Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Disappointed in lack of legal challenge

Disappointment is the understated term of choice at the news that Bruce Poliquin will not continue his challenge to the travesty of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). If need be, the voters of the 2nd Congressional District (CD2), who voted in a strong majority against the RCV, were keen to have their interests represented, to its fruition, at the highest levels of court in our Nation. This is not to be.

This voter expected my Representative to adhere to the oaths he has taken. This writer expressed publicly the duty ascribed to a public servant within a Republic to do so. But here we are, expectations still pining.

The counter to these arguments is that it is the dime and the reputation of the aforementioned servant that is spent and sullied in the public eye. It is his choice. To this, there can be no argument.

The legal expenses are burdensome. The media bias is insurmountable. The solution must come from a grassroots reckoning.

For now, the 1st Congressional District enjoys two Representatives at the expense of CD2. Yet, this is not the time for rural Maine to withdraw towards the temptation of apathy and sullen indifference at the repeated political slights from the elitist south. It is time for rural Maine to regroup, unite, and win back our vote.

An adage this writer has rejected on principle becomes a truth, in earnest, for the days to come. Until Jared Golden can win a “one person-one vote” election, instead of a manipulated, discordant violation of voter's rights, he is quite literally not our Representative. It falls now to us, the citizens of this great Republic in the Sovereign State of Maine, to repeal Ranked Choice Voting!

Andy Torbett

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

42 Responses »

  1. You have your facts straight.
    He is "in fact" not the legit cd2 rep.
    Oh,, he sits in the office in Augusta for sure..
    But as far as cd2 is concerned,,
    he's just another piece of furniture.

    Nothing personal.. it's just a fact.

  2. Here's the facts:

    Jared Golden won the election by the rules in place at the time.
    Those rules were put in place by a majority of Maine voters.
    Maine is the State whose voters determine federal election rules for the state of Maine
    Those rules were deemed constitutional by the Federal District Court.
    Federal Courts determine constitutionality. Tweets do not.
    Poliquin dropped his appeal because it had little chance of success.

    Golden will be sworn in and sit in Washington as the legitimate representative of CD2.
    Poliquin sits in CD1 where he is from.
    Concede already. It's only two years until you have a chance to lose again.

  3. Wow, a lot of bitterness. It's almost certain that if this had been a 'traditional' election, Golden would have won. A lot of people voted for independents as their first choice because they knew their second choice would be counted and they wouldn't waste their vote. Golden was the candidate favored by the SECOND district voters, by a solid margin.

    Moreover, the Single Transferable Vote system (which this is technically called) has had challenged a number of times, and has withstood every challenge concerning the US constitution. In Maine it can't be used in some races because the Maine state constitution specifically states that a plurality system should be used. Many other states have a run off (and I'm pretty certain Golden would have won an expensive run off, if that had been our system). The Single transferable vote system means simply that every voter has one vote, but can stipulate that should his or her preferred candidate be eliminated, that vote can transfer to another candidate. That assures that the winner is the one truly wanted by the people, and someone like Poliquin doesn't sneak in because people voted for independents that have no chance. I suspect people will be very happy with Golden's service, and since this system does not inherently favor any party, down the line a Republican will benefit and win because of this system. By then, the memory of all the silly whining about the system will be gone, as people appreciate the fact they can show a preference for an independent, the libertarian, the Green, or whoever they truly believe in, knowing that they won't waste their vote by doing so.

  4. Wow, a lot of smugness. RCV the multiple can't commit to a single choice voting system, as it actually is. We were hosed by out of state money using Maine to push their agenda. The 2nd CD didn't want it, didn't vote for it, yet we suffer the consequences. Polls after the travesty show a majority oppose it now. When some people are allowed to vote twice and other people's votes are thrown out and not even included in the final vote, that's wrong no matter how Scott wants to spin it. If people can't see that checking two boxes on the same race equals two votes then Maybe they should study second grade math again.

