Franklin Countys First News

Politics & Other Mistakes: Fading away

Al Diamon

Is Paul LePage the most influential politician in Maine?

Nope. Not even close.

LePage may be popular with those chuds who refuse to wear masks, are already declaring they won’t be vaccinated against Covid-19 and always miss a few loops when putting on their belts. In the near future, most of LePage’s base is going to get sick and die from the virus, or be embarrassed to death when their pants end up around their ankles.

LePage and his acolytes are taking credit for former state Rep. Dale Crafts’ victory in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District seat. They claim the GOP ex-governor’s endorsement lifted Crafts out of obscurity and propelled him to a solid win over two other candidates.

Sorta. Crafts didn’t actually get a majority of the ballots cast in the first round, so, by state law, the race had to be decided by ranked-choice voting. But Republicans hate ranked-choice, so they urged the other candidates to concede and endorse Crafts. Former LePage press secretary Adrienne Bennett, the runner-up, agreed, but ex-state Sen. Eric Brakey, the last place finisher, said he’d only give his endorsement if Crafts promised to vote to end “unconstitutional wars.” To date, Crafts has ignored that demand. Brakey, who had previously called Crafts and Bennett “corporate socialists,” effectively ended his political career in Maine with those tirades.

Back to ranked-choice. Most Brakey voters didn’t use it. They only voted for their guy with no second selection. Those loyalists got an unpleasant surprise when the final tally was announced. Their votes didn’t count. In order to produce what appears to be a majority winner, ranked-choice requires any ballot that doesn’t contain a vote for one of the top two finishers – Crafts or Bennett – to be discarded.

Crafts was declared the majority winner of the primary, based not on the total number of votes cast, but on those that remained in play after the Brakey-or-nobody ballots were shipped off to the recycling center.

With LePage’s awesome influence backing him up, Crafts managed to limp into the nomination thanks to a voting system the GOP thinks is repulsive and keeps trying to repeal. Much more than LePage, ranked-choice made him the pick of this weak litter.

At least recent Florida resident LePage can claim he endorsed the winner in that contest. When it came to legislative races, his record was less impressive.

LePage supported former state Sen. Doug Thomas of Ripley in the state Senate District 4 race in Piscataquis County. Ripley got trounced by the incumbent, Paul Davis of Sangerville. LePage’s effect: not detectable by even the most sensitive instruments.

In Senate District 7 in Hancock County, LePage threw his support behind John Linnehan of Ellsworth, whose campaign slogan was “Make America Godly Again.” Former legislator Brian Langley, also of Ellsworth, buried Linnehan by a margin of nearly three to one. LePage’s influence: considerably less than godlike.

Senate District 8 stretches from the Bangor suburbs to the coast. Incumbent Republican Kim Rosen of Bucksport annoyed LePage while he was still in office, even though she supported his positions over 90 percent of the time, because she occasionally refused to back his more absurd attempts to render state government inoperative. LePage attempted to gain revenge by giving his blessing to state Rep. Larry Lockman of Amherst, best known for his long history of racist, misogynistic, homophobic and xenophobic comments. Lockman made it closer than any sensible person would have thought, but couldn’t quite pull it off. How much credit does LePage deserve? No more than could be bundled up in a tattered Confederate flag.

As the ex-governor continues to strut around the state proclaiming his intention of running again in 2022, his showing in the 2020 primary ought to give his fanatical followers pause. Even in conservative parts of Maine, it turned out that being anointed by LePage proved to be a negligible electoral advantage.

His time may have come and gone. At least, we can hope so.

My time for this week has also come and gone, but you can still email me at

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30 Responses »

  1. Al is scared Paul is coming back to the Blaine House.
    Why Al, you could write about nothing else then,, and become more unstable.. But that's bound to be entertaining..
    Go Paul!!!

    To the BD Editor
    You have blocked me for "personal attacks" (in your opinion).
    Ok fine, it's your decision.
    How does Al get to call people the names he does and that's OK?
    Ok fine again,, please consider all my comments to be "satire" in the future and don't block them if you're printing Als "content".
    Starting with,,"Al Is Grumpy Cause There's Something Living In His Beard, and He Thinks It's Name Is Paul"...
    Chief Chud.

    Everything Is Beautiful.

  2. Al, You lost me after your little diatribe insulting those that agree with Paul LePage. Do I side with him? Nope, but I really don't like your so called sense of humor or lack thereof. Why does the daily bulldog post your weekly drivel anyways, you got something on someone there?

    It's no wonder you can't have a decent, intelligent conversation with people these days, what with the likes of you that think insulting everyone is a great communication tool.

