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POLITICAL BREW | Rep. Jared Golden slams 'double-dealing' leadership, a new Maine political map and a mask mandate deadlock

Our Political Brew analysts this week are former Republican state senator Phil Harriman, and Democrat Ethan Strimling, a former state senator and mayor of Portland.

MAINE, USA — Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from Maine's second district, aims at his own party's leadership and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for not keeping a commitment to have a vote on the infrastructure bill on or before September 27.
Golden said Friday, "The double-dealing I have seen in Washington over the past few months is not worthy of trust. Moving forward, it will be difficult for me to take leadership at their word or to believe that they will adhere to any commitment they make to me or others."

RELATED: Golden, group of moderate Dems celebrate deal to separate infrastructure bill forward and spending plan

"Forget the party affiliation," says Phil Harriman, who thinks lawmakers "should express themselves when commitments are made and not kept, and deals are struck that aren't honored. This is a good example of a legislator doing what's right for the country rather than what's right for the party."

Political Brew Part 2

Ethan Strimling is critical of Golden, saying, "It's no mystery that Nancy Pelosi is not particularly popular in the northern part of the state, and that's probably why he's doing this."

But he adds, "in the end Maine people don't want him talking about process, they want him talking about results."

This week legislators signed Maine's new political map into law. It redraws the lines for congressional and legislative districts.
Several towns and cities are being moved from the first congressional district to the second district.

This is a contentious and highly partisan process in many states, but not in Maine.

Both of our analysts served in the legislature during previous redistricting years when the process ended in court.

Harriman says he wrongly predicted that this could wind up before judges again this year, "so I'm gonna eat some humble pie and congratulate the legislators in both parties for coming to a 2/3 vote, which is hard to do on anything these days in Augusta."

While Strimling also praises lawmakers for reaching an agreement, he's most excited that "up in CD-2 we got four or five thousand more net Democrats up there, which should help Maine and America."

The delta variant of COVID-19 continues to rage in much of Maine, landing hundreds of people in hospitals. Portland city councilors have deadlocked on whether to institute an indoor mask mandate for public spaces.

Strimling, the former mayor of Portland, said, "There's always tension between the Chamber of Commerce and the business community pushing hard against what people in the city want. I have no doubt that the people of the city support the mask mandate, they want it to happen."

But Harriman asks whether the governor should be taking statewide action instead, said, "If this virus is so threatening why is a treated differently in Portland than it is in Pownal?"

Harriman and Strimling also discuss efforts to encourage Senate President Troy Jackson to mount a primary challenge against Gov. Janet Mills, Sen. Bill Diamond's ongoing push to create a stand-alone department of child protective services, and the political squabbling over raising the federal debt ceiling.

Political Brew is seen Sundays on NEWS CENTER Maine's Morning Report.

NEWS CENTER Maine Political Brew