Robert F. Bukaty | AP
By Alex Acquisto, BDN Employees •
November 16, 2018 eight:52 am
Up to date: November 16, 2018 eight:58 am
Good morning from Augusta, the place the mud is clearing after Thursday’s historic ranked-choice poll rely delivered victory to Democrat Jared Golden in Maine’s hotly contested 2nd Congressional District race towards incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin.
Let’s recap Thursday’s occasions. Assistant Majority Chief Golden eked out a historic win to upset Poliquin, 50.53 % to 49.47 %. This majority was culled by tallying the second-choice outcomes from those that voted for one of many two unbiased candidates initially, Tiffany Bond and Will Hoar, who have been each knocked out in the primary spherical of voting on Election Day. Poliquin had claimed victory as a result of he earned about 2,000 extra first-choice votes on Election Day. The ranked-choice rely flipped the race to Golden.
Fewer than two hours earlier than Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap declared Golden the winner, U.S. District Courtroom Decide Lance Walker denied Poliquin’s movement for a short lived restraining order towards Dunlap. The authorized workforce for Poliquin and three 2nd District Republicans argued that ranked-choice voting is unconstitutional, however Walker stated the case failed to compel him to halt the method.
After information unfold of Golden’s victory, Poliquin vowed to keep preventing — “we will proceed with our constitutional concerns about the rank vote algorithm,” he stated. However Dmitry Bam, a constitutional regulation professor on the College of Maine Faculty of Regulation, believes Poliquin’s probabilities of gaining traction for his case at this level are slim.
A recount is one choice. Poliquin, who misplaced Thursday’s reallocation tally by roughly three,000 votes, has 5 enterprise days to request one, although he hasn’t indicated if he’ll. If the Republican does ask for a recount, the ballots can be reviewed by hand by state election officers beneath Dunlap’s supervision.
He might nonetheless hope that Walker will rule in his favor in a lawsuit filed Tuesday. However that is unlikely, Bam stated. “99 percent of the time, a judge’s [initial] decision on a temporary restraining order is going to be the final decision,” he stated. If this occurs, Poliquin might press ahead and problem Walker’s determination in the U.S. First Circuit Courtroom of Appeals. If his case was robust sufficient, it may need an opportunity of advancing to the U.S. Supreme Courtroom. Poliquin additionally has the choice to bypass the appeals courtroom to ask the nation’s excessive courtroom to take up the case first. However this trajectory is uncommon and solely profitable in the rarest of circumstances, Bam stated.
“What does commonly happen is once you lose a temporary restraining order, you often drop the case, because that’s a pretty clear signal that you’re not going to win,” he stated. “Quite often litigants get the message that it’s futile.”
If a brand new election is what Poliquin needs, his case would set a brand new authorized precedent, as no decide has ever demanded a do-over in a U.S. Home of Representatives race, Bam stated. However no congressional election earlier than this one had been determined by ranked-choice voting.
The U.S. Structure provides the Home the ultimate say in contested elections. Golden’s supporters have pointed to sections that give states the authority to conduct elections as they see match and to Article 1, Part 5, which reads, “Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members …” as the ultimate arbiter if the result of the 2nd District election stays in doubt. With Democrats sweeping to a transparent majority in that chamber, Poliquin’s greatest recourse rests with the courts.
Mills picks a hiring squad
The staff that may assemble the administration of Maine’s subsequent governor consists of her brother and different acquainted names. Gov.-elect Janet Mills introduced her government search committee on Thursday. As well as to her brother, Peter Mills, a former Republican legislator who now heads the Maine Turnpike Authority, different notable members of the panel embrace former Central Maine Energy head David Flanagan, former Home speaker Hannah Pingree, departing state senator Daybreak Hill and former Senate president Justin Alfond.
Rounding out the panel are Lizzy Reinholt, Peter DelGreco, Jim Clair, Laurie Lachance, Lois Skillings, Alec Maybarduk, Barbara Hayslett, Barbara Trafton and Portland Metropolis Councilor Spencer Thibodeau. They characterize pursuits starting from the state’s power business to the state staff union, hospitals, nonprofits, schools and conservation teams.
The incoming administration has already quietly begun soliciting resumes, as there are about 150 executive-level appointments to be made. Incoming governors sometimes ask for the resignations of political appointees from the outgoing administration — as Republican Paul LePage did in 2010 — however typically retain a few of the individuals who held prime jobs. For example, Lachance served as state economist for Govs. John McKernan, Angus King and John Baldacci.
LePage discovered the duty of filling Cupboard posts to be a problem, complaining that the salaries weren’t aggressive with what certified candidates might earn in the personal sector.
