Will Maine superdelegate change boost Sanders’ ‘political revolution’?

Good morning from Portland, where Maine Democrats handed 17 of 25 pledged delegates to the party’s presidential underdog, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

But the convention will be remembered more for a rule change that Sanders hailed in a Sunday statement, calling it “the kind of grassroots democracy that will help the Democratic Party grow and win elections.”

At this point, Hillary Clinton can essentially be called the presumptive Democratic nominee, even though she’s not calling herself that. But she needs just 155 more delegates to clinch the nomination with 1,065 delegates left in play, according to the Associated Press.

Sanders takes umbrage to that, saying he’ll stay in the race until the national convention in July. But his campaign has certainly shifted, pushing for him to be heavily involved in the drafting of the party’s platform and helping progressive candidates raise money, according to The New York Times.

His supporters object to the party’s use of superdelegates, who are Democratic officials who can back any candidate. They don’t vote until the convention, but they’ve gone overwhelmingly for Clinton, creating a buffer that has added to an air of inevitability over her nomination.

So this year, Sanders’ backers — led by state Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland — moved to change the Maine party’s rules for future elections so superdelegates would have to reflect the state’s caucus or primary results. It also includes a symbolic call for the party to eliminate superdelegates.

“Maine is trying to make the Democratic Party more democratic,” Sanders said in a statement. “I hope other states follow Maine’s example.”

In other words, Sanders is hoping that changes like this and a leftward Democratic Party can constitute the “political revolution” he’s been talking so much about, even if the nomination is a lost cause. — Michael Shepherd


SNL makes Clinton the butt of a LePage joke

Gov. Paul LePage made “Saturday Night Live” this weekend for adopting a new dog and naming it Veto, a reference to his predisposition for bill-killing.

The “Weekend Update” segment didn’t reference the way he got the dog, which involved a Lewiston animal shelter breaking its rules to give it to him early, upsetting a Mexico woman who hoped to adopt it.

But anchor Colin Jost took the opportunity to link the Republican governor’s dog to Clinton’s much-maligned email issues.

“Sort of like Hillary Clinton named her new dog, ‘Redacted due to ongoing congressional investigation,'” he said. — Michael Shepherd


Quick hits

  • Here’s the list of the Maine Democratic Party’s national convention delegates: Russell, lobbyist Severin Beliveau and Rep. Deane Rykerson, D-Kittery, headline the Sanders list, while Attorney General Janet Mills, former State Treasurer Dale McCormick and former state Sen. Cynthia Dill are on Clinton’s side.
  • Rep. Matthea Daughtry, D-Brunswick, wrote on Facebook that’s she’s OK after getting hit by a car while biking in her hometown on Friday.
  • LePage’s next town hall meeting will be in Oakland on Tuesday. It’s at Messalonskee Middle School from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • The governor penned a rare op-ed in the Portland Press Herald on Sunday, — responding to a critical column from Dill — blaming Maine’s economic woes on “forty years of a Democratic stranglehold on Augusta.”
  • Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen will be in Maine on Sunday for a “Lobsters for Liberty” fundraiser at Dimillo’s in Portland. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the 2012 Libertarian nominee, is seen as the favorite for this year’s nod. — Michael Shepherd

Reading list


Best of Maine’s Craigslist

  • This ad from a trucker who met “a plus-size curvacious beauty” at a South Portland store has everything a great post needs — an anatomical pun using “Nordstrom Rack” (you already know what it is) and the man’s admission that her name, Tammy, is “the sexiest name I’ve ever heard.”
  • A man was eating “a fistful of milk duds” in the Dollar Tree parking lot in Auburn when a “gorgeous blonde with French braids” pulled up alongside him. He “stopped chewing so I didn’t look like an idiot” and “had fantasies of waiting there and asking you out,” but alas, he didn’t.
  • Someone in Readfield is looking to “rehome” a “good healthy colony” of 1,000 mealworms, if you want to know what my idea of hell looks like. — Michael Shepherd
Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.