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Now displaying: Category: Opinion
Nov 7, 2017

After a more tense than usual municipal and state election season, host Greg Kesich and assistant editorial page editor Sarah Collins answer questions from readers about how the Press Herald Editorial Board makes endorsements of issues and candidates. Then, co-host Bill Nemitz unpacks his Sunday column that decried misleading use of the Press Herald logo in a candidate’s mailer. He feels it represents a trend of hard-edged political tactics in and around City Hall.

Oct 24, 2017

A huge school construction bond along with ballot questions that could block future rent increases, no-cause evictions and some developments have created divisions that are playing out  in a three-way race for an at-large city council seat. Violette, a West End resident, observes how a liberal city can get mired in infighting if there are no Republicans around to take advantage. Violette also shares why he voted for Trump, despite never loving his personality. 

Oct 17, 2017

With Sen. Collins choosing to remain in the Senate, host Greg Kesich, columnist Cynthia Dill and marketing project manager Molly Adams talk about the influence a moderate politician can have in such a politically divided time. They also break down allegations against Harvey Weinstein and discuss why it has shocked us into a new national conversation about sex, gender and power.

Finally, Greg talks with Megan Doyle, lead reporter for “From Away: Stories of Immigration in Maine,” who shares insider info about the editorial process in granting anonymity, finding sources and the decision to remove comments from the series. Read the complete series about Maine immigrants and the paths they traveled here.

Oct 10, 2017

Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich and columnist Bill Nemitz sit down with Roy Lenardson, a longtime Republican strategist. He has worked with conservative candidates and causes for more than two decades, and is currently sharpening the message for gubernatorial candidate Mary Mayhew and the anti-casino Vote No on 1 campaign. Lenardson explains his theories about why elections in Maine have become less predictable and pulls back the curtain on how he frames the issues that that will resonate with voters.

Oct 3, 2017

This week on the Podcast, politics reporter Scott Thistle joins Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich and columnist Bill Nemitz to talk about the political dynamics in a race where no one really knows how the votes will be counted. And  ranked-choice voting is just one of the, “multiple messes on multiple fronts,” the state government will confront in the months ahead.

Related stories:

LePage was to meet with Trump today in Washington

Lucas St. Clair enters race for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District seat

Sep 26, 2017

What are the issues that bring Democrats together and what are the ones that drive them apart? What are the lessons learned from election losses in 2010, 2014 and 2016? Will the enthusiasm of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign show itself in Maine politics? Bill Nemitz and Greg Kesich spend some time with Ben Grant to dig into those issues as the state gears up for the next gubernatorial election.


Sep 19, 2017

Hillary Clinton’s new book “What Happened” is her reflection on the 2016 election, but critical reception suggests some people wish she would keep her analysis to herself. Dill and Nemitz try to define the ideological division within the Democratic Party without using the names “Hillary” or “Bernie,” and discuss whether Trump’s immigration deal with Democrats is a new negotiating tactic or more of his predictably unpredictable political style.

Related stories:

Trump crosses aisle to Republicans dismay

Hillary Clinton: 'I am done with being a candidate'

Sanders rolls out plan for federally run health insurance

Sep 12, 2017

In November, Portland residents will vote on two ballot questions driven by citizen initiatives. One would allow resident input during the re-zoning process for new construction. The other would create a number of new rules for the city and its landlords with the goal of stabilizing rising rents. Randy Billings has been covering both issues. Host Greg Kesich and columnist Bill Nemitz discuss different political philosophies within the Republican party, both in the Maine governor’s race and in Washington.

Related stories:

West End residents file paperwork to block cold-storage warehouse on waterfront

Portland council puts rezoning process, rent increase initiatives on November ballot

Meet the candidates for Maine's 2018 governor's race

Aug 30, 2017

Host and editorial page editor Greg Kesich is joined by health care reporter Joe Lawlor and columnist Bill Nemitz to talk about Republican Susan Collins's position on health care policy that put her in the middle of the ACA debate and on the edge of her party.

Related stories:

Sen. Collins likely to be at center of Obamacare fixes

Susan Collins withstood intense pressure, ultimately voted against health care repeal

Bill Nemitz: Whine about insurance? For many Mainers it's really about surviving

Aug 22, 2017

Host Greg Kesich is joined by columnists Bill Nemitz and Alan Caron to discuss the history statues teach, Gov. LePage's propensity for penning personal notes and to analyze a presidency that is like no other. Plus, Nemitz previews his upcoming column on a class-action lawsuit against Poland Spring.

