Maine Politics

From the Piscataqua to the St. John

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Chellie Pingree Blogs

Pingree, now President and CEO of Common Cause has been posting on their "Common Blog". Yesterday she responded to complaints about CC's work with Arnold Schwarzenegger to promote nonpartisan redistricting by invoking her history in Maine politics.
Before I came to Common Cause I was the majority leader of the senate in Maine. I watched the redistricting process conducted first hand -- and saw how politicians from both sides of the aisle configure the process to protect their "safe" seats. Until I had to leave the senate because of term limits (which I oppose and which are a bad way to have political turnover), I won (as a Democrat) in a district that was 40% Republican, 40% Independent and only 20% Democrat -- all while being a strong supporter of increasing the minimum wage, universal health care coverage, corporate accountability, and had taken on one of the biggest fights on prescription drug pricing in the country... so I can't be convinced that politicians are better off in "safe" seats -- or that leaders are stronger if they are comfortable instead of being out there fighting great campaigns with a message.

So, if you are a progressive, as many of our respondents have been, and you want to see more Democrats who are willing to take on the issues of our day and not just sit comfortable in their state seats, than you should care about both the way district lines are drawn (and publicly financing of campaigns, of course -- which we have in Maine and consider another critical fight).

Visit the new Maine Politics.



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