The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) today denounced Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage for doubling down on his stunningly inappropriate comments comparing the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo at a fundraiser Thursday morning. NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris said:
Comparing a long-standing federal agency to Hitler's secret police, especially in the context of providing millions of Americans with much-needed health care insurance is simply absurd. That this is LePage's second time doing so in the past week is completely unacceptable -- even with Monday's tepid apology. Trivializing the suffering and deaths of millions at the hands of the Gestapo is completely unacceptable, and the governor -- indeed any elected official -- should know better than this. LePage -- who is just the latest in an increasingly long line of Republicans who have crassly invoked the Holocaust for their own political purposes -- must give a true apology at once.
Yet another Republican caucus victory may be slipping out of Mitt Romney's hands.
Following the Iowa caucus, Republican party officials declared Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) the winner by 8 votes. Soon irregularities came to light and a week later the Republican party finally admitted that Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) was the winner by 34 votes.
The vote in Maine seems like deja vu all over again. "Final results" are announced showing Romney with a narrow victory. This time Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) was the runner up trailing by 196.
Paul and Romney were the only two candidates to actively campaign in the Pine Tree State.
Just as in Iowa, the narrow result is in doubt because many important precincts were left out including all of Washington County and Waldo County (shown in green on this map of Maine) as well as Waterville in Kennebec County just West of Waldo.
This raises the obvious question: Where's Waldo's Votes?
Moreover, the result in question is the "Presidential Preference Straw Poll". As in Iowa, this poll is really just for bragging rights. The actual nominee is selected by the state delegates who are determined at the end of the long caucus meeting. This generally gives an important.
Following Maine's week-long caucus, David Taintor wrote Saturday night:
Paul, in a defiant speech, claimed the contest could essentially be called a tie, adding that "the revolution is just beginning." He sounded confident that he will eventually win the majority of the state's delegates.
The results of the presidential preference poll are nonbinding and serve mostly for vanity - delegates are selected through a separate vote at the caucus sites. Although this is also true in most other Republican caucus states, Maine's delegate selection process is especially cumbersome and can potentially reward candidates whose supporters are more enthusiastic and who sit through the entire process, which can be hours long.
Mr. Paul's campaign has predicted that it will win the most delegates from Maine regardless of the result of the straw poll.
Washington County in Eastern Maine had to postpone its caucus because of snow. Their vote will be held next Saturday, February 18.
According to the Bangor Daily News:
A number of communities were not included in that poll because they had not held their caucuses in time. Washington County Republicans postponed their caucuses, originally scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11, because of a pending snowstorm and will now meet this Saturday. Other communities across the states also have caucuses scheduled for this weekend and later this month.
The omissions were not limited to counties whose votes were delayed:
Nearly all Waldo County towns held caucuses on Feb. 4 but those towns were blank in the results released by the state party. Additionally, Waterville held its caucuses ahead of time but were not included in the results.
Ron Paul's campaign claims they may be able to catch up once the vote is complete.
Map of election results and schedule of upcoming primaries, caucuses and debates after the jump.
"Children are not like roads. They will not remain static over the next few years and they will not get the chance to redo these school years when the economy gets better."
- Debra Fuchs-Ertman, Scarborough, Maine
William Paterson's distinguished career as New Jersey's governor and senator, and subsequently as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, is a tad tarnished by his service as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
The framers of the Constitution are habitually hailed as visionaries. Not altogether true. Paterson balked at the Virginia Plan for proportional representation in Congress. He predicted that the most populous states would dominate the agenda in Congress. Proportional representation would leave New Jersey and the other small states on the margins of power.
Paterson ultimately accepted the Connecticut Compromise that affords each state equal representation in the Senate and proportional representation in the House.
With 8.7 million people, New Jersey is today America's 11th most populous state, ranking immediately above Virginia. These days it seems as if the least populous states dominate the agenda, leaving the larger states - New Jersey among them - on the margins of power. Moral of this story? New Jersey and you, congested together.
Bruce Ticker has written a new book American Vision. He has given us permission to publish this work as a weekly series. Here is the prologue.
Even on a day when almost nothing happens, the course of American history can be set for more than two centuries.
One such day was July 17, 1787. The birth of the Connecticut Compromise is customarily dated to July 16, 1787, when the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia approved a fresh but flawed legislative system, as part of a broader package of provisions for the budding Constitution.
Prior to 10 a.m. on the 17th, delegates from the most populous states to the Convention gathered at what is now Philadelphia's Independence Hall to assess the convention's vote from the day before.
The Connecticut Compromise created a split form of government: Each member of the House of Representatives would represent the same number of Americans, on a proportionate basis, and each state would be represented by the same number of senators regardless of population.
The decision last month by Maine's Regional School Unit 13 to shift 8th graders in the town of St. George from the local school to a regional one is reinvigorating calls for an end to prison-based gerrymandering.
Next year, when 8th graders in the Maine town of St. George find themselves attending the 8th and 9th grade school in Thomaston instead of the local school, they'll have prison-based gerrymandering to thank. On January 8, Maine's Regional School Unit 13 decided by a very narrow vote -- over the objections of the representatives from St. George -- to move the 8th grade. The supporters of the school closure prevailed only because the representatives from Thomaston were able to cast additional votes because the town used to contain a prison.
More after the jump
State Representative Babette Josephs has introduced a redistricting reform bill HB 134. However, it does not address prison-based redistricting.
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