Related links:

Bowdoin relocates Confederate plaque

LePage pens notes to those critical of his stance on Charlottesville

Lawsuit says Poland Spring water is mislabeled because it really isn’t spring water

Aug 16, 2017

A few days after the violence in Charlottesville receded, our panel gathered to discuss the waves of social change and unrest in recent American history, including the arms-length relationship political parties have long-held with racist voting blocs. Then, as the more and more candidates throw down for the Governor's race, Alan Caron takes a stand and asks Susan Collins to stay in Washington.


Related links:

Alan Caron: The nation needs Susan Collins

Lewiston-born white supremacist leader was radicalized in prison, grandmother says

Trump says it again: There’s blame ‘on both sides’ in Charlottesville


Aug 8, 2017

In this episode, our columnists discuss a viral moment of sportsmanship at the 2017 Beach to Beacon 10K; Cynthia Dill argues that our good feelings were misplaced. Also: Bill Nemitz shares a behind-the-scenes story from Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s involvement with President Trump’s voter fraud commission, and our panel sounds off on using handheld cellphones while driving.

B2B Maine winner collapses shy of finish, then ‘I felt someone pick me up’

Maine regularly sells voter data it denied to feds

As session ends, Legislature overrides LePage veto, raising legal age for tobacco to 21


Aug 1, 2017

Since Maine voters approved the legalization of marijuana for recreational use last fall, there have been a lot of changes and updates to exactly how the state will regulate recreational marijuana industry and business. Reporter Penelope Overton gives a play-by-play of recent rule-making in the legislature and explains how the laws will apply to home and commercial growers when they are implemented sometime next year.

And our columnists have projected and predicted plenty around Senator Susan Collins's political future possibly playing out in Augusta, but after this week, they are starting to think she may prefer her powerful spot on the Senate floor. After the collapse of Republican attempts to repeal, replace, or repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Bill Nemitz and Cynthia Dill weigh in on exactly how complicated the healthcare system can be with some economic analysis.

Related stories

Lawmakers propose 20% tax on recreational marijuana

Susan Collins withstood intense pressure, ultimately voted against health care repeal

Former Yarmouth teacher finds a new calling in the mashed potato business


Jul 18, 2017

Editorial page editors Greg Kesich and Sarah Collins dug into the mailbags to crown Kathleen Mikulka as June's Letter Writer of the Month. In this episode, Mikulka joins us to share more about her teaching experience and why she is concerned about creating education policy based on test scores. We also hear from social media czar Jim Patrick, who makes the argument that while Facebook maintains its reputation for impulsive, ad hominem comments, the Press Herald has also attracted engaged, informed readers that will tempt you to defy the Internet principle of "Don't read the comments!"

Lastly, we dig into the funniest, smartest, most indignant messages from, featuring yarmouth1, bowdoin 81, elvisisdead, 3midcoastg8tor, and a special appearance by columnist Jim Fossell

Related Stories

Letter to the Editor: Raising the diploma bar slams doors

Our View: Indifference at State House prolongs Maine's opioid crisis

Kesich: If we let people die when it's time, health care may cost a lot less

Letter to the editor: Don’t let Congress discard lifesaving benefits of ACA

Jul 11, 2017

Press Herald columnists Alan Caron, and Bill Nemitz dive into the feast of political news from the past week with Editorial Editor Greg Kesich. From the short shutdown, to the Governor's intentionally misleading statements to lawmakers, the media, and citizens, from new fissures in the Democrat and Republican parties to the legislatures failure to pass significant policy changes in the afce of the opioid crisis. And bonus for the political science fans: on the day AG Janet Mills announced her gubernatorial candidacy, they spin a little game theory on how ranked choice voting will play out in primaries.

Related stories:

As Maine's opioid crisis worsens, 128th legislature largely does nothing

Voicemail debunks LePage’s claim he didn’t threaten to leave Maine during shutdown

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills enters 2018 race for governor

Jul 3, 2017

Our columnists Alan Caron, Cynthia Dill, and Bill Nemitz joined host Greg Kesich in our One City Center offices to discuss how we became and how long we will be one of a few states without a budget. Are there political lessons to be learned from the 1991 shutdown? Then Greg makes a call to our more conservative columnist Jim Fossel to get into the nitty gritty of the negotiations and what both sides of the aisle are trying to accomplish.

Our analysis is evergreen, but news can move fast and our facts were fresh as of Monday at 1:30 pm.

