In Action

March 30, 2020

Welcome to the third edition of Swing Left Maine’s News Digest. Between now and the November election we will periodically offer concise summaries of news stories related to the state of play in Maine electoral politics, with special attention to the race for the United States Senate seat currently held by Senator Susan Collins. This marquee race will have consequences far beyond Maine and is being prioritized by both the Republican and Democratic parties because control of the U.S. Senate could well be decided by Maine voters. We will also be keeping an eye on how the presidential contest is playing out in Maine, and on the two congressional races, especially the competitive second congressional district currently represented by freshman Congressman Jared Golden.

Of course there’s only one issue dominating everyone’s lives and the news right now: the rapidly growing coronavirus crisis, and we’ll be sharing some of the headlines from Maine, though they will be familiar to you whether you live in Maine or elsewhere. The 2020 election season is sure to be unlike any we have ever lived through.

In each issue of this News Digest, to be distributed by email, we will digest news stories, mostly from the Maine press but occasionally from the national media, that we think will be of interest to those working to help Maine swing left. Each story summary will include a link to the full story so you can easily read more about those that interest you. (Note that you may need a subscription to view the full article depending on the source.)

If we miss a story (we can’t read everything, after all!) that you think should be shared, please email either Tom Redburn at nytredburn@gmail.com or Peter Zheutlin at pzheutlin@gmail.com and let us know. Thanks!

• Ross LaJeunesse, the former Google executive who was running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate Seat currently held by Senator Susan Collins announced Thursday he is dropping out of the race for U.S. Senate in Maine and will endorse challenger Sara Gideon. “I admire Sara and her years of service to the people of Maine,” the statement said. “She has served us well in Augusta and I am confident she will represent us well in Washington.” (Portland Press Herald, March 26, 2020)

• More Mainers are filing for unemployment than at any time in the state’s history. Weekly jobless claims, like those in the rest of the country, reached four times the worst week in the Great Recession. (Bangor Daily News, March 26, 2020)

• As delays and cancellations pile up, more organizers of Maine cultural, social and political events are putting plans on ice, while others are taking a wait and see attitude. (Bangor Daily News, March 24, 2020)

• Good works: A Portland food brigade is surprising low income residents by delivering rations. (Bangor Daily News, March 24, 2020)• State and federal courts in Maine are reducing operations to help reduce community transmission of the coronavirus. Courthouses will remain open and sufficiently staffed to ensure access for those who request protection from personal violence and whose liberty interests are at stake. (Bangor Daily News, March 23, 2020)

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