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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Fire and Fury,
by Michael Wolff (2018)
Trump Revealed,
by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher (2016)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2016)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
by Cory Booker (2016)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

As Maine Went
Governor Paul LePage and the Tea Party Takeover of Maine

by Mike Tipping

(Click for Amazon book review)

    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from As Maine Went, by Mike Tipping (number of quotes indicated):
  • Janet Mills (1) Maine Democratic candidate for Maine Governor
  • Paul LePage (18) Maine Republican Governor candidate
  • Rick Perry (1) Texas Former Secretary of Energy
  • Tea Party (4)
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book is intended as an example for how the Tea Party governs a state (as opposed to how they run more ideological campaigns). In effect, when LePage won in 2010 with a supportive Republican-majority legislature, the Tea Party did govern Maine until the 2012 elections, when the Democrats took the majority in both chambers of the Maine Legislature. The author describes it as "a case study of what happens when politicians who are radically opposed even to some of the most basic functions of government come to power and what might happen nationally if their movement gains more influence or if a Tea Party candidate is elected president" (p. 9-10).

That last bit was prophetic because the same political situation was true when Donald Trump was elected President in 2016 with both chambers of the U.S. Congress under Republican control. Like LePage, Trump's party lost control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the "Blue Wave" election of 2018 (but not the U.S. Senate until 2020), so Trump had two years of Tea-Party-like power. In both cases of LePage and Trump, political observers largely attribute the loss of legislative majorities as a response to extreme policies implemented with unbridled partisan control.

Trump was never as explicit a Tea Party supporter as LePage (Trump's supporters are more likely to call themselves "Proud Boys" or "QAnon" or other names, but all those groups have high overlap), but both LePage and Trump adhere to the same core political values:

  • Anti-Government attitude: Trump attacked "The Swamp" of government, and LePage does the same in other terms in this book.

  • Populism: Their supporters might call both "populist" and their opponents might call both "reactionary." Ironically, both Trump and LePage both won their election without majority support -- Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016; LePage won the governorship with a plurality of only 38% support in a three-way race.

  • Conspiracy Theories: Trump's ties to white supremacist anti-Semitic conspiracy groups such as the "Proud Boys" and "QAnon" were well-documented in the January 6 insurrection; LePage has similar ties to anti-Semitic conspiracy groups documented in this book. The most important is "The Watchmen," to whom the author devotes all of Chapter 1 (pp. 11-24). LePage as Governor met repeatedly and at length with that group's representatives, who describe themselves as "Sovereign Citizens of the Constitutional Coalition." That self-description would certainly resonate with Proud Boys and other QAnon supporters, well into 2021.
Why does this matter in 2021? Well, it's not just speculation -- Paul LePage is running for Governor in 2022. So this book's explanation of how the Tea Party gained dominance in 2010 and 2014 is relevant at least through 2022 (and for 2024 if one applies the lessons to Trump). LePage was term-limited in 2018, but Maine's term limits only restrict more than two consecutive terms, so LePage is eligible again in 2022.

Since Lepage's plurality-victory elections in 2010 and 2014, the non-Tea-Party voters of Maine tried to make a Tea Party resurgence harder, by passing "Ranked Choice Voting" (RCV) in 2016. The idea of RCV is to make LePage's plurality victories harder. For example, in 2010, LePage won with 38% of the vote, while Eliot Cutler got 36%; Libby Mitchell got 19%; and Shawn Moody got 5%. Under the new RCV system, Moody's 5% and Mitchell's 19% of the votes would be divided to the other candidates according to each voter's second-ranked choice, until one candidate got over 50% of the vote. If just a few more of Moody's or Mitchell's voters preferred Cutler over LePage (as seems likely, since those three candidates' issue stances were closer to each others' than to LePage's), then Cutler would have beaten LePage.

That RCV system is now in use in Maine's federal elections and in primary elections. In the U.S. House race in 2018, Jared Golden unseated Bruce Poliquin, the Republican incumbent Representative. Poliquin won a narrow plurality in the first round of voting, but Golden gained more votes from several minor candidates, and won election due to their transferred ranked votes. Rep. Poliquin sued on Constitutional grounds, and the Maine Supreme Court ruled against him, allowing RCV for federal elections and in primary elections, but not for the gubernatorial general election nor state legislative general elections.

Bottom line: LePage could win in 2022 with only 38% of the vote as he did in 2010, if several candidates enter the race. So far, the contenders are incumbent Democratic Governor Janet Mills and independent candidate Michael Heath. Check back here to see if others enter....

-- Jesse Gordon, OnTheIssues editor, May 2021

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
    Paul LePage: AdWatch 2010: only candidate from both business & government.
    Paul LePage: OpEd: Opposed to the basic functions of government.
    Paul LePage: Maine is "open for business" by "cutting red tape".
    Tea Party: OpEd: Opposed to the basic functions of government.
    Paul LePage: Supports charter schools and virtual schools.
    Rick Perry: Denounced Common Core standards publicly.
    Tea Party: Common Core is "ObamaCore" or "Commie Core".
Energy & Oil
    Paul LePage: FactCheck: misinformed that windmills use electric motors.
    Paul LePage: Outsourced regulatory decisions to make the less harmful.
    Paul LePage: FactCheck: Maine EPA never counted buffaloes nor black flies.
Government Reform
    Paul LePage: 2010: Voluntarily limited donors to $9,500, with disclosure.
    Paul LePage: 2013: no government transparency; no campaign disclosure.
    Paul LePage: Vetoed increased penalties on campaign finance disclosure.
    Tea Party: More power is being taken by government.
Health Care
    Paul LePage: ObamaCare will make IRS into Gestapo enforcers.
    Paul LePage: Able-bodied Maine residents are refusing to work.
Principles & Values
    Janet Mills: Brother, a State Senator, ran for governor in 2010.
    Paul LePage: Tea Party dominance over New England Republicanism.
    Paul LePage: First language is French; grew up in Little Canada region.
    Tea Party: 2010 Tea Party victories grew to 2014 Republican dominance.
Social Security
    Paul LePage: Cut pension cost-of-living increases to reduce other taxes.
Tax Reform
    Paul LePage: Reduced state income tax to 4%; would prefer 0%.
    Paul LePage: As mayor: keep state taxes; as governor: cut state taxes.
Welfare & Poverty
    Paul LePage: Five tiers to welfare; keep more when you earn more.

The above quotations are from As Maine Went
Governor Paul LePage and the Tea Party Takeover of Maine

by Mike Tipping
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