  5. It's ironic that we have heard more from Poliquin after he lost the election, run under the voter approved rules we all voted on, than we did in his entire term in Washington. He continually went on the record of not saying anything about virtually any major issue. All of our other representatives always went on the record and let us know what they thought, but he avoided commenting time and time again. He even admitted he couldn't answer constituents questions because he wouldn't get elected if he said what he thought.
    He rented an apartment in the district solely to claim residency but spent all of his time in the first district, where he has an estate worth millions that he enrolled in Tree Growth to avoid paying taxes on, even though he can't ever cut any wood due to environmental regulations. He voted solely on the basis of benefiting the wealthiest, but claimed to be cutting taxes for the average person. The average person doesn't make their fortune on Wall Street, doesn't swindle the other people of the state by avoiding paying their fair share of taxes on their land, and is very open to expressing their views on any issue. Just look at the comments on this website!
    Please feel free to give Bruce all the money you want: it's the way things are right now. I don't feel corporations were mentioned as being individuals with guarantees of free speech under the Constitution, but that's the law for currently. We have to live with it, just like we all have too accept the fact that he lost fair and square under the law that was approved by the voters of our state.
    I too feel Golden would have won under the old system, but that's immaterial: he won under the law the people wanted, so we need to accept the results. I was actually very surprised he dropped his complaint, as he has plenty of money and had access to lots more from "out of state" but even he and the party saw there was no way his appeal would be successful.
    Personally I have a great deal of respect for veterans like Golden and feel they deserve our support. He was willing to put his life on the line to defend all of us, and our Constitution, so we should give him a chance to put his beliefs into action. If we don't like it, there's another election coming right along and we will all have another chance to vote. I also feel if Poliquin had done the people's business he would have won the election. He chose to avoid stating his views and voters rejected him, which rarely happens too an incumbent in this district. The voters spoke and we need to try to find compromise in the middle on a variety of issues if we are to move forward. Golden has proven his honor and integrity as well as his ability to lead. He will tell you want he's thinking. He deserves his chance at moving our state and country forward. If you don't like what he does you will have another vote quite soon.

  6. It's hilarious that people still seem to think ranked choice voting is like voting twice on the same election. Perhaps it's because they never learned math past second grade? It's not a complicated system. Don't be so afraid of change.

  7. From what I saw of Poliquin….he was nothing but a very pretty....but empty suit.

  8. "Sour Grapes" That's what you mutter under your breath to feel in the right about yourself as you walk away becasue the sweet grapes were out of reach due to your own shortcomings. "Move On" points out some key facts about Poliquin; We heard more from him after the election than the years as our rep before and... essentially, he is committing "elected official fraud" by owning a primary residence out of district and renting in district just to claim residency. I don't know about you but that's a million times worse than the the myth of voter fraud that still cant be substantiated unless you consider the R using deceased peoples signatures last election cycle. As far as out of state influence didn't Poliquin receive millions from Washington based super PAC groups. Interesting election and I hope it sets the stage for more fair elections in the future.

  9. Golden didn’t win because he was good; he won because Poliquin sucked! Things will change after a couple years of suffering with Pelosi and her clones.

  10. To all fellow republicans,all we need is a better candidate in two years.

  11. Mr Erb wrote,,
    "The Single transferable vote system means simply that every voter has one vote, but can stipulate that should his or her preferred candidate be eliminated, that vote can transfer to another candidate.".

    This describes more than one vote per voter.
    In a chess game once you remove your hand from your piece, you cannot play again until the other person is done , even if you NO LONGER PREFER YOUR MOVE.
    It's called make a decision. Which is not promoted in the liberal mind set.

    RCV is for those that either can't make up their minds or they are just playing games with the elections.
    Enjoy your Trophy folks.

    The pendulum swings.
    No worries.

    BTW, About the veteran thing. I am a veteran. Simply being a vet has nothing to do with "deserving" anything. But it's a good campaign ploy I suppose. Thoses who are served honorable understand the ins and outs of this because we were there.

    I completely disagree with RCV.
    BUT As our rep I wish Mr Golden good success.

  12. Decisions - I'm afraid the the Courts have consistently ruled your interpretation wrong. That includes the Trump appointed Judge in Bangor, as well as other cases where the single transferable vote system was challenged. If Poliquin thought there was a chance to win this, he'd have kept going. You and I can have our opinions about this system, but the Courts determine who is right. And the courts have spoken many times. And it is a logical, rational decision in this kind of system to show a preference for a third party candidate, but then have a second choice in order not to waste ones' vote. In fact, that's a more sophisticated decision making process than simply choosing one. But it's time to move on, the Courts have spoken, and they make the determination. Read through the Bangor judge's ruling, he explains it very well.

  13. Not necessarily commenting on this particular topic, but in general.
    I have been to court and dealt with law enough to know that a court/judges ruling isn't always about right or wrong, or justice, it is about interpretation of the law. Sometimes the two meet, and sometimes not.

