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Transitioning to the Right

A few additional points that didn't make it into my post-election round-up (which isn't yet available online):

-- Mainers can track Paul LePage's transition activities at lepagetransition.com. Right now the site features information about the governor-elect's transition team and advisors; much more information should appear in short order. According to an Associated Press report, “The LePage administration will have the most transparent transition process in Maine history...We will publicly disclose all contributions and expenditures associated with our transition."

-- Sunday's New York Times article about the Republican wave that swept state governments last week included these bits about Maine:

"In Maine, where a remarkable political transformation occurred, creating a Republican-controlled Capitol (an alignment not seen since the 1960s), there was an added possibility: in December, the Legislature is to pick a secretary of state, a treasurer and an attorney general — the last of whom might play a role in the legal opposition to the health overhaul.

Paul LePage, the governor-elect there, also faces a projected $1 billion budget shortfall, and has considered abolishing the state’s Land Use Regulation Commission, sending planning and licensing duties back to counties.

Tarren Bragdon, a co-chairman of Mr. LePage's transition team, said the new governor would probably also scale back the social safety net to focus on the 'truly needy' in programs like food stamps, Medicaid and cash assistance, and look to remake the state’s health system.That system, known as 'Dirigo,' (Maine’s motto, which means 'I lead' in Latin), was enacted several years ago in an effort to provide universal health care coverage for residents.

'Dirigo,' Mr. Bragdon said, 'will be Diri-gone.' "

(Bragdon has since said his quote was incomplete.)

-- That same NYT article contained some troubling remarks about abortion rights nationally:

" 'I feel like a little boy on Christmas morning — which package do you open up first?' said Troy Newman, the leader of Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group. Already, abortion opponents were considering pressing for new regulations in New Mexico, Iowa and Kansas, where Sam Brownback the Republican governor-elect, follows Democratic governors who vetoed some abortion limits approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature"

The National Organization for Women is citing that quotation in a fundraising pitch that went out this morning with the subject line: "The Coming Battle Over Abortion Rights."


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