Jill Goldthwait

  • Politics and clowning around

    Clowns are not new to public office. Brazil had Tiririca, a clown sporting a blond wig and a tiny orange hat, who got himself elected to Congress in 2010. News reports credited his personal popularity and a “deep anti-political streak that exists in Brazil” for his win. Once elected, Tiririca applied himself to the task,

  • Ho ho ho? No, no, no

    Ho ho ho? No, no, no. If you thought the relationship between the legislative and executive branches of Maine government could not get worse, you were wrong. On Dec. 10, House Speaker Mark Eves sent Governor Paul LePage a letter. It was a standard political communication as those things go, sent to “officially share with

  • Drug deal far from cordial

    On Dec. 9, just a day ahead of when Governor Paul LePage said he would call up the National Guard to assist with drug enforcement in a manner not specified, three of the four legislative caucuses joined forces to announce a plan for additional resources to combat Maine’s drug problem. Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau,

  • Cooperation is hitting a new low

    “How ba-a-a-ad can I be? How bad can I possibly be?” This tuneful line from the animation of Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax” seems to have become the theme song of the LePage administration. Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew was singing along as she ripped a strip off the legislature’s Government Oversight

  • The threat not heard ’round the world

    The long-awaited showdown between the legislature’s Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) and staff from the executive branch produced, in technical terms, a whole lot of nothing. They gathered to probe the intervention of Governor Paul LePage in the hiring of House Speaker Mark Eves by the Good Will-Hinckley School. Following alleged threats

  • Libraries are community nexus

    The election, such as it was, is behind us. Hancock County went for Question 1, the “Clean Elections” proposal, bettering the state margin of approval by 58 percent versus 55 percent. The low-income senior housing bond passed with 69 percent of the vote, and the highway and transportation bond passed with a whopping 75 percent.

  • Combining ballot issues questioned

    To split or not to split, that is the question. And the question in question is the citizens’ initiative proposed by Maine Republicans. It’s a little question: “Do you want to reform welfare and reduce taxes?” But it is a question that covers vast policy turf. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap recommended that the issues