  3. I have seen how republicans are against any help medically or food wise ....until it hits home and they have to help their grown kids or grandkids. Then, they like the democratic system. Don't you think that's being a hypocrite?

  4. Al,

    You should Like Paul. After all, his two terms in office kept you churning out predictable tripe for the masses. More importantly, he was a bartender at the sister bar to the one you support. A kindered spirit so to speak.

  5. Correction

    I erroneously stated "most" Brakey voters didn't mark a second choice. In fact, a majority did. I should have said "many."

    Al Diamon

  6. Of all the comments the db doesn't post we always get to Al's "stories" If you can print his deal there should be no limits.At least the db admin. Will get to see this

  7. Typical. The left will insult anyone who doesn’t agree with them, or call them a racist ,Sexist, xenophobe, etc. But they never will the have what it takes to say it in person. Type away keyboard warrior, but remember your manners on the street, or somebody may pull that belt off and teach you some manners.
    Sincerely “just another Trumptard”.

  8. Businessman LePage endorsing another businessman as if they are something special for government. We see over and over how businessmen make poor political leaders. Trump and LePage are examples. They cut taxes for the rich and for businesses (leaving the rest of us to make up the difference...somebody's got to pay for the roads, schools, police, etc.), they slash regulations for businesses (that protect us working peons from being exploited in the workplace, protect our environment from being polluted and ruined, protect public health, etc.), they put their business cronies in high places who then work to change the rules and policies in government to favor businesses even more. That does not help regular people. That all hurts us. Has the promised trickle down economics that they tout as justification for all of the above ever trickled down to you? NO! The rich keep getting richer and us peons are no better off. Jared Golden has proven to be a good common sense legislator. Vote for Golden in November.

  9. Al has some missing facts. Dale Crafts has absolutely acknowledged Brakeys “condition” of conceding the election. He was on WVOM with George Hale last Wednesday morning and acknowledged such. He said he would vote to bring troops home if the proper intelligence officials said it was safe to do so. Then again Al and his dribble has little facts involved.
    You do you cupcake keep whining about the Republicans. It makes for good humor each Monday.

  10. Low Self Esteem is the weapon of the Liberals..

    Lindy needs a hug...

    Everything is Beautiful.

  11. Bye Bye Paul LePage.

  12. Hey Lindy, In 1963 JFK dropped the tax rate on the rich from 91% to 65% and the corporate tax from 52% to 47%. JFK was a democrat and not a businessman, appointed his brother Robert to be attorney general, and threw his support behind his other brother Edward in his bid for a senate seat. Who could forget Angus King, with his dam busting, regulation skirting gotta get wind turbines that scraped almost 1000ft off a ski resort in Mars Hill. But I get it, citing democrats or "independents" who have done things in the areas you mentioned that many disagree with just wouldn't fit your narrative.

  13. I stay away from these articles for a while, then come back to have a look and always I'm amazed at the level of hatred and vitriol that spews from the Left. Then they'll cry about the right 'attacking' them just as the Left media always does about Trump, if they respond. Lefties, all about 'dignity' and feelings - riiiight. Yup, Amazing.

    Take a 1 or 2 week break from social media, and you can see how this is all about riling people up....nothing more than that. I fear for our country.

    If you're going to attack ME for my views and values, don't you ever expect me to stand up for YOUR rights and freedom to speak your mind. Take MY rights, I'll HELP take yours. Keep that in mind.

  14. Every time I read this space, I notice how upset the so called Conservatives get whenever anyone criticizes standard bearers like LePage or Trump. These are the same people who speak proudly about how Trump says it as it is and is not politically correct. They took to the notion of calling anyone other than themselves Snowflakes.
    However, as soon as anyone writes a piece based on observation and evidence (as Al did above) they cry like a 4 years old excluded from a game of kickball, speak tough about taking people's rights, etc.

    So, just to help the LePage supporters, I am going to write a statement about Paul LePage in the style of Donald J. Trump.

