Democracy Forum 9/21/18

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine  
Engineer: Amy Browne

Elections in Maine: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Key Discussion Points:
what citizens need to know about the conduct of elections in Maine:
what are the opportunities for citizen participation and observation;
what aspects are conducted by the State with regard to the security and integrity of the process and the electronic components;
what role do the town clerks play in making sure things run smoothly, etc.

Guests:
Patti Dubois, Waterville City Clerk www.waterville-me.gov/clerk/
Julie Flynn, Deputy Secretary of State, Maine Secretary of State’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions. www.eac.gov/testing/staff-modules/julie-l-flynn/

To learn more about this topic:
History of the Municipal Clerk, September, 2014, at the International Institute for Municipal Clerks
Maine Town and City Clerks Association
Maine Secretary of State Elections Division
U.S. Elections Assistance Commission

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Sheila Kirby, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, and Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 7/20/18

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine  
Engineer: Amy Browne

Distrust in Government: A Necessary Evil or a Weapon of Destruction?

Key Discussion Points:
a) the waxing and waning of Americans’ trust in government
b) why a little skepticism may be a good thing
c) how partisanship plays into the equation
d) how too much distrust may be a self-fulfilling prophecy

Guests:
Amy Fried, Professor & Department Chair, Political Science, University of Maine umaine.edu/polisci/faculty-and-staff/amy-fried/
Thomas E. Mann, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution and Resident Scholar, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley www.brookings.edu/experts/thomas-e-mann/

To learn more about this topic:
Public Trust in Government: 1958-2017, Pew Research Center, December, 2017.
The Strategic Promotion of Distrust in Government in the Tea Party Age, Amy Fried, 2015.
Finding the Common Good in an Era of Dysfunctional Governance Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, Daedelus, Spring 2013.
A More Perfect Union, New York Times book review of Garry Willis’s book, A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government, 1999.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
Starr Gilmartin
Maggie Harling
Linda Hoskins
Sheila Kirby
Ann Luther
Maryann Ogonowski
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 6/15/18

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine  
Engineer: Amy Browne

State Preemption: From Guns to Garbage, Who’s Got the Power?

Key Discussion Points:
a) how federalism protects and constrains states’ rights and?
b) how states can both protect and commandeer local control.
c) from guns and garbage to water quality and pesticides, how much control do states and towns have to protect their assets or advance their values

Guests:
Garrett Crobin, a Legislative Advocate for the Maine Municipal Association www.memun.org/Legislative-Advocacy/Contact-Information
Lauren E. Phillips, newly-minted JD from Columbia Law and authored an important article on state pre-emption for the Columbia Law Review.

To learn more about this topic:
Impeding Innovation: State Preemption of Progressive Local Regulations, Lauren Phillips in the Columbia Law Review, Volume 117, No. 8, December 2017.
Blue Cities Want to Make Their Own Rules. Red States Won’t Let Them. more from TheUpshot at the New York Times, July, 2017.
From Fracking Bans To Paid Sick Leave: How States Are Overruling Local Laws, PR Watch’s Lisa Graves on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, April, 2016.
Soda And Fast Food Lobbyists Push State Preemption Laws To Prevent Local Regulation, Robb Waters in Forbes Magazine, June, 21, 2017.
Municipal Approaches in Maine to Reduce Single-use Consumer Products, Travis Wagner in the Maine Policy Review, 2016.
Preemption Watch Newsletter,
Preemption Doctrine, by Ellerbe P. Cole, Maine Municipal Association in Maine Townsman,” Legal Notes,” June 1991.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
Starr Gilmartin
Maggie Harling
Linda Hoskins
Sheil Kirby
Ann Luther
Maryann Ogonowski
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 5/18/18

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine  
Engineer: Amy Browne

Program Topic: Immigration: Can We Live Without It?