Home Democrats to decide leaders
The subsequent Legislature’s management group must be full immediately. Home Democrats are scheduled to caucus this morning to elect a speaker, majority chief and assistant majority chief.
No critical opposition to Home Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, emerged. Anticipate her to be wielding the gavel for an additional two-year time period after lawmakers are sworn in on Dec. 5. Republicans will in all probability nominate a candidate, however that individual will largely be a sacrificial providing after Democrats elevated their majority in final week’s elections.
New individuals will take over as majority chief and assistant majority chief. Within the 128th Legislature, Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, who gained a Senate seat final week, and Golden crammed these roles, respectively. Issues don’t seem to have modified a lot since we reported in September on potential candidates for these spots in the 129th Legislature. The main candidates for majority chief nonetheless seem to be Reps. Matt Moonen of Portland, Teresa Pierce of Falmouth and Craig Hickman of Winthrop.
Reps. Ryan Fecteau of Biddeford and Benjamin Collings of Portland have stated publicly that they’re operating for assistant majority chief. Barring a late entry throughout this morning’s caucus, two of those candidates will be a part of Gideon to type the Democrats’ Home management staff. They may be a part of three Senate Democrats already elected to management posts to give the celebration a 6-to-Four benefit on the Legislative Council, which manages legislative features and units legislative budgets. For the previous 4 years, there has been a good 5-to-5 cut up on the council, as a result of Republicans managed the Senate.
After a bunch of cut up votes, Bangor metropolis councilors elected a brand new chief. The ceremonial title of “mayor” will go to Sarah Nichols, 28, who was re-elected final week to a second time period on the council. On the Wednesday assembly when she was picked to chair the council, Nichols gave a brief speech outlining her imaginative and prescient of Bangor as a spot that’s reasonably priced and accessible to individuals from all backgrounds. She talked about a number of of her coverage priorities, corresponding to enhancing public transportation and making the web a public utility. She additionally urged her fellow councilors to think about how their official selections might have an effect on all the town’s residents, whether or not they determine as transgender, Native American or are recovering from a substance use dysfunction.
Extra delays in improvement of a waste-processing plant in Hampden are forcing about 100 Maine cities to keep sending waste to landfills. Fiberight officers say the state-of-the-art plant must be prepared in March, virtually a yr after once they first stated it might open. Officers have attributed the delay to a number of elements, together with climate that slowed development final winter, a authorized problem to the challenge’s environmental permits and a altering marketplace for recycled items. With development full in March, the Fiberight plant ought to start accepting waste in April, the corporate’s CEO, Craig Stuart-Paul stated. The delay has annoyed some residents and officers who hoped they might find a way to ship their recyclables to the Hampden plant already, particularly given tightened waste administration practices in China which have pushed up the prices of recycling in the U.S.
Common private revenue rose quicker in Maine final yr than it did nationally. We nonetheless path Vermont and New Hampshire in phrases of common private revenue, in accordance to federal knowledge launched Thursday. However our revenue progress topped that of the Inexperienced Mountain State final yr. Cumberland County continued because the state’s beacon of prosperity whereas Piscataquis County had the bottom common revenue in 2017. Learn all about it right here.
That massive November snowstorm simply acquired slightly smaller. After dire predictions that many elements of Maine would have to shovel out from virtually a foot of snow, forecasters downgraded snowfall estimates this morning. However they may in all probability change these totals once more by the point you learn this. Simply put in your boots and crank up the quantity on this soundtrack, which obtained misplaced in the shuffle in Thursday’s e-mail.
The truth that Peter Mills and Justin Alfond are each serving on the governor-elect’s government search committee spurred me to mud off this pleasant anecdote from Chris Cousins. Chris wrote about this escapade in one of many early Daily Briefs in 2015, after seeing a photograph of Peter Mills operating a 5-kilometer race whereas sporting denims.
“I think it was in 2008 or 2009 when I saw Mills win a midnight pushup contest (handily) on the state Senate floor against the much younger Sen. Justin Alfond and black belt-holder Sen. Bill Diamond. Then Peter did some headstand yoga poses, right in the middle of the state seal on the Senate rug. True story.”
Chris died three months in the past yesterday, and the opening in our lives stays monumental. To stave off the unhappiness, how a few Chris Cousins Memorial Pushup Contest? What do you say, Peter and Justin? Right here is your soundtrack. — Robert Lengthy
As we speak’s Daily Temporary was written by Alex Acquisto, Michael Shepherd and Robert Lengthy. For those who’re studying this on the BDN’s web site or have been forwarded it, click on right here to obtain Maine’s main publication on state politics by way of e-mail on weekday mornings. Click on right here to subscribe to the BDN.