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LEWISTON – The newspaper in Maine’s second-biggest city has decided not to endorse any of the five candidates for governor in next week’s election.
In an editorial in its Sunday edition, the Sun Journal said endorsements must be earned and no one in the field did so.
The Sun Journal indicated that it was prepared to back Republican Chandler Woodcock until it learned last week of his personal financial difficulties that led to liens on his property. The editorial said it couldn’t support someone who wanted to put Maine’s fiscal house in order who has “struggled to bring order to his own.”
“Despite our myriad descriptors of the candidates – informing, irritating, etc. – one word is markedly missing: inspiring,” the newspaper wrote. “As much as we enjoyed the candidates’ company, none made us confident enough to earn our endorsement to lead Maine through the end of this decade.”
Four years ago, the newspaper endorsed Republican Peter Cianchette in his unsuccessful run in the race won by Democrat John Baldacci, who is running for re-election.
Although it supports no gubernatorial candidates this time, the newspaper did recommend support for the proposed Taxpayer Bill of Rights, calling it “an imperfect solution, but a solution, nonetheless.”
The referendum measure asks Mainers if they want to limit government spending to the rate of inflation plus population growth. Voter approval would be required for all tax and fee increases.
The editorial said Maine taxpayers entrusted the state to provide tax relief after the defeat of the so-called Palesky tax cap proposal two years ago, only to get a measure that fell far short of what’s needed.
“Preserving Augusta’s status quo is out of the question, as is entrusting government again with enacting substantial tax reform,” the editorial reads. “It would be akin to the old maxim: ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”‘