Monday, November 06, 2006

Let the women lead

While politics as usual most often means white males mouthing the same old rhetoric, Maine’s gubernatorial race has been energized by two dynamic women, as candidates. Both Pat LaMarche and Barbara Merrill have given incumbent John Baldacci and Republican challenger, Chandler Woodcock, much more than I’m sure they bargained for.

Both LaMarche and Merrill have run issue-oriented campaigns that have given Mainers an opportunity, if they so choose, to vote against the tired and trite and choose a direction for the state that is actually grounded in issues that matter. With LaMarche’s focus on healthcare, the environment, job creation and a way to realistically address tax issues, she offers a clear choice for anyone who cares to go beyond the sound bite campaigns offered by her male counterparts.

Merrill literally has written the book on how she would govern Maine. Like Maine’s last Independent for governor, Angus King, Merrill put pen to paper and wrote, Setting the Maine Course, which is also available on her website.

Merrill’s strong commitment to the rural values of Maine, should resound solidly with much of Maine, although I’m concerned that too many of them will take the easy road and cast their vote for Chandler Woodcock, making the false assumption that a Republican cares about the working class citizens of rural Maine. His support for TABOR should be a clear indication that he doesn’t, as this “slash and burn” attack on the rural communities of Maine will devastate services to the people who need them most.

While I wrote an earlier post about leaning LaMarche’s way, I’ve now made my choice to vote for Pat. Having said that, I respect Merrill and would be comfortable with her as governor, if LaMarche doesn’t come out victorious after the votes are counted Tuesday night.

For those who are still wavering, I’d encourage you to visit Jason Clarke and Lance Dutson’s excellent podcast site, Maine Impact, where you can listen to interviews with both of these talented and intelligent women, who would both make great choices to lead the state of Maine.

3 comments:

Rikki said...

I've been chewing over the same decision, and after last week's debate on MPBN, I started to lean LaMarche's way. This, in part, because whatever interest I had in Merrill disappeared while I watched her in the same debate. Yet, I can honestly say that 12 hours out, I'm still unsure what will happen when I enter the booth. Perhaps my belated post of my overview of the Gubernatorial race will help push things toward one of the three (yes, still considering a Baldacci vote ... not Napier).

Jim said...

Rikki-

Vote your heart; I really think this is an election where you can do that.

BTW, your overview was a good one and I enjoyed reading it.

~Jim

Rikki said...

Thanks Jim.

I ended up doing just as you suggest.

Sure, I partly reached the decision after a fairly calculated analysis -- Is there any way my vote could result in Chandler Woodcock getting elected? Reaching the endpoint of "probably not," I applied one final litmus test.

I'll save that for the wrap-up, giving me the opportunity to choke on it in the (hopefully) unlikely event that Woodcock suddenly appeals to the mass of voters I believe will instead swing to Merrill. In any event, the Green Party is now one vote closer to retaining a formal place on the ballot.