Maine Morning Briefing: Weed, bears, right to work, Medicaid & The Strim

January 21st, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

Weed and bears: Interesting story out of Florida about how supporters of Republican Gov. Rick Scott are fretting over a potential medical marijuana referendum. The fear among conservatives in Tallahassee is that weed supporters will be a boon for Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts and help topple Scott.

It’s an interesting theory and one that raises questions about a possible bear-baiting referendum in Maine. As one political observer recently put it, the bear-baiting issue could draw out a lot of conservative-minded people who may not ordinarily vote. That’s not to say that all bear-baiting supporters are Republican, or vice versa, but it’s an interesting dynamic to watch this year.  

Right-to-work rumor: The LePage administration and some Republican lawmakers have tried and failed to pass a right-to-work bill on several occasions over the past three years. Two proposals died when Republicans held the majority in the Legislature between 2011 and 2012. Two more died last year when Democrats controlled the Legislature. 

Now there’s some speculation that the governor may give it another go. The buzz centers on some proposal rumored to be dubbed “workplace freedom,” or some such. It hasn’t materialized yet, but if it does it will likely touch off more rowdy rhetoric between conservatives and organized labor. 

It could also play into the 2014 legislative election since unions have become prolific spenders in legislative races in Maine and other states.

Katz gets VIP treatment (narrative written by PPH reporter Joe Lawlor): Democrats rolled out the red carpet for Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, last Thursday when the assistant

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