WELL. Certainly some additions to make to the veto post below!
However, I am not going to do that currently. Instead, I am exploring the use of Google’s Map Builder Lite to look at geographic distributions of legislators by party in Maine. (Wait! It’s relevant. ) Here’s how Maine’s state representatives and senators are distributed:
Click on the map to go to a zoomable Google Map that allows you to see legislators’ last names when you click on individual map points. The map points represent each legislator’s town of residence.
This map is ordinarily not that important for understanding policy and electoral prospects, because generally Maine legislators are more true to their locality than they are to their party. However, it becomes much more interesting when you see demonstrations of party unity as you did this Wednesday, when all of the Republican representatives switched their vote to support the governor’s veto of LD 387, a bill that had originally passed both chambers with unanimous support.
If that kind of voting behavior becomes the norm – as we currently have an inkling may be happening – then you need to see how well the distribution of legislators matches support for the governor.
Again, click on the map to be taken to the clickable Google Map. The white and light pink spots represent towns where the governor got less than 38% of the vote – uphill battle towns for him in 2014. The darker spots represent places where he got over 38% of the vote – more likely to be safe for him in 2014.
Republican legislators from towns that did not go strongly for the governor are the most electorally vulnerable in taking a strong pro-governor position on the gubernatorial vetoes. It’s true that incumbent legislators are ordinarily pretty safe, but the last two state elections have seen fairly substantial rates of incumbent defeats. To help sitting Republican legislators in less-safe districts, look for some sort of executive concession to sweeten the deal. I’m thinking…municipal revenue sharing?