Lisa For Maine Rejects Debate Censorship, Assembles Own People's Summit
The final weeks of the Lisa for Maine campaign to elect Lisa Savage to the U.S. Senate have been a whirlwind of voter outreach, press hits, and friction with the mainstream corporate parties and media outlets who continue to show little interest in democratic participation, despite our game-changing ranked-choice voting race.
As many may have seen, the Hearst-owned WMTW TV hosted a U.S. Senate debate here in Maine and refused to invite either of the independent candidates in the race, citing "criteria" they never showed to either candidate until the Lisa for Maine campaign contacted them directly to ask about our exclusion. At that point, they pointed to our failure to reach 15% in the polling, despite including a Democrat in their 2018 debate who polled at 8%. Thus, in coordination with the Max Linn campaign, we filed an FEC grievance, as the debate constituted an illegal corporate donation to the Gideon and Collins campaigns.
Further, Lisa did not take the exclusion lying down, showing up at the event anyway and demanding to be included, only to be turned away by a poor WMTW employee who told Lisa he didn't have the "authority" to let her know why she was being excluded.
Even better, the Lisa for Maine campaign quickly assembled a People's Summit the day following the debate in order to raise the topics and points that were so obviously missing from the previous evening's discussion. Lisa spoke with organizers in Maine's Black small-business community, climate justice community, and anti-poverty and anti-homelessness community on Portland's Public Access Channel 5. The discussion was just the kind of substantive look at policy that was clearly missing from the corporate-party debate that largely featured cross-candidate sniping and little advocacy for policies that would help those struggling across the United States with poverty, food insecurity, and lack of health care.
The good news is that word of Lisa's inspiring campaign continues to get out, with features in Politico and NBC News showing that RCV removes the "spoiler" tag and increases the quality of the dialog surrounding campaigns -- if only the corporate parties would see that new reality.
The whole Lisa for Maine campaign is excited to see the results begin to come in on Tuesday, but we know this election won't be decided until the ranked-choice ballots are tabulated by the Secretary of State, which likely won't happen until a week or so after the election is completed. For those of you who have supported the campaign along the way, please know there is great love and appreciation for everything you've given to Lisa and the team and we hope we have done everything we can to show that we are worthy of that effort on your part.