Political news

You may have been hearing a lot on the news about the five referenda on the Maine ballot this November as well as the political ads. But there is actually also a “question six” as well. It asks voters to approve borrowing of $100 million for transportation projects.

PORTLAND, Maine - A survey done for Colby College and the Boston Globe shows a growing, bi-partisan desire for compromise on political issues.  

Dan Shea, a professor of government at Colby's Goldfarb Center, says the most recent poll results show a shift in attitudes over the last six years:

"Spring of 2010, very few strong conservatives and Republicans wanted to compromise," Shea says. "I think that they thought they were going to win the mid-term election - which, of course, they did.  And they sort of stuck with that for a while.  Now that's changed."

Maine Gov. Paul LePage speaks during a conference.
Mal Leary / MPBN/file

Editor’s note: Off Mic is a blog about things you might have missed in Maine politics. It’s a place for those news tidbits that aren’t quite a story, or that were part of story but were hacked out by a thoughtless editor.

Leftovers from the notebook while assailing the rigged hiring process that landed me this job ...

Former Maine Sen. George Mitchell speaks at a symposium in Waterville Thursday on civility in politics.
Mal Leary/maine public

WATERVILLE, Maine - At a statewide symposium on civility in politics held by the Maine Council of Churches, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell denounced the incivility of this year’s campaigns and called for a return to principled discourse.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine GOP is alleging a Democratic candidate's Facebook "like" suggests illegal collusion with an out-of-state super PAC.

But the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices on Wednesday declined to investigate a progressive group that wants candidate Jonathan Fulford to beat Republican Senate President Michael Thibodeau.

The California-based group's Progressive Maine PAC reported plans to spend $50,000 to hire organizers to train volunteers in Fulford's district.

PORTLAND, Maine - Supporters and opponents of referendum questions on the November ballot in Maine have spent more than $2 million so far on television ads.

Data released Thursday by the Center for Public Integrity indicate that more than 4,000 ads have aired on four proposals - to expand background checks for gun purchases, legalize recreational marijuana, boost the minimum wage and tax wealthy Mainers to help schools.

The analysis shows $1.3 million has been spent on more than 2,500 ads on the referendum to expand background checks for gun purchases.

It's Thursday, and time for "Across the Aisle," our weekly foray into Maine politics. This week: Dick Woodbury, an economist who served in the Maine Legislature as an independent; Meredith Strang Burgess, of Burgess Advertising and Marketing, who was a Republican lawmaker; and attorney Cynthia Dill, who served in Augusta as a Democrat. They spoke with Keith Shortall.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage says Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made a big mistake during Wednesday's debate when he suggested he may not accept the results of the election if he loses. The governor, who endorsed Trump earlier this year, told Portland radio station WGAN that he agrees with the real estate mogul and TV personality that the election is rigged, but he should take his lumps if he loses.

YARMOUTH, Maine - Residents in the Maine town of Yarmouth are set to vote next month on a proposed ordinance that would limit where sex offenders can live.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the ordinance would prevent registered sex offenders convicted of felony crimes against anyone younger than 14 from living within 750 feet of elementary, middle or secondary schools.

Offenders who established residency near a school prior to the ordinance would be exempt.

EAST MACHIAS, Maine - A group that seeks to restore the endangered Atlantic salmon will release 200,000 of the fish into the East Machias River this week.

The Atlantic salmon has been declared endangered in 11 Maine rivers, including the East Machias. The Downeast Salmon Federation is among a number of conservation organizations that is focusing on restoring the salmon.

The federation started stocking the salmon on Tuesday and will continue until at least Thursday. The effort could run into next week.

The Associated Press

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton face off in the final presidential debate Wednesday night at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. NPR's politics team is live annotating the debate.

Maine town and city clerks are not happy with all of the talk by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Maine governor Paul LePage about rigged elections.

Clerks spend a lot of time being trained to conduct elections and they take pride in their work. Lisa Goodwin, Bangor City Clerk and President of the more than 700 member Maine Town and City Clerks Association says it’s insulting to local election officials to have their integrity challenged.

BANGOR, Maine - A group of small businesses owners launched a campaign Wednesday in support of an increased minimum wage, through a series of television ads.

Audio from television ad: "It was important that we paid a living wage because nobody should work full time and have to live in poverty."

That's from an ad featuring business owners Adam Baril and Tony Giambro, who run an auto repair shop in western Maine. Also featured is Michael Landgarten, who owns a clam shack and two other eateries in southern Maine. 

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Watch the debate between incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) and Emily Cain (D); moderated by Maine Public's Jennifer Rooks.

It’s that time of year again, when Maine voters who serve in the military, who are living overseas or who just want the convenience of voting early can request an absentee ballot. This year requests for absentee ballots are on pace to top the number in the presidential contest of four years ago and according to reports, more Democrats are requesting them than Republicans.