Friday, May 30, 2014

Primary “colors,” candidate forums, and other irrelevancies…


We don’t expect too many of you recall that Other Side created it’s own on-line ‘Candidate Forum’ last fall, timed to coincide with the local general election for Brunswick town council and school board members.  You can read a compendium of the related posts by clicking on this link:

The response, not surprisingly, was disconcerting, though more or less in line with what we expected, with an exception or two.  The prevailing attitude among such candidates, it’s fair to say, was ‘who wants to know, and why?’  Or, ‘just because we’re running for office, what makes you think we should answer your questions?’

We don’t often have contested primary elections here in town, and more importantly, directed at residents in specific neighborhoods of our community.  2014 turns out to be such a year.  Charlie Priest is termed out for his State Representative seat for District 50.

Two local Democrats are vying for the right to ascend to his seat by competing in the general election in November:  Ralph Tucker and Jackie Sartoris (known as JP2, and other piscatorial terms of endearment here on Side.)


Having nothing more productive to do of a Friday night with gathering storms off to the west, we’ve decided to publish a questionnaire aimed directly at this primary contest, and we consider it a ‘targeted’ candidate forum.  The questions are these, and we will publish the answers either candidate sends our way.

  • Is honesty always the best policy when dealing with constituents, or are there times when bamboozling is politically more expedient, and therefore acceptable?
  • Is the Amtrak Downeaster an economic benefit to Maine and the Brunswick region?  Is it fiscally sustainable?
  • Do you believe an MLF in Brunswick is required to support Amtrak Downeaster service to Brunswick?  If so, do you believe “Brunswick West” is the optimum location for this industrial facility?  If so, why?
  • Do you favor increasing taxes in any form to increase state revenue?  If so, which taxes would you increase?  And what would you use the increased revenues for?
  • Which approach do you believe offers greater potential for economic growth: increased government spending via bond issues and the like, or reducing government intervention in economic activity via regulation, control, etc?
  • Where do you stand on implementing statewide ‘single payer health care,’ as proposed by Rep. Priest?
  • If you support single payer health care, would you support single payer nutrition care as well?  Do you think nutrition is a vital component of health care?
  • If a candidate for the legislature is an official of the Brunswick Town Democrat Committee, how does that candidate prioritize pursuit of Committee objectives vis-à-vis ethical obligations of running for state elective office?  Especially if the candidate is running as a Maine Clean Election Act candidate?
  • More specifically, if that candidate is using her Facebook page- – as a vehicle for fundraising to support partisan causes and candidates, is she in violation of the 2014 MCEA Candidates guide?  We refer specifically to her entry on May 15th.  It reads as follows:
  • Free Sunday night? So many people have offered to help by making financial contributions. I even received an unsolicited check in the mail today! But as the only Clean Election candidate, I already have (limited) public finance, which means... See More


    Jackie Sartoris for Maine State Representative OK just trying to challenge my technical prowess... Here's the link to the event!

    Unite the 61% for $61! Brunswick Democratic Committee Fundraiser

    Sunday, May 18 at 5:00pm

    Enoteca, 97 Maine Street, Brunswick, Maine 04011

    “while a candidate is not prohibited from fundraising for a political action committee (PAC) or a political party committee, the candidate should be aware of certain risks in doing so.  If the PAC or party committee is going to spend money to promote the candidate, the candidate may wish to consider whether the assistance with fundraising will create the public perception or lead to the conclusion that the candidate cooperated with the PAC or party committee’s expenditures to promote the candidate."

We recognize that in the hands of the right ‘artist,’ primary colors can be seen as an exercise in creativity.  We simply wonder where the line is drawn between creative imagery and unforgiving reality.


Not that it matters when running to become one of our elected betters.

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