Guest Post: The Maine View, Independent in 2010?

-by Derek Viger of The Maine View

The Maine gubernatorial election is still roughly 16 months away. That isn't stopping hopefuls from strapping on their political boxing gloves. A few candidates have announced they will run so far. Alex Hammer is one candidate independent and third party watchers will be excited to follow.

Tech geeks are buzzing about Independent Alex Hammer's nomination. The web savvy business man already
tweets, blogs, is on facebook and has an e-book. Hammer began two web companies/blogs, media 2.0 and politics 2.0, the latter focusing the use of web 2.0 and social websites in politics. Unfortunately it seems it is no longer up. Hammer has been a writer at the Huffington Post, Magic City Morning Star, and The Moderate Voice (a personal favorite of mine). The fact the he writes for TMV speaks well for Hammer's political sensibilities. TMV has been one of the few beacons of sense in the ideologically stained blogosphere. If Hammer follows these same principles, they will serve him well during campaign season.

Hammer ran in the 2006 election, but a car accident cut his run short. 2010 could be his year though. His tech campaign is similar to that of President Obama. Hammer is also vocal about bringing Maine into the 21st century tech-wise. Clean technology, agricultural science, and renewable energy could be a boon to Maine employment. Hammer seeks to leverage these up and coming technologies to make Maine a national tech leader.

Louis Gray:

"Maine is not a poor state, but it's not a rich state," he said. "It has lost a lot of jobs from manufacturing, and the services jobs don't pay as well comparatively. The state needs help transitioning to a 21st century economy, which is why I turned so much of my efforts to technology."
Hammer is also confident that Maine is ready for an independent politician again. He has good reason to be a little plucky. Maine is something of an oddity in liberal New England. Maine refuses to be locked into a political box. Maine isn't Democratic, though they are strong here, or Republican, though we have two Republican senators. We aren't purple either, but rather a moderate mix of the two. Maine is about as close to colorless as any state. Maine has had two independent governors, James B. Longley ('75-'79), and the well-liked Angus King ('94-'03). Independent Barbara Merill placed a strong third with 21.55% of the vote in the 06 gubernatorial elections.

Hammer believes the time has come for an Independent voice in Augusta again. Independents, Hammer says, who have alternative messages get short changed by the two party system. Hammer believes the two party system is not interested in making room for independents either. The election of 2008 "
has already proven that change is in the air" with a female candidate making it further than any other and an African American getting elected to the presidency.

Again, from
Louis Gray:

"In America, a lot more things are becoming possible," he said. "It's an exciting time in the world. There's a lot going on. Not only is there more change, but the rate of change is increasing. Even five years ago, on the Internet, you could take a day off and not miss anything. Now you take 20 minutes off, and you're #100 in the comments. Little differences become magnified. You might be 2% more efficient, but 100% more successful."
Change is certainly in the air. Is Maine ready for another independent Governor? If they are, Alex Hammer could be an excellent choice. Keep a close eye on this one.

[Be sure to check out The Maine View for updates in Derek's series of profiles on the ten-plus candidates who have already filed their candidacy for governor in 2010. -d.eris]

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