Document Type


Publication Title

Lewiston Sun Journal

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Maine is no stranger to the nation’s battles involving the development of the tools of direct democracy and how to use them. Since the citizen initiative and referendum were passed in late 1908, Mainers have used “the power of the people” to vote directly on many laws, bypassing the Legislature. Now, after more than 100 years in use, the initiative process may be facing a test: Gov. Paul LePage is preparing blueprints to use the initiative in an attempt to change the state’s welfare system and reduce the income tax — victories denied to him in the Legislature. It’s a top-down administration employing a grass roots tool to circumvent another branch of government.


post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing with all author corrections and edits)

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