Key Discussion Points:
Immigration and jobs
Federal policy
Effect on economic development and workforce in Maine

Guests:
Dany Bahar, David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution www.brookings.edu/experts/dany-bahar/
Carla Dickstein, Senior Vice President for Research and Policy Development at the Coastal Enterprise Institute www.ceimaine.org/about/staff-directory/name/carla-dickstein/
Martha Searchfield, Executive Director of the Bar Harbor Chamber Commerce www.visitbarharbor.com/staff-board-of-directors

To learn more about this topic:
Immigrants’ Contribution to Maine’s Workforce and Economy, from the Coastal Enterprise Institute
Building Maine’s Economy: How Maine Can Embrace Immigrants and Strengthen the Workforce, more from CEI, 2016.
100 Years Ago, Maine’s Economy Was Powered by Immigrants reporting in the Bangor Daily News, September, 2017.
The Trump administration failed to study immigration vetting. So I did. David Bier from the Cato Institute in the Washington Post
Migrants and refugees: The unlikely key for economic development, Dany Bahar for Brookings.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
Starr Gilmartin
Maggie Harling
Linda Hoskins
Sheila Kirby
Ann Luther
Maryann Ogonowski
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 4/20/18

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine  
Engineer: Amy Browne

Ranked Choice Voting: How Will it Work In Maine

-How ranked choice voting is moving forward for the June primary
-What the Secretary of State is planning
-What voters need to know as they head for the polls.

Guests:
John Brautigam, a public interest attorney, senior adviser and strategist to the project, Maine Uses Ranked Choice Voting. www.mainecleanelections.org/who
Grace Ramsey, deputy outreach director for FairVote, a national electoral reform advocacy group. www.fairvote.org/grace_ramsey

To learn more about this topic:

Maine Uses Ranked Choice Voting
Fair Vote
League of Women Voters of Maine

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:

Starr Gilmartin
Maggie Harling
Linda Hoskins
Sheila Kirby
Ann Luther
Maryann Ogonowski
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 3/16/18

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine  
Engineer: Joel Mann

Gerrymandering: What’s the Big Deal?

How redistricting has changed over the last 50 years
Thee emergence of extreme partisan gerrymandering
Court cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court
Why it matters in Maine.

Guests:
Matt Dube, Assistant Professor in Computer Information Systems at the University of Maine in Augusta www.uma.edu/directory/staff/matthew-p-dube/
Elaine Kamark, Senior Fellow in the Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution www.brookings.edu/experts/elaine-kamarck/

To learn more about this topic:
Gerrymandering and how to fix it, from Elaine Kamark at Brookings.
The new front in the gerrymandering wars, from the New York Times Magazine, August, 2017.
We Drew 2,568 Congressional Districts By Hand. Here’s How., from the 538 Gerrymandering Project, January 25, 2018.
Mathematical Characteristics of District Boundary Lines as Indicators of Partisan Gerrymandering in U.S. House Elections, Richard J. Powell, Matthew P. Dube, and Jesse T. Clark, April, 2017.
Assessing the Causes of District Homogeneity in U.S. House Elections, Richard J. Powell, Matthew P. Dube, and Jesse T. Clark, August, 2017

Democracy Forum 2/16/18

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine  
Engineer: Amy Browne

Primary Elections: What Are They Good For?

-How have primaries changed over the last 50 years?
-Are they still working for the parties and the voters?
-What changes are on the horizon in Maine?

Guests:
Jill Goldthwait, Political columnist
Kevin Raye, Republican politician
Dan Shea, Professor Government at Colby College       
 
To learn more about this topic:
Everything You Need to Know About Maine’s Caucus System, League blog post from February 2016.
Maine considers switching from caucuses to primaries, from the AP, March, 2016.
How activists choose our politicians, long before we vote, Jonathan Rauch for the Brookings Institution, December, 2017.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
Starr Gilmartin
Maggie Harling
Linda Hoskins
Ann Luther
Maryann Ogonowski
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 11/17/17

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine  
Engineer: Amy Browne

Ten Months In: Taking Stock in Maine

We’ll talk about what’s changed in Maine since the 2016 presidential election.
How have the policies of the new administration affected Maine politics and people?

Guests:
Hannah Pingree, a Democrat, former Speaker of the House in Maine, now co-host of the Maine Event on Maine Public television. pingree.com/
Josh Tardy, a Republican lobbyist and attorney who served as chair of the 2016 Trump campaign in Maine www.mitchelltardyjackson.com/about/

To learn more about this topic:
Tracking deregulation in the Trump era, from the Brookings Institution.
How Trump is helping to save our democracy, from the Washington Post
Stocks Are Up 20% Under Donald Trump. Can It Last? from the Wall Street Journal
Trump’s Trade Policy Is Lifting Exports. Of Canadian Lobster. from the New York Times
List of Cabinet positions and appointees in the Trump Administration

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:

Starr Gilmartin
Maggie Harling
Linda Hoskins
Ann Luther
Maryann Ogonowski
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org