Democrat spends $20 per vote to win special election

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After spending more than $20 per vote, Maine Democrats eked out a 3 percentage point victory in Tuesday’s special election for Senate District 19.

The race pitted former Republican State Sen. Paula Benoit of Phippsburg against Arrowsic Democrat Eloise Vitelli. Both women were vying to replace former Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall, who resigned halfway through his term for a job with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Daniel Stromgren of Topsham ran as a Green Independent Party candidate, grabbing just 357 votes. Vitelli garnered 4,621 votes, while Benoit collected 4,339.

From the outset of the special election, the Democrats’ strategy was to turn the election into a referendum on Republican Gov. Paul R. LePage. And although Democratic leaders were quick to claim a triumphant victory last night and early this morning, the numbers themselves should provide cause for concern.

As of last Friday, Democrats and Maine’s political left had spent more than $96,000 on Vitelli’s campaign – that’s $20.77 per vote—quite a price tag to defend a seat in liberal southern Maine that has been held by Democrats since 2008. Republicans and their allies, by comparison, spent less than $51,000 – or $11.75 per vote. Both candidates funded their campaigns with more than $36,000 in taxpayer money via the unpopular Maine Clean Elections Act, while Party committees and other political spenders chipped in the rest.

Vitelli’s victory by less than 3 percent is a far cry from Goodall’s victory in 2012 over Republican Jefferey K. Dresden. In that race, Goodall netted 13,445 votes to Dresden’s 7,623. While Vitelli was certainly running uphill against Benoit’s higher name recognition, there is no question that her win was a pyrrhic victory for Democrats. The race likely foreshadows the contest that will occur in the November 2014 elections, where higher levels of voter turnout could dramatically alter the results.

The election is bittersweet news for Democrats, but the other narrative is the abject hypocrisy of the so-called clean elections program. While the ostensible intent of offering taxpayer funding to political candidates is to limit the impact of outside money, the District 19 race shows that the program is failing utterly. Despite both candidates accepting taxpayer funding for their candidacies, both were bolstered by outside spending. In Vitelli’s case, outside spending nearly doubled her taxpayer funding.

S.E. Robinson
MaineWire Reporter
serobinson@themainewire.com

9 COMMENTS

  1. It appears Mainewire does not understand the meaning of pyrrhic victory. Republicans will be running on the same ballot as LePage in 2014, and that should make their blood run cold.

  2. Hi!

    Until the Republicans “get their act together” they will continue to lose, and they deserve to lose (I am a registered Republican).

    They “pretend” to have conservative views but that is not true. Just examine their voting record in the legislature and those who vote for them.

    Furthermore, it is NOT up to the state (centralization of power coming from the top-down as opposed to bottom up by the people) to create jobs but rather for the state and the general government to “get out of the way” by repealing all laws, rules, and regulations (red tape) that interfere with existing businesses or up and coming businesses.

    Try and open up a business in Maine and see what happens. It is almost impossible with all of the “red tape” causing delays and possibly not opening the business in the first place.

    Additionally, we are way overtaxed in this state.

    Is it any wonder why so many families live in poverty in Maine? If they don’t have money to spend and/or invest, then businesses can’t prosper and families cannot “save and invest” for a better life including retirement.

    I have three (3) grown sons and every one of them has left the state for better opportunities.

    Wake up people!

    Our young people are leaving the state or have already left the state to seek their treasures elsewhere.

    What we have operating today in Maine is a “democracy” state that was created in 1909, and it is “mob” rule. See the Resolve of 1907, voted on in 1908, and went into effect in 1909 which was unlawfully created and passed. See Art. IV of the Constitution of the United States where the United States will guarantee to each state a “republican form of government.”

    This is a classic case of dividing the people which is called “divide and conquer” when at least 51% of the people can vote away their own rights but also vote away the remaining 49% of the people’s rights which is why democracies never last long.

    Governments love democracies because by dividing the people, they can acquire more power and control unlawfully, of course.

    This “democracy” that was created in 1909 here in Maine was an unjust and unwarranted exertion of force and power against the people.

    What the Resolve accomplished was:

    1. Creation of a democracy (mob rule).

    2. Created an expansion of power for certain people (the 51%).

    3. Weaken the legislature.

    This is all fraud and was “one of the” beginning of the “state take over” of our republican form of government.

    The Republic of Maine is still there but now sits empty as well as the county courts.

    The electors today are “foreign agents” who must declare themselves “citizens of the United States of America” (see voter application form) and not state citizens if they want to vote in all elections (general government take over). Read the original state constitution regarding the qualifications of electors.

    In 1891 the legislature unlawfully created the Maine State Bar Association (a corporation for special interests – lawyers) which was the beginning of losing our county courts, within and for the county, which was local control by the people.

    Nowadays, the ONLY courts operating today are state-wide courts (centralization of power coming from the state – top down power) whereby NO constitutional, commissioned judges preside in them and NO justice is administered in them.

    A commission “vests the office,” a public office, to the person so named in his or her commission. None of the so-called judges operating in Maine today have a commission so, therefore, they do NOT operate from a public office.

    All fraud, of course.

    There is much more fraud that took place over time in this state but I have said enough here to get you to start thinking as to why you, the people, no longer have rights but ONLY privileges coming from the state, the dictator.

    Thank you!

    Lise from Maine.

  3. Hi!

    The so-called money system is a fraud also.

    Federal Reserve notes (private instruments) are nothing more than “debt instruments” and passed along “as” money but is not genuine money.

    The banks can create their own “money” which is another fraud.

    See Art 1, Section 10, Clause 1 in the Constitution of the United States, and Article 1, Section 8 where Congress can “coin money and create the value thereof.”

    Thank you!

    Lise from Maine.

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