First, Congressman Tom Allen refused to debate his opponent in the Democratic primary, Tom Ledue, in public. That strategy has been called "arrogant," "reeking of vulnerability," and "condescending" to the voters of Maine, who might well prefer a man who was proud to stand up for his political record. (Well, maybe not - since Allen doesn't want to hold President Bush accountable, nor does he seem to like populism: He regularly has anti-war protestors arrested at his office, rather than meeting with them - see "US Rep. Allen to Protestors: Go Directly To Jail," by Jeff Inglis, October 3, 2007.)
Then, Allen's campaign staff told us he was "too busy" to meet with the Portland Phoenix editorial board in person until "late June," well after the June 10 primary in which he's being challenged by Tom Ledue. When we pointed out that we were quite flexible in terms of dates and times, we were thanked "for our understanding" of his situation, which meant we had no opportunity to question Allen about his arresting tendencies, his vote for the USA PATRIOT Act, or even his health-care proposal (which is not a single-payer system, like many progressives in Maine and around the country are calling for this election season).
Now, Tom Allen is outright flipping Maine Democrats the bird. Regardless of the fact that he could lose the primary, his campaign just announced - on Friday, May 30, a full 11 days before the primary, that a benefit for his Senate campaign will be held on August 11 at Merrill Auditorium, featuring Bonnie Raitt, with openers the Refugees (Portlander Cindy Bullens, and Deborah Holland and Wendy Waldman). UPDATED: I forgot to add that the tickets for the concert - which cost $60 and up - will go on sale June 6 - five days before the primary.
We've got nothing against Cindy & Co., nor against Bonnie. But man, Tom Allen's a cocky fellow, ain't he?