show up and vote in 2018.”

He doesn’t expect Bond to be a factor, and neither does Altschuller. He said that even if there is a red wave in the fall elections, “Maine is pretty free, and people like Jared Golden.”

There is also a third candidate qualified to run for governor. Sam Hunkler of Beals is a political newcomer. He is a physician who says he has worked in eight Maine communities.

Altschuler said we still have “a campaign each. Sam Hunkler is not going to have any influence on this election” because he has no serious money, nor are party members widely dissatisfied with the government. Janet Mills or former Gov. Paul Lepage.

Richardson said that if Hunkler has any effect, it could be to take away some votes from Mills, who “has had some trouble with his far left, and may look for an alternative. “

Elections for district attorneys are usually low-key, small-money matters. But Cumberland County, DA Jonathan Saherbeck is crying foul as the Maine Justice and Public Safety PAC backing his primary rival, Jackie Sartoris, contributed $300,000 and is running ads against him. Funding comes from Democratic mega-donor George Soros, who is also funding other progressive candidates across the country.
Saherbeck called it disrespectful and said that Sartoris should condemn the advertisements.

Richardson said that this is the way of the political world of today. And he said everyone should be asking, “Why in the world is George Soros running for a district attorney in Cumberland County, Maine, where there are about 200,000 people? He’s a sinister political figure, and it’s a dirty pool.” “

And Altschuler said, “The Supreme Court has said that anyone can give money to anyone, anytime, including corporations. Unless you change the campaign laws, that’s the reality.”

Both of our analysts are skeptical that there will be any changes to gun rules as a result of the recent mass shootings.

President Biden delivered a prime-time address on Thursday, saying, “We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. If we can’t ban assault weapons, we need to ban them.” The buying age should be raised from 18 to 21. Strengthen background checks. Repeal the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability.”

Biden also said the Second Amendment is “not complete,” and that more needs to be done to address mental health issues.

Susan Collins, R-Main, is part of a bipartisan group of nine senators looking at things like red flag laws and expanded background checks. On Friday, the scores of high school students march to his office in Portland to encourage him to support the reforms.

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut happened nearly a decade ago. Altshuler said that incident brought no national reformation, adding, “When you have the slaughter of elementary children, and nothing changes, nothing will ever change.”

He continued, “I hear the argument, ‘Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.’ Can we make it a little harder for people to do this? Can we do something? The answer is no. And unless people stand up and insist on it, it’s not going to happen.”

Richardson said, “There are some steps we can take, and I think both sides can agree on some common sense measures, but the fact is, it’s not politically conducive, so they’re not going to do that.” “

Our analysts also discussed the relatively large number of party primaries in the legislative race, including an unusual state Senate primary in the Orono area in which elected Democratic leaders in the Senate took sides, something that doesn’t usually happen.

And he talked about the $850 relief check that the Mills administration will soon send to most mains and the politics behind getting people to get physical checks instead of electronic direct deposit.

Political Brew airs Sundays on News Center Maine’s Morning Report.

Nation World News Desk
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