LePage’s lousy public health record, Cain and Raye pictured, and a final poll

Here are three stories for the end of this election season:

1. LePage and his administration made a significant error for Maine’s health. 

Maine’s public health system is involved in tracking illnesses, informing people who may have been exposed to illness and determining if quarantines are needed

In a case that’s gotten relatively little attention, the Maine CDC and Gov. LePage have taken the wrong steps in dealing with a restaurant worker’s Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A is far more common than, say, Ebola, and has killed far more people in the U.S. and the world.

Cases have dropped in the U.S. because of excellent public health efforts.

But a southern Maine case has been mishandled badly and Gov. LePage, without any evidence, blamed infectious diseases on “the illegals in our country.” In dropping the ball, public health has gone unprotected.

A piece in Food Safety News contends:

[Gov. LePage] and his top state public health official are willing to set aside the effective and commonly practiced public health strategy for combating Hepatitis A in favor of doing something stupid and political. . .

Now, as every Food Safety News reader well knows from reading stories about controlling Hepatitis A, what should happen next is a no-brainer. Sane and responsible public health officials name the restaurant, along with publicizing the dates of possible exposure, and folks think about whether they might be involved in the group that should line up for vaccines.

Somehow, Maine CDC this past week basically took another road, essentially a statewide warning about Hepatitis A. . . So it’s been narrowed down to any one of about 1,000 restaurants in Cumberland County. 

On LePage’s statements and handling of this Hepatitis A case, see also this fact-check by the Press-Herald.

2. Emily Cain and Kevin Raye, Bruce Poliquin’s primary opponent had a nice visit last week in Eastport.

If you followed the Republican primary race, you likely remember that the moderate Republican Kevin Raye was very unhappy with the campaign waged against him by Bruce Poliquin.

Raye also predicted that Poliquin was so far-right that it would be hard for him to win the seat. And Raye never endorsed Poliquin.

But last week, Raye hosted Cain at his mustard business.

Emily Cain (center) with Kevin and Karen Raye.

Emily Cain (center) with Kevin and Karen Raye.

While this was not a Raye endorsement of Cain, this suggests a far friendlier relationship than that between Raye and Poliquin.

3. A final poll is out showing a very tight race, with Michaud barely edging LePage and Cutler way back.

According to the poll from the Maine People’s Resource Center, the most accurate Maine poll in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Michaud has the support of 45%, LePage 44% and Cutler 9%. 906 likely voters were included and the pollwas conducted from October 31st through November 2nd. The margin of error is 3.25%.

In other results, the bear referendum is losing badly, Collins is far ahead of Bellows, as is Rep. Pingree over her two opponents. Cain is just behind Poliquin.

Moreover, the poll included questions on policies and children in poverty; 54% agree that “‘Maine’s government should do more to help children who live in poverty because economic conditions outside of their control cause them to be poor’ and a plurality (48%) say concern ‘that Maine’s children will not have adequate educational opportunities, health coverage, and protection from abuse” trumps concerns over high taxes.'”

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.