    "What is going on in Maine with that guy LePage. I mean he is crazy. I heard he ran a discount store. You would think he could find a shirt that fits him properly. First they are too tight and then he had fat guy surgery and now he looks like pencil neck Adam Schiff. When he talks, it sounds like nails on a chalkboard as his voice is so gravely. I wonder how long he can go without his next cigarette.His house must have plenty of ashtrays. Seriously, when my campaign told me in 2016 to consider him for a position I thought it was a joke as this guy is like a character from the Simpsons. And man, what a temper, I mean what a temper. He challenged a guy to a dual, hung pig ornaments on a Christmas tree in June. Who has a Christmas tree in June. Something isn't right in Maine. He shut his state down, told the press he was going on vacation but he actually stayed at home and then he called the press liars for saying he was on vacation. He was the one who lied. You can't trust a guy like that. Really, is LePage French or something for The Kook? Maybe when that Nasty Woman Hillary said Basket of Deplorables she was speaking about LePage and his supporters. At least Christie was a successful prosecutor (Sorry about what he did to you dad Jared, I'll pardon him when Ivanka says "Please daddy, please") I at least like my big guys to be capable. I think I have done a great job picking the best people, except for the ones who left and criticized me. They were all losers like Mr. Magoo Jeff Sessions. I would think if I added LePage I would need a better clean air system and a bigger refrigerator. I mean seriously, I am worried about the guy. He looks like the guy in an ad for a diabetes drug. Did you see that ad he did for Dale Crafts? Why were his arms tied behind his back? Is he being held captive somewhere? He kind of looked like American POWS in Vietnam being forced to read a bogus statement. Lets look into his well being and maybe get him some better healthcare as he looks bad, really bad.
    Sorry Maine, love Maine, I do very well with Maine, some say better than Stephen King. Who is your senator? is it Doug Collins, love Collins, Doug is a great guy. Maine can keep LePage. I would never want him in Florida at my great clubs. Sorry Maine, I am not taking him in my administration but feel free to buy lots of my Trump merchandise. It is all made in China which as you know, is in Maine."
    MAGA, MAGA everything is beautiful

  15. @The REAL Snowflakes stand out - That was some of the funniest stuff I've read in a while! Awesome. Personally, I love Al's columns. I don't always agree with his view points 100% but I am ALWAYS entertained. A refreshing change these days....

    Lighten up people. Life is short.

  16. To Private Planet.....After 3.5 years of Trump's complete mismanagement of this country we could use a nationwide group hug (if it wasn't for the epidemic..another thing that Trump has completely mismanaged.)

    To HB.....Gee how was the Kennedy fortune acquired...selling booze among other businesses.,,then Angus...another businessman. I don't believe I used the term 'republican' anywhere in my comment. However, since you eluded to the last couple of decades certainly the change in the Republican Party's ideology reflects heavy influence from corporate America. One big example: Republicans used to be in the forefront advocating for the environment. Teddy Roosevelt was a pioneer for sure establishing millions of acres of public lands and national parks, etc. , Nixon established the EPA, even Reagan said 'preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, it's common sense. ' That way of thinking started going down the tubes big time with George W. and now Trump is sealing the coffin with all the environmental regulations he is slashing (100+ and counting) and reversing what previous Republicans put in place. Do your homework and check it out. We should all be alarmed at this. How does contaminated water and air, loss of wildlife, increase in extinctions, destruction of ecosystems, increased risk to public health, lack of action and major steps backwards addressing climate change help you? It sure helps corporate America increase their profit margins when they can exploit the environment freely and use it as their waste dump. Oh that's right too I forgot....those financial gains will trickle down to us.

  17. Thank you to all of Al’s commenters for doing what you do so well (and so often). Al gets paid (he has, after all, been a professional writer of some reputation for many years) by the owners of the Bulldog and other publications to make the statements he does with the primary purpose of getting folks like you up in arms to the point that they write in with indignation, outrage and, occasionally, vitriol. All of this increases the number of times people click onto the Bulldog’s website, which increases the amount the Bulldog can charge for advertising, which pays the Bulldog’s owners rent and grocery bills (and me!). I love you all!

  18. HEY!!!!
    What about my feelings???
    How can you say such "hurtful" things?
    Well to take the high road here let me say,,
    I forgive you snowflakes for your bad behavior and everything everything else you incorrectly think.
    Now, that's true love Brothers and Sisters.

    Even in ChudLand,
    Everything Is Beautiful.

  19. (This is not really in response to the article, but to some of the comments involving Democrats and Republicans).
    In 1980 I was in Detroit, Michigan one of those representing South Dakota's College Republicans at the GOP convention that nominated Ronald Reagan. The Republican party was different then. Reagan was a decent man who never called names or engaged in petty grudges - he worked with Democrats and was friends with
    Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill. The GOP had also been the main architect of the social welfare programs. While many started under Johnson, most were developed during the Nixon and Ford Administrations. They also supported the clean air and clean water act. There were many pro-choice Republicans. I worked for a Republican Senator in the early eighties as the party started to change - and soon I left the party. Part of it was simply growing older and changing some views, but much of it was the morphing of the party to one that now has a leader who is mean, petty, weak and insecure, dividing America in a way Ronald Reagan would have rejected completely. Now we have people denying science, padding big corporate profits at the expense of average folk, and using emotion and division to try to gain support.

