Friday, December 01, 2006

Hinck Knocked on More Doors

To the Editor:

Thanks for the thorough article in the November 17 edition on the Hinck-Eder race. The article offered the only overarching narrative and analysis of the campaign that I have seen. I would however dispute the hypothesis of the headline, namely that Hinck's victory was a function of linking Eder to the Republicans. In my opinion, Hinck won the election by pounding the pavement, knocking on doors and getting to know the voters - the very approach that earned Eder the seat in 2002 and 2004.

The local press seems to spending a lot of time trying to figure out what the local election results tell us about the state of the relationship between the Greens and the Democrats. The real story to me is that, by and large, these elections were won by the candidates - Donoghue, Hinck and Marshall being notable examples - that went out and connected with us one to one.

I hope that Hinck and the Democrats do not reach the conclusion that this victory was based on demonizing the Green Party. Hinck's robocall implying that Eder had actively taken money from a Republican PAC was as alienating to me as Eder's robocall suggesting that Hinck was anti-choice.

Bad feelings abound after a hard-fought campaign, but I feel fortunate to live in a district where I could choose between two strong progressive candidates. I hope both parties reach the following conclusions from this past election:
- Elections are won with grassroots work;
- Candidates should steer clear of the "professional electioneering" - e.g., robocalls - unless they are consciously trying to alienate the electorate;
- Strong candidates make for a stronger democracy.

Finally, I would like to say that, for better or worse, the Greens are here to stay. I hope Representative Hinck considers it part of his job in Augusta to reform the inner workings of the legislature to allow greater accommodation of third parties and independents. I want to live in a state where political candidates will not be judged by the color of their party but by the content of their character.

John Anton
Portland, ME


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