July 20, 2019


This week, we feature the last installment of the election version of ClickBack, the BDN’s editorial page interactive feature. To participate, go to bangordailynews.com and pull down on the Opinion menu, and let up on ClickBack. Readers can also post their own questions, or join the conversation on earlier topics.

As usual, some of the comments posted at ClickBack may be featured on Friday’s OpEd page.

Should the soda, beer and wine tax be repealed?

Question 1 on the Maine ballot seeks repeal of a tax enacted by the Legislature last spring to fund the state’s DirigoChoice health insurance program. The tax will be levied on distributors of soda (and other drinks made with high-fructose corn syrup), beer and wine. Distributors will probably pass the tax on to consumers; soft drinks are taxed at 42-cents per gallon, beer will be taxed 54 cents per gallon, and wine will be taxed 65 cents per gallon on wine. The idea is to discourage the consumption of these beverages, while also making those who do consume them pay for health insurance for the 18,000 enrolled in the Dirigo program.

Opponents say the tax was enacted late in the legislative session and no public hearings were held on the concept. And, as the name of the group advocating a “yes” vote implies, they are “fed up with taxes,” as are many other Mainers.

How will you vote, and why?

Mailings and “robo” calls on behalf of the McCain campaign – dirty politics or fair game?

Glossy brochures outlining Barack Obama’s ties to former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers and the Democrat’s positions on “crime and punishment” have been landing in Maine mailboxes in recent weeks, prompting some to accuse the McCain campaign of engaging in smear tactics. Are these complaints legitimate? Or is this fair game in a hotly contested race?

Lobster prices fall; what can be done?

No one rallies to the air of oil companies when gas prices fell in recent weeks, but when the price of Maine’s signature seafood fell precipitously recently, businesses acted to help the hurting fishermen. Is this the right thing to do? Or should lobstermen learn to salt away savings from years when the price is sky high?

What will be the biggest surprise of next Wednesday morning?

Will there be any upsets everyone will be talking about the morning after Nov. 4? In which races will the polls have been wrong? What other surprises will make the news? Will it turn out that Joe the Plumber is really Bill Clinton with a shaved head? Will Sarah Palin ditch her professional wardrobe for a comfy sweatshirt and leggings? Will Joe Biden tell voters what he really thinks?

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

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