October 17, 2017  
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Opinion: Who’s hunting for Bruce Poliquin’s congressional seat?
Opinion: Who’s hunting for Bruce Poliquin’s congressional seat?

Fall hunting season has begun in Maine. Not only moose hunting, but political hunting too.

At least five Democrats are running to challenge Republican Poliquin for Maine’s second congressional district seat. In alphabetical order:
• Phil Cleaves, Dexter, mail carrier
• Jonathan Fulford, Monroe, builder
• Jared Golden, Lewiston, Assistant Maine House Majority Leader
• Craig Olson, Islesboro, antiquarian book dealer
• Tim Rich, Seal Harbor, restaurateur

None are well known. Only one, Jared Golden, is strongly backed by the party, so far. He is young, a military veteran, and the only candidate with state level political experience.

There is also a long-shot Libertarian candidate, Brian Kresge, in the race.

But several sources say the field is about to get bigger and the Democratic primary race more interesting.

In normal times, Poliquin would be easy to knock off. He is a fat cat Wall Street millionaire, who has left a trail of questionable conservation practices. He has done nothing beneficial for his constituents during three years in the majority party in Washington, D.C. He has followed the Tea Party line, which hurts northern Maine, virtually without exception. Other than trying to kill the Katadhin Woods & Waters National Monument, he has become best known for taking few firm positions and for hiding from his constituents.

Yet, as the elections of Paul LePage and Donald Trump have demonstrated, these are not normal times. Fueled with dark money from the uber-wealthy plutocracy and supported by regular people who don’t mind being tools, extremists who want to sabotage government to prove government does not work are betting elected to steer the ship of state onto the rocks.

Poliquin has been more than useless on issues across the board, including environmental issues. Only his political incompetence has saved Maine from even more damage. However, as long as the Reactionary Right retains control of the House, funded by the Radical Rich, it will be tough for others to slow the carnage and get our ship back on course to actually serve the people.

Absent big money, we the people cannot easily trump the politics of stupid. But everyone can do what they can. Elections matter.

Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 (Archive on Wednesday, October 18, 2017)
Posted by Jym St. Pierre   Contributed by Jym St. Pierre
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