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Truly Independent?

Independent Voters and Independent Candidates --
Who Are They and Why Aren't They Part of the Parties?

TRULY INDEPENDENT, Part 1

Recording Date: September 30th, 2013

Sponsored of the League of Women Voters of Maine

Location: Dyke Center for Family Business, Husson University, Maine

The Independent Voter and the Independent Candidates.  Panelists addressed two questions: why is there an increase in the number of unenrolled or independent voters —to the point that “unenrolled” voters now outnumber members of any political party both in Maine and in the United States; and why does a person run as an independent candidate and what does that mean both in running a campaign and then serving in a governing body.

A video recording of this session can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTLTGdY4LDE


A panal discussion featured:

Jackie Salit, President, IndependentVoting.org and author of Independents Rising is a highly respected political innovator and advocate for the rights of independent voters.

Toby McGrath -- Deputy Chief of Staff for Sentator Angus King. He lives in Brunswick. He was Chief of Staff in the Maine Speaker's Office before running campaigns. He was the Maine Campaign Manager for President Obama in 2008 and 2012 and has managed various winning statewide referendum, candidate and bond campaigns.

Jill Goldthwait -- Four time Independent State Senator from Bar Harbor. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tonga, worked as an emergency room nurse at Mount Desert Island Hospital and served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for 9 years prior to running for Maine State Senate. She recently retired as Director of Government Relations for Jackson Laboratory.

Eliot Cutler -- Independent candidate for Governor in 2010. Throughout a distinguished career that has taken him from his hometown of Bangor to the nation's capital, around the world and home again to Maine, Eliot Cutler has maintained an abiding love for his state and a commitment to helping Maine fulfill its promise as a place of unrivalled natural beauty and boundless opportunity. He has been a lawyer, public servant, and successful businessman.

Ben Sprague -- Independent Bangor City Councilor. After receiving his degree from Harvard, Ben worked for the Boston Red Sox and taught high school diploma, career development, and computer classes in Massachusetts. He moved back to Bangor where he is a financial advisor with Means Investment Company.

Moderator: Mark Kelley, Director of Journalism, New England School of Communications.

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TRULY INDEPENDENT, Part 2

Recording Date: October 28, 2013 (2 parts)

Sponsored of the League of Women Voters of Maine

Location: Bangor Public Library, Bangor, Maine

Why is there an increase in the number of unenrolled or independent voters —to the point that “unenrolled” voters now outnumber members of any political party both in Maine and in the United States; and why does a person run as an independent candidate and what does that mean both in running a campaign and then serving in a governing body. This time our panelists spoke from the perspective of the recognized political parties in Maine.


A video recording of this session (in two parts) can be found at:

        

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBWOohJDV0I    and     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXO8AMf2324

The second panel discussion featured the three heads of political parties of Maine:

Ben Grant, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. Ben is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. Prior to joining McTeague Higbee, Ben worked in state government and electoral politics as an aide to State Senate Presidents Beth Edmonds and Beverly Daggett. His connection to Maine runs deep - his father hails from Millinocket and his mother from Bar Harbor. He lives in Portland with his wife and two daughters.

Jason Savage, Executive Director of the Maine Republican Party. He was the executive director of Maine People Before Politics, a non-profit, membership-based organization focused on improving Maine's future by stepping out and away from special interests. He led Gov. Paul LePage's political organization in his run for governor. Savage worked at Marden's Surplus and Salvage for nearly 10 years in various roles until early 2011.

Betsy Garrold, Representing Maine Green Independent Party. Raised in Maine in a Goldwater-Republican household she voted for the first time in hometown elections on her 18th birthday. She has always said her political autobiography would be titled, "I was a Teenage Republican." Years later after serving in the United States Public Health Service in Cleveland, Ohio and Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, she return to Maine and "bought the farm." She registered as a Green Independent, ran for the Legislature in 2002 and served as the state party co-chair for three years. She currently serves on several non-profit boards including as President of Food for Maine's Future.

Moderator: Mark Kelley, Director of Journalism, New England School of Communications.

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TRULY INDEPENDENT, Part 3

Recording Date: May 16, 2014 (3 parts)

Sponsored by the Bangor League of Women Voters and the Bangor Public Library

Location: Maine Hall, Eastern Maine Community College

Panelists: Betsy Garrold, Jill Goldthwait, Ben Grant, Jason Savage, and Ben Sprague

Moderator: Mark Kelley, Director of Journalism, New England School of Communications.

The session was recorded and is posted in three parts:

http://youtu.be/lEIfMpIbVW0   and   http://youtu.be/1L9Dx1kLQmM  and  http://youtu.be/SBRKO4KLpuo

Interview with Joe Pickering on WZON prior to the event. Interview with Don Cookson and Mark Kelley on The Pulse Morning Show on WZON Radio (Stephen King's Radio Station) about the need for REAL political change to Non Partisan Primaries rather than Partisan Primaries and Partisan Politics as usual. This interview preceded the third panel discussion between leading Maine Independents and Green Independent, Democrat, and Republican Parties.

Listen to the Interview

 

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