    While working in DC, I also remember a young dark haired Senator who had the offices next to the Senator I worked for (Pressler, R-SD). This guy was one of the few who would talk to staffers of other Senators, and one time he saw tacos I made in the Senate staff cafeteria (self-made). He said those were the best tacos he'd ever seen, and decried how formal the Senate Restaurant was. Every time he'd see me he'd ask about the tacos. I suspect if ran into him again - Joe Biden from Delaware, now grey and much older - he'd still remember those tacos. Biden wasn't my first choice, but he represents the decency of an earlier era. Hopefully both parties can re-discover the truth that we all want what's best, and disagreement is a good thing, not bad.

  20. Great story Scott... but, today Joe Biden would not know a Taco from a Backhoe... Harry Truman and JFK were popular years ago... but would not fit in today... Times have changed... Do you ever recognize any hate and meanness in the Dem. party? Both parties have changed.. not just grey and older..

  21. Scott your observation of the gop works for the dnc as well. Joe needs medical help not the Oval Office he is clearly mentally ill and should step down and let a younger candidate step up.

  22. Well, one of the candidates appears mentally ill, but it isn't Biden. I know Trump folk tried to spread the line taht somehow Biden was "on the decline," but that was debunked and clearly Trumpian propaganda. If you buy that then you are drinking the kool aid. Don't be so easily misled and manipulated.

  23. Scott, did the long ago tacos come with a tall glass of kook-aid and a tin foil hat?

    Biden is the damaged goods candidate. He can’t seem to come out of hiding long enough to engage in any real dialog. There’s a lot be said for hiding from your nemesis but we aren’t electing a teleprompter or a speech writer, some cognitive interactive skills are actually required. 40 some odd years warming a chair in DC and frankly, old joe has a lot of nothing to show for it. The guys a waste of good air conditioning. On balance, President Trump has delivered. This virus will, like others, pass. Our Economy is already on the upswing. Federal agencies will show the socialist cities how to handle rioters and anarchists. The voters and taxpayers will in turn, dump the fools that supported the lawless, shut down our state and trashed our businesses.

    Long ago I can remember the sobering effect of having a draft card when shipping out to a war was a very real possibility. I quickly figured out what side of the political spectrum I was on. Incidentally, I don’t recall too many taco stands or liberal professor types at the draft board.

  24. scott,
    If Al Diamon had to play by your rules he'd be out of business since he is a professional mudslinging.
    As is the vast majority of ALL media these days.
    But,,, is "WE THE PEOPLE" who buy it.
    So next time you or I decide to go low at sometime we funny agree with,, we're not helping.
    Being human is difficult if you give a damn..

    Al, Get A Job.

    Everything Is Beautiful.

  25. Scott.. I do believe you OD'd on the koolade quite some time ago... or do you keep your blinders on full time?

  26. FYI to all the tools that read Al's stories,if you would please stop commenting to the post, he in a short time would face away

  27. Scott I don’t drink sugary junk. Go look up the videos of Biden in his basement lately he can’t even stay on teleprompter without babbling. There is plenty of evidence of his gafts if you remove your blinders as glen put it. The man is ill and anyone can see it if you watch anything besides CNN. I for one can’t wait for the debates too start.

  28. Remember this one Scott ? If you vote for Trump you aint black !! That sounds mentally stable to me. Maybe when he asked a union worker to step outside after denying wanting to take away people’s 2nd amendment right of owning a certain type of semi auto rifle calling it an “AR-14” ? Or calling his sister his wife ? Theres plenty since rona started. Feel free to open your mind and do some real research.

  29. @Private Planet..."Al, Get A Job.", preferably somewhere in the "State of Southern Maine".

  30. I thought I read somewhere that trickle down economics doesn't work? Maybe it's just not getting paid. Yet I also read that the rich just keep getting richer. Hmmmm. If only there was some way (municipal bonds) of finding out where (municipal bonds) the money for trickle down economics is going (municipal bonds.)

    In 2016 there where 540 Billionaires in the United States (of America) total net worth 2.399 Trillion dollars. Total outstanding Municipal Bonds in 2011: 3.7 Trillion dollars.

    Extra credit movie for this week: "The Wicked Lady" (1983 starring Fay Dunaway.) It's rated R so you know what to do. I'm sure if it relates at all, it's purely coincidental. After a couple of times I hope you come to the conclusion Faye is the Gubment.