2nd CD, RCV and me

by Jonathan Reisman

Three Republicans are vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Rep. Jared Golden in Maine’s Second Congressional District. The District has been represented by Olympia Snowe (R, 16 years), John Baldacci (D, eight years), Mike Michaud (R, 12 years), Bruce Poliquin (R,  four years) and Golden (D,  two years). The District voted for President Trump and against ranked-choice voting in 2016.  In 2018, ranked-choice voting installed Rep. Golden despite Rep. Poliquin’s initial plurality. In other words, votes from the 1st Congressional District in 2016 determined who “won” the 2nd Congressional District in 2018. The League of Women Voters call it “Democracy”; I call it colonialism. I would remind the LWV that we supposedly live in a Republic, not a democracy, and for good reason, but it would just be a waste of time.

Interestingly, left-wing lawyer and 1st District resident Tiffany Bond, whose second chance votes went almost unanimously to Rep. Golden in 2018, is attempting to pull off the same Republican snuff job for Sara Gideon in the US Senate race against Susan Collins. Ironically, the coronavirus crisis which Democrats have exploited to damage President Trump, the economy and anyone who doesn’t kneel to science and public health “experts” (except  “largely peaceful” Black Lives Matter protestors, rioters, arsonists and looters) allegedly prevented Ms. Bond from collecting enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Do not despair though lefties - a green independent did qualify, and there is likely an Obama- appointed judge who will assent to Ms. Bond’s federal lawsuit to allow her on the ballot. I bet the League of Women Voters will file an amicus brief in support of Ms. Bond. Keeping her off the ballot will undoubtedly be characterized as systemically racist voter suppression. Ms. Bond looks to be as pale as Elizabeth Warren, but that does not mean she is not at least one part in a thousand oppressed minority.

The GOP is no fan of ranked-choice voting for rather obvious reasons, and the Democrats love it for exactly the same reasons. Gov. Mills and the Democrats expanded RCV to the Presidential election, which the GOP opposed and launched a Peoples Veto to reverse. The Dems believed that collecting 60,000 plus signatures amidst the corona lockdown and during a shortened window (dating from the legislature’s early adjournment and abdication to Empress Janet) was likely impossible, but the GOP did it. However, the left-wing loons get to vote twice as ranked-choice voting method will be in full progressive force for the July 14th primaries, including the 2nd District GOP Primary.

The three candidates are former State Senator Erik Brakey (R-Androscoggin), former State Rep, Dale Crafts (R-Lisbon) and former LePage Press Secretary and TV journalist Adrienne Bennett. All claim to be strong pro-life Trump supporters, and 2nd Amendment backer Brakey as a millennial libertarian has been endorsed by his former mentors, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), has raised the most money, probably has the highest name recognition and was roundly drubbed by Senator Angus King in 2018. Crafts is a baby-boomer businessman and Christian/social conservative, endorsed by former Gov. LePage and 2018 GOP Gubernatorial nominee Sean Moody. Bennett is a late Gen X social conservative/populist with the longest and most consistent record of Trump support, endorsed by former Rep. Poliquin and rising GOP star Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

Gov. LePage believes that Dale Crafts is the most likely candidate to oust Jared Golden. I believe that Adrienne Bennett, who in my opinion has run as the most energetic and unapologetically conservative, deserves that distinction, and I think she will win the primary. She does not share Trump’s divisive flaws, she is more seasoned and likable than Brakey, and more likely to attract women and younger voters to the GOP than Crafts.

The only polling I have seen has Bennett in the lead with 27 percent, Crafts next and Brakey third, with more than a third of likely voters undecided. As a registered Republican in the 1st District occupied 2nd Congressional District, my ranked-choice voting ballot will be Bennett-Crafts-Brakey. I will be voting for whoever wins to oust Rep. Golden in November because he voted for HR1 to eviscerate the 1st Amendment and because of Nancy Pelosi and the emerging Pelosistan autonomous zones.

Jon Reisman is an associate professor of economics and public policy at the University of Maine at Machias. His views are his own.Mr. Reisman welcomes comments as letters to the editor here, or to him directly via email at jreisman@maine.edu.

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