  14. Mr Erb,

    If an appeal overturns a previous judgement,,,, they got it "wrong". This happens. What a beautiful process.
    The courts absolutely "do not" determine who is right or wrong on an issue.
    There are many reasons/technicalities/corruption/etc that determine the outcome of their "judgement".
    So guess what,, They are often wrong.
    I disagree with the judgement.
    But rather than threaten to move to Canada or demonize a likely good person, I say good luck to the winner.

    The loser has chosen to move on.
    When the pendulum swings,, it will still be a good day.
    Much water will flow under this bridge.

  15. If anyone has a problem with Bruce Poliquin having land in Georgetown enrolled in tree growth, take it up with the selectmen there. It was approved by them, and the Georgetown town office phone number is 371-2820.

  16. " second choice", finally mr. erb agrees, "second" = two as in 2 votes!

  17. So supporting a third party candidate is wasting your vote? Why not just do away with them then? Why make a pretend vote first and a real vote second( for those of you who are bad at math that equals two). That is just spending tax payer dollars to make the state count again because you wanted to make a pointless statement. How is that sophisticated? Oh , I'm so undecided... I'm going to vote twice... That way I can make a statement with my first choice but join the herd with my second. Huh? Come on people. Life is about making choices and standing by those choices. There are many times in life that adults have to make adult decisions. Voting is one of those times.

  18. *Do away with the scoreboard because it creates aggressive behavior (like trying to win).
    *Do away with 1st Place Trophies (it diminishes self esteem to those who didn't actually win).
    *Give out an equal award to all participants (it teaches ,,,,??).
    *Don't give grades for school work ( for all the above reasons).
    *Support Rank Choice Voting (ditto the reasons).

    Is anyone really surprised this is who we have become?
    For Now.....

  19. Eddie, it's seen as a weakness of a plurality system that most of the time it forces the system to have just two parties. Many places, wanting more parties, use a proportional representation system that divides a legislature based on the percentage of party votes. That can have multiple parties - sometimes too many that it becomes unstable.

    There are various ways people try to overcome these problems - maybe proportional representation with a cut off (parties under 5% don't get in), the French use a two ballot system which entails a run off two weeks later if someone doesn't get a majority in the first round. STV (Single transferable vote, also called ranked choice) is one method to try to allow more of a chance for third parties than a plurality system usually has. To be sure, I voted against it because I tend to distrust complexity in voting systems, but it is a legitimate system, it retains one person, one vote, and it seemed to have caused no confusion according to election officials.

    Your defense of a plurality system is silly - you make it seem like a plurality system is somehow far superior than the others. In reality, it's just what you're used to, and while it's human to like what one is used and to dislike something new, the system now in place involves adult choice just as much as any other.

  20. Gee, "Participant trophy," you sound like your self-esteem is wounded because your guy lost. Tell you what, I'll get you a trophy for voting, will that make you feel better? I'll even decorate it with something shiny! In reality, there is one winner in this system as in any other. The reason people use STV (Single Transferable Vote - also called ranked choice) was because it can invigorate third party and independents. Your effort to mock it and the reasons for it suggest you are feeling down because you lost. Sorry - but let me know if a trophy will help you feel better!

  21. Yeah, if the ladie's room guy won you all would be praising RCV to the heavens. Until a candidate of yours lost because of R.C.V.. Then it will be a Communist plot or a rigged with hunt.

  22. @Dink Cheeney...Not true. As I have stated before, if Golden had won by way of a traditional election I could live with that but as Gov. LePage has stated he stole the election.

  23. Spoken like a true lib Scott. you didn't offer an emotional support animal though. I really like how you keep changing the name of the foolishness called RCV. It was sold to the Maine people( southern Maine anyway) as Ranked choice voting. If you call it something else it doesn't make it better. It is NOT a single vote. It is ranking your VOTES. (That's plural, it means more than one). This has nothing to do with winning or losing. It has to do with right and wrong. Win or lose, I have always made my choice ( singular) and stood by it. I didn't spend years saying gov Baldacci didn't get 50%lets change the rules. I understand that rules were in place for a reason and changing them to get your way was childish. But now people on the left will say"courts ruled, it's settled law" until it goes the other way and they lose. Then the rules will get changed again.

  24. Joe, it's pretty silly to argue by label. People who argue against "libs" or "right wingers" are showing lack of critical thinking skills by using a label to hide the lack of an argument. That is very weak. The Courts, including a Trump appointed Judge (and other courts in various states) have ruled that this is ONE vote per person. It is a single transferable vote. You are dead wrong if you say otherwise, you have absolutely nothing to support your position but emotion. You also don't seem to understand that the plurality system is only one of many kinds of voting systems out there, and not necessarily the best one. But hey, you FEEL it's bad, and so you decide to emote instead of think. Hey, whatever gets you through the night.

