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Interview: Maine Senate Candidate Andrew Ian Dodge

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Andrew Ian Dodge is challenging moderate Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe in the 2012 Republican primary. He filed his candidacy just yesterday and we had a chance to chat (quickly and online through Facebook chat) about his ideas and his campaign for Blogcritics readers.

DN: Obviously you’re not happy with Senator Snowe’s performance and are hoping many others in Maine share your dissatisfaction, but what in particular motivated you to run against her?

AID: The final straw was her voting Obamacare out of committee into a Democrat dominated Senate. Added to that she voted for TARP and all the other stimuli that drove up the debt.

DN: You’re running against a long-time incumbent in the Republican primary. Obviously you think Snowe is vulnerable, but how do you plan on breaking through the incumbency advantage?

IAD: By using all modern means at my disposal to attract new voters into the mix. She has never had a primary challenger and she has not had her actions truly questioned. I will bring all means to bear to scrutinize her time in the Senate and the harm she has done to Maine and the country as a whole.

DN: Any Senate campaign is based around national issues and how they are perceived by local voters. What issues do you plan to focus on that will resonate with the people of Maine.

AID: The taxation and regulation that are strangling small business in Maine, whether it is the five new taxes in Obamacare or the over-enthusiastic regulation from the EPA and other federal agencies. Maine’s fishing industry is suffering greatly from EPA and other federal agencies’ over-zealous actions.

DN: Maine is a state with a lot of non-conformists, but you hardly present the usual image that most people expect in a Republican politician. Is that a weakness or something you can use to your advantage?

AID: I believe it is something I can use to my advantage to attract those who have been wary of the political process due to the “cookie cutter” aspect of politicians on both sides of the aisle. I am truly an example of the original intent of the Founding Fathers that our legislators are “gentlemen” rather than professional politicians. I have not spent my entire life climbing up the greasy poll for my “chance” to run for Senate. My principles and core values have not changed since I was in college (or earlier) I have just gotten much better at articulating them.

DN: You mention college. You went to Colby in Maine, but went to graduate school in England. Do you think that having lived overseas gives you useful insights which many of our legislators lack?

AID: Yes, because I have seen the future of US governance if we go the way Obama intends. The Obama administration and the Democrats wish to turn this country into a social democratic unitary nation with very weak states (like the European Union). I have worked with people and actually countered the rhetoric of socialism. After all, I predicted that the Democrats wanted socialized medicine in the US in 2000 in my book Statism Sucks! 2.0. I know full well the effect of nationalized medicine on the individual and have witnessed the lackadaisical treatment of friends and relatives with terminal disease.

DN: You also mentioned your “core values.” Obviously they aren”t socialistic. Can you sum them up in a nutshell?

AID: Free market, limited government & fiscal responsibility.

DN: Those all seem to be economic or administrative. Where do you stand on social issues and will your positions resonate with Maine voters?

AID: I believe in personal responsibility and sovereignty. Government meddling in people’s private lives normally makes them worse. Social issues can be solved via two methods, getting government out of them entirely (especially the federal government) and allowing people to retain as much of their own money so they have more choices. The people of Maine are a very proud, independent and hardy lot, they believe in hard work and getting the job done. But they also want to left alone to their own devices. Whether it’s the lure of the sea or our forests, people in Maine want to be able to earn their crust on their own terms. Maine citizens want the government off their backs to get on with whatever they need to do.

DN: So your position on Maine’s favorite social hot-button issue – Gay Marriage – would be?

AID: If the people of the state don’t want it then so be it. The legislature must not override the will of the people.  Personally I think that government should get out of the business of marriage full stop.

DN: On another specific issue. Your opponent has become famous recently for her support of the “internet kill switch” legislation which she co-sponsored. How do you like that idea?

AID: Its an outright attack on the liberties of those online. In the light of the actions of Egypt & Libya, surely giving the government more power to meddle in the internet is a bad thing? No matter whether it is empowering the FCC or this daft