Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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List of Tables and Maps

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p. vii

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Authors’ Preface to Second Edition

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p. ix

The authors wish to thank several persons who assisted us with the second edition of the book. We especially appreciate the work of Cindy D'Angelo, who guided the technical preparation of the manuscript. Several persons in Maine government provided assistance to specific areas: Lynn Randall, formerly head librarian of Maine's law and legislative reference...

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Authors’ Preface to First Edition

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pp. xi-xii

This volume seeks to provide a systematic overview of Maine politics and government. The emphasis is on primary themes that seem to be reflected in the state's political life. In some ways, Maine is best known for accomplishments remote from the realm of government and politics: its marvelous scenery, its quaint villages, and its native population about whom...

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1. State of the State

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pp. 1-6

Significant changes have taken place in Maine during the past two decades. Its population and economy have become much more diversified, and its public policies far more complex. The state government is rapidly becoming professionalized, a process that is contributing to a growing centralization of state functions. Despite these alterations, the political attitudes...

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2. Maine’s Political Culture: The New England Frontier

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pp. 7-22

Many of Maine's most distinctive features suggest a form of separateness. These include its geographic location, its decades of economic decline at a time of national growth, and its place as a northeastern frontier. Yet culturally, Maine has much in common with its New England neighbors. In fact, the "Downeast Yankee" is often said to be the embodiment of old New...

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3. Maine’s Traditional Politics and Its Transformation

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pp. 23-33

In 1954 a revolution took place in Maine politics. The Republican Party, which had run the state almost without interruption for one hundred years, was defeated in a gubernatorial election by a young Democratic legislator of Polish immigrant parents, Edmund S. Muskie. In a landslide victory, Muskie became governor, ending Maine's one-party, Republican...

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4. Contemporary Maine Politics

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pp. 34-53

The largest political grouping in Maine in 2006 was composed of independent (technically, "unenrolled") voters (see table 1). They comprised some 38 percent of the electorate, with Democrats having 31 percent, Republicans 28 percent, and the Green Party 3 percent. The growth of independents was particularly noticeable during the 1970s and early 1980s, when their...

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5. The Constitutional Tradition

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pp. 54-66

Like all state constitutions, Maine's charter provides the fundamental structures and guidelines from which all state policymaking must proceed. The various branches of the state government are supposed to act in accordance with the provisions of the Maine Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. If the legislature fails to follow these provisions, the laws...

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6. The State Legislature

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pp. 67-81

The year 1991 was a disastrous one for the Maine Legislature. Governor John McKernan would refer to it as "the session from hell." Tensions between the legislature and the governor grew steadily almost from the start of the legislative session in January. In part the conflict was an aftermath of the bitter 1990 gubernatorial election. Incumbent Republican John...

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7. The Governor and the Administration

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pp. 82-99

The Maine governorship reflects a different dimension of the state's political culture than does the legislature. Whereas the mostly "citizen legislature" stresses participation, the governorship emphasizes leadership and coordination, such as the development of consistent policies throughout the state. The need for consistency is implied in the state's moralistic...

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8. The Court System

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pp. 100-116

Like the other two branches of the state government, Maine courts reflect the distinctive features of the state's politics. Unlike the legislative and the executive branches, however, judges in Maine (with the exception of probate judges) are not subject to popular election. Instead, Maine is one of several New England states that choose judges through gubernatorial...

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9. Maine’s Budget as Policy

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pp. 117-140

The ability and willingness of citizens to pay government taxes and fees impacts the type and quality of services government provides. There is no question that state fiscal matters have driven policymaking in the new century. The state budget both fuels economic policy and responds to economic events. This budget does not take place in a vacuum; the actions of...

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10. Contemporary Policy Concerns

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pp. 141-176

This chapter examines some key issues in Maine's public policy environment. These tensions reflect distinctive features of the state's politics as Maine is called upon to make trade-offs among conflicting demands on its resources. The focus is on the directions being taken by state government, and the trends likely to be present in the next several...

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11. Maine in the Federal System

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pp. 177-193

Maine's relationship to other governments—in particular, the New England states, the U.S. federal government, and the eastern provinces of Canada— has been conditioned by many of the state's special characteristics. Some are mostly physical, such as its large geographic size relative to the other New England states and its isolation from them. Others are cultural. The...

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12. Local Government

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pp. 194-214

Maine has a rather large territory (31,886 square miles) for a relatively sparsely populated eastern state. Although its total population in 2005 was only 1,324,690, the state contains a large number of local governmental units, including the following: 432 towns, 22 cities, 34 plantations, three Native American nations, 16 counties, and more than 300 special...

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13. Substate Regionalism and State-Local Relations

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pp. 215-240

Filling the gap between local and state government services has been a major concern for the State of Maine. The tension between the desire for local participation and control, and a sense of fairness in service delivery and its financial burden, has produced an impasse of sorts. This chapter examines the traditional role of county government, the establishment of a regional...

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14. Concluding Observations

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pp. 241-246

One conclusion that emerges from this study of Maine politics is that the state has been something of a political pioneer. As we have seen, its many small communities contain an extraordinarily high number of appointed professional managers. The state has led the nation with certain innovative programs in health insurance and educational technology. The court system...

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15. Maine Documents and Sources

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pp. 247-254

Maine has a well-established institutional arrangement for maintaining and distributing state documents and records. The State Library, located in Augusta in the State of Maine Cultural Building, which is a short distance from the State House, is the principle depository for all state documents. State departments are required by law to submit copies of their publications to the...

Notes

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pp. 255-274

Index

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pp. 275-291