Maine Politics

From the Piscataqua to the St. John

Friday, February 18, 2005

Term Limits

From this week's Diamon:
Reason number 692 why the current Legislature will not extend or abolish term limits: As a keen observer of the political process pointed out in a recent email, Democrats, who control both chambers by narrow margins, are unlikely to tinker with the law because it offers them an advantage in the next election.

In 2006, the Dems will lose six members of the state House of Representatives to term limits, but 13 Republicans will be escorted from office. In the state Senate, only GOP floor leader Paul Davis will be termed out.

Even better for the donkey party, many of the departing House Republicans represent districts that could swing either way, while the Dem retirees are mostly from safe seats.

Funny, considering the drive for limits in '93 had a lot to do with getting rid of John Martin.

Visit the new Maine Politics.


Safe for Progressives, but maybe not for Dems. Some of those seats (Dudley's for example) are in areas where Greens are making major inroads.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised to see more primary challenges of incumbents in 2006 - I sense a lot of lefty Dems are not at all happy with Baldacci governing from the right of Snowe (just in case she decides to come home) and won't sit back and let the Legislature merely be a rubber stamp.

Thinking a little more about these two issues together, I think the only reason Dems eked out some of those D v. G races is because of it being a presidential election. In 2006, Greens will have their own candidate on the ticket, and will be fighting for their right to remain an official party (5%). If Greens make a sane choice (like Carter), then it's possible we might see liberal D's crossing over not just for the G gubernatorial candidate (as we did in 2002), but for down ticket races as well. Without the massive GOTV campaign organized by the DNC, Dems will have to rely on state and local GOVT. Having been a part of that since 2000, I don't have a great deal of faith in pushing a more conservative agenda in Southern and Coastal areas. Remember, Baldacci purposely suppressed turnout for Pingree in 2002 in the 1st CD, because a lot of Ds were voting for Carter.

Anyway, since we're moving, I'll have to tune in here to see how all these things play out.

2/18/2005 11:50:00 AM



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