Yes, Ralph Nader's in town tonight, as Deirdre noted earlier. But a couple hours earlier, at 5:15 pm (that's about 40 minutes from now), independent write-in US Senate candidate Herb Hoffman will be at the First Parish Church at 425 Congress Street with a presentation of his own.
Hoffman is trying to challenge Susan Collins and Tom Allen, but ran into trouble when the Maine Democratic Party successfully blocked him from the ballot, getting the Maine Supreme Court to rule that some of his nomination petitions were invalid on a technicality
Back in July, the Maine Education Association - the 25,000-member union representing Maine's teachers and other educators (including my wife) - announced it would endorse Democrat Tom Allen in his bid to unseat two-term Republican US Senator Susan Collins. At the time, union executive director Chris Galgay said Allen's "views are closest to the hearts of educators and his record of
support for our issues is outstanding."
US Senator Susan Collins, who is running for re-election this fall, voted today to continue massive subsidies for oil corporations, and in opposition to taxing those companies' windfall profits. The vote was technically on a measure to end debate and proceed to a vote on the matter, but her vote to keep debate going ensured there would be no up-or-down vote on the proposal, which would have taken $17 billion in tax breaks over the next 10 years away from oil companies and given it to renewable-energy firms.
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.