Related Stories:

Protestors greet budget negotiators as state shutdown enters third day

House vote again falls short in budget shutdown saga

LePage says he's going on vacation, as shutdown and budget talks continue

Jun 27, 2017

If the state shutdown is the inevitaility that the Governor assumes it to be, Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich and columnist Bill Nemitz project the financial and political fallout from the closure of state services and halting of payroll. They also examine the purpose of the American Health Care Act and how Susan Collins's public opposition could effect negotiations.  (Since we recorded, Susan Collins officially announced her dissatisfaction with the bill and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delayed the vote until after the July 4 recess.)

Also in this episode, reader Victoria Hugo-Vidal joins Greg to talk about her letter explaining Millennial economics and personal finance. Her frank and funny personal writing earned her the May Letter Writer of the Month crown, which now comes with the offer of a podcast appearance.

Related Stories:

LePage says he believes the government will shut down Friday

Maine Voices: Senate health care bill will put older Mainers, cancer patients at risk

Letter to the editor: Forget avocado toast—many millennials barely surviving

Jun 20, 2017

They say "don't read the comments," but here at the newspaper, we can't help ourselves because the comments come from you, our beloved readers and subscribers.

So this week editorial page editor Greg Kesich and assistant editor Sarah Collins grab their favorite heartfelt, skeptical, whiny, funny, and outrageous comments off of our website. Kesich and Collins may get the final word on this podcast, but if you send us a note the conversation can continue.

Related Stories:

MaineVoices: One graduate missing on the Portland stage

Commentary: Studies show women marginalized in meetings and conversations

Greg Kesich: For Portland residents, a source of real fake news right in our backyard

Mainland parking near ferry, vital to island life, drying up in Portland

Jun 13, 2017

Portland Press Herald Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich along with columnists Alan Caron and Bill Nemitz discuss who needs to compromise with who in order to get the state budget passed, do some speculating on how Maine's undefined political soul could lead gubernatorial candidates to switch parties as they try to get through the primaries, take a teeny, little sip from the nips controversy, and admire Angus King's litigation skills on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Related stories:

Paul LePage ashamed to be part of 'this government'

LePage moves to end sales of 'nips' mini liquor bottles

Sens. Collins, King question Comey in high-stakes hearing

Jun 6, 2017

Portland Press Herald Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich and columnist Alan Caron discuss Susan Collins's prominent role on the Senate Intelligence Committee (and speculate about her ambitions to govern the state of Maine), the difficulties of uniting "the resistance" around focused issues and the Democratic party's lackluster response to the energy, and whether the legislature will be able to find a budget compromise to avoid a state government shutdown. 

May 23, 2017

Portland Press Herald Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich, and columnists Bill Nemitz, Alan Caron and Cynthia Dill discuss how conflict over the voter-approved surcharge on high-income earners could lead to a state shutdown. Then they weigh in on why some think it's unlikely that President Donald Trump will be impeached.

May 12, 2017

This week President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The dramatic timing has redivided partisan sentiment and further complicated investigations into possible Russian meddling into the last election cycle.

Why did Trump fire him this way? What exactly were his reasons? How might Senators Collins and King react from the Intelligence Committee? Does America need a new FBI Director to investigate or an independent investigator? Do we have time to talk about Gov. LePage demurring on a challenge to King for his Senate seat? What is even happening? Our host Portland Press Herald Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich and Sunday columnists Cynthia Dill and Alan Caron dig into as many angles of Comey's past year as they can... with a just a few rounds of argument.


May 5, 2017

Portland Press Herald Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich and columnists Bill NemitzCynthia Dill, and Alan Caron discuss three big stories of the week: the passage through the House of the American Healthcare Act and why Rep. Bruce Poliquin kept his vote secret until game time, a provisional vote in Maine to have us join the Atlantic time zone if Massachusetts and New Hampshire do the same, and Gov. Paul LePage's oppositional appearance in Washington D.C. to discuss the economic impact of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.


Rep. Poliquin supports health bill, says only 7% of Mainers affected. Facts show otherwise

Maine House votes to join Atlantic time zone, if New Hampshire and Massachusetts do the same

LePage, advocate offer dueling testimony in Washington on Katahdin-area monument


Apr 28, 2017

Portland Press Herald Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich, and columnists Bill Nemitz and Cynthia Dill discuss three big stories of the week: President Trump’s 100 day review, the Maine house’s debate over the best way to raise money for the state’s education system, and what the US’s role and responsibilities are when it comes to escalate and cooling foreign conflicts.


Trump now says being president harder than he thought

Bill Nemitz: In debate over school tax, LePage’s latest gaffe makes a big difference

Two U.S. troops die battling Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan

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