Geraldine Mander has discovered a solution to a major problem confronting Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. Mander has figured out how to counteract the area’s decades-long loss of population.
“It’s simple, really,” said Mander, who owns Carpetbagger Realty with offices in northern, central, eastern, and western Maine. “All those people are leaving because there’s no broadband, no economic opportunity, and nobody will get vaxxed. That can be offset by importing a different class of folks that nobody else wants.
The new in-migration has already begun. Former Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin recently bought a house in Orrington, which he’s now claiming as his official residence, even though he owns an oceanfront mansion in the 1st District town of Georgetown. Poliquin seems to think his real residence in southern Maine might impede his efforts to regain his old seat in this November’s election.
He’s not alone in seeing the advantages of having a legal address in the district he’s seeking to represent. Independent candidate Tiffany Bond, an attorney who has lived in Portland for 10 years after moving there from Oregon, has purchased land near the Saddleback Mountain Ski Resort. Bond and her family plan to build a house that will become their official residence, particularly on ski weekends.
That should correct at least one of the mistakes Bond made when she ran for the 2nd District seat in 2018, finishing a distant third behind Poliquin and eventual ranked-choice winner Democrat Jared Golden. At that time, her only connection to the area was that she’d handled some court cases, which she claimed gave her a deep understanding of the district’s many problems.
“I’m tired of living in a satire,” Bond told the Lewiston Sun Journal. That actual quote (the only one in this column) may have been taken out of context, but it still kinda fits.
Mander thinks Poliquin and Bond are just the beginning of an exodus of frustrated potential candidates from the 1st District.
“There are heaps of liberals like Bond who can’t find a position to run for because they don’t dare challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree,” she said. She expects to soon see a caravan of clones of former Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling driving their electric cars into the woods looking for land to build on, unaware there aren’t any charging stations.
“That’s not all,” Mander added. “In most of southern Maine, a Republican couldn’t get elected even if they handed out free COVID-19 home tests. Up here, GOP candidates can win even if they’re going around spreading COVID.
“It’s a much easier route to political success.”
Mander is currently organizing bus tours of the 2nd District – separate ones for left- and right-wingers – to acquaint them with their real estate options. “By the time I’m done,” she said, “there may be 50 candidates in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. That’ll offset everybody who’s moving out of Aroostook County this week.
“And I haven’t even started marketing to the independents.”
Some political observers are skeptical that Mander’s plan will work. They think many of the electoral refugees will find rural Maine inhospitable to those with decidedly urban attitudes.
“When you’re campaigning,” one consultant said, “it can be a long way between Caramel Frappuccinos.”
Another longtime 2nd District pol said the newcomers may find it difficult to understand the natives’ worldviews. “If your internet connection is just a notch above a couple of tin cans and some string,” he said, “I doubt you’ll be all that concerned with crypto-currency and NFTs.”
Mander is undeterred by such talk.
“Those issues might be a problem for normal people, who don’t like to be moved out of their comfort zone,” she said. “But I’m not importing normal people.
“These are would-be politicians. I expect their blind faith in their ability to tell other people what’s best for them will outweigh their distaste for the smell of cow manure and weirdos who think the earth is flat.
“By the time your readers see this, I’ll be breaking ground on a housing project designed just for the overly ambitious and utterly unrealistic.
“I call it Sara Gideon Acres.”
Deposits on prime lots may be emailed to [email protected].