  25. Hey Joe, I probably was a bit too harsh in my response to you - sorry. I just get sick of people who attack "libs" or groups with some kind of insult rather than deal with the issues. I actually voted against ranked choice voting when it was on the referendum, though I'll defend it's constitutionality and legitimacy. But really - this doesn't necessarily help Democrats more than Republicans. If a strong Libertarian candidate ran, many who would vote GOP might see this as an opportunity to show a preference for the Libertarians without wasting their vote. It's a different type of strategy, that's all. Anyway, sorry if I was unfair in my response to you.

  26. Seems like mr. erb's feelings are always getting hurt.

  27. No offense taken, seriously though re read my post. Nothing to do with feelings, not saying it helps libs only. This time it helped them. When it doesn't help them, they will oppose it. change the rules . Common sense not emotions. I Know and anyone who uses common sense will know. If you check two boxes on one question, that's two answers. The law says nothing about single transferable it says ranked choice. If your ranking choices that's more than one. The whole wasting a vote, that's a feeling. Your only wasting your vote if you feel that way. If you don't have strength in your convictions.

  28. Me thinks Scott Erb likes to hear his own voice. It seems , from my experience, to be a requisite to becoming a school board member. Never in my life have I heard so many words about nothing. Farmington has surely gone to hell in a hand basket since the 70’s

  29. I don't believe this is over. It will, and should, go to the SCOTUS. It's too important to just let hang.

  30. Scott I think you need to research your claims further. No other state uses rcv. However their are 11 cities across the U.S. that use it for local elections not state or federal level.

    Charlotte you are absolutely 1000% correct. Sad really isn’t it.

  31. Methinks Mr. Erb got his butt kicked in this debate, even with all those words!

  32. Charlotte, that's a good one! Couldn't agree more!

  33. Hold on folks....lets not be toooo harsh on Dr. Erb. Remember, he has years of schooling and knows ALOT!!!
    He is a Phd (professional haughty debater) and knows much more than you and I. And he's pragmatic too!!!!
    He's told us that several times in the past.

  34. A lot of whining and moaning, but....the Trump appointed judge in his opinion destroys the arguments that ranked choice voting is unconstitutional. This fight is over, this is a legitimate and fair voting system. I think a lot of people are just angry because their guy lost. Get over it.

  35. I like Bruce because he goes to church and loves old school ways of life.

  36. I really think that Dr Erb really does a very professional job here at BullDog Remedial Civics Tech

    He is calm and measured in his approach and has yet to resort to name calling, all with enhanced difficulty given that he really doesn't have much to work with

  37. With all due respect, Mike D., I never mention anything about whatever degrees I may or may not have, nor do I claim any special knowledge or debate skills. But yes, I have said I'm a pragmatist.

  38. Just saying, there was a time when judges upheld racism, sexism and lots of other things that were wrong. Supporters of those offensive ideas said the same thing." Look a judge said it's ok so it has to be". lots of others knew it to be wrong. Eventually common sense prevailed and so called settled law was overturned. Come on Scott give yourself more credit than to defer to this " judge" a robe does not make him right. The problem with common sense is that it's not too common anymore.

  39. Joe - thanks. I did vote against it, not because I think it's two votes (I am convinced it is not - I think the judge and other rulings in Court make that argument well), but I generally dislike complexity in voting. The "wasting a vote" thing is real though - in countries with plurality systems like ours, you almost always get two major parties and rarely a third (though some places, like Great Britain, have a strong regional third party like the Scotish National Party. In India you have lots of regional parties). In countries with run offs or with proportional representation, you have usually about five parties or so. So I think the best argument for STV or "ranked choice" is that it may allow third parties more opportunities. Time will tell on that.

  40. Scott, you have stated more than once you hold a Phd. in political science.
    So you have mentioned it.

  41. ...."the Trump appointed judge in his opinion destroys the arguments that ranked choice voting is unconstitutional. This fight is over..."

    BullDog readers should read the decision that Dr Erb shared a link to via the BDN if they really care and otherwise have a real interest (doubtful!) in the matter (other than just "complaining"!)

    Judge Walker ***only*** denied he Plaintiffs Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) with "The case will proceed in the normal course"