Could there be a new independent expenditure scandal brewing?

Last week, Fox – yes, Fox – put Woodcock on the national television map.

Not Chandler Woodcock, per se. But a Woodcock, who also happens to be a school teacher.

Coincidence?

Republican Chandler Woodcock is running for governor in Maine. He spent more than 25 years as a public school teacher. He’s a likable, conservative politician.

Last week, Fox debuted a new prime time comedy, “‘Til Death,” which stars Brad Garrett, the giant, slow-talking brother from “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

The premise of the show is that newlyweds move in next to Garrett and his wife of 8,743 days. The comedy, supposedly, comes from the difference in the relationships between the young loves, married less than two weeks, and their more jaded neighbors.

Jeff Woodcock, played by Eddie Kaye Thomas – the nerdiest of the guys from the movie “American Pie” – is a high school principal. His name is the focus of a number of tired jokes in the show. They ain’t funny and they ain’t fit to print in a family newspaper, especially one in a state where the next governor might share the same name.

After watching the premier of the show, though, it should be clear to all but the most comically impaired that the show might not outlast the governor’s race, which will end in November. Even the ads in the Maine’s governor’s race have been more entertaining so far.

Maine’s Woodcock, by the way, has been married 32 years. That’s more than 11,600 days.

Reversal of fortune

Maine Senate President Beth Edmonds received a special present from the Supreme Judicial Court last week. Reversing an earlier decision by the secretary of state, the court delivered onto Edmonds, a Freeport Democrat, an opponent in this fall’s election.

Republicans had originally put Patricia Stasinowsky up as Edmonds’ opponent. When she withdrew from the race, Republicans attempted to nominate John Arsenault in Senate District 10 as a replacement.

But there was a rub. Up until two days before he was nominated by Republicans, Arsenault had been registered as a Democrat. The secretary of state disqualified the nomination on the grounds that Arsenault needed to be a Republican to be nominated as a replacement candidate by the Republican Party and that it takes 15 days to switch party affiliation.

The Supreme Judicial Court unanimously disagreed.

“There is no ambiguity in the statutory scheme regarding the nomination of a replacement candidate that requires a clarifying interpretation from the [secretary of state],” the court wrote in its opinion. “In fact, the secretary is doing more than interpreting the statutory scheme; his office has fashioned a limitation that does not exist in the statutes.”

Towns go for TABOR

The Scarborough Town Council, in a 4-3 vote, passed a resolution last week supporting Maine’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights initiative, which will be on the ballot in November.

TABOR would set strict limits on state and local taxation, fees and spending.

The town of Gray has also endorsed the TABOR proposal.

No labor pains

A number of significant labor unions have endorsed the re-election bid of Gov. John Baldacci.

Included in the mix are the Metal Trades Council of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

“After the Bush administration targeted the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for closure, Gov. Baldacci stood in front of us and guaranteed that the shipyard would not close,” said Dave Schofield, a shipbuilder in Portsmouth, in a press statement. “Keeping his promise, the governor traveled to D.C. and then to the hearing in Boston to convince the BRAC commission of the importance of the shipyard and the jobs it provides. Gov. Baldacci promised he would not let us down, and he didn’t.”

Other unions endorsing Baldacci recently were: Maine State AFL-CIO; TEAMSTERS Local 340; IBEW Local 1253; IBEW 2327; the United Steelworkers Local 4 and Local 9; International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 920; United Steelworkers 1069 of Westbrook; The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Building Trades and Laborers; The United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters; the Amalgamated Transportation Union; and Doug Watson, regional president of Laborers International.

Schofield is also featured in an television advertisement supporting Baldacci that is being run by the State Democratic Party. That advertisement started running on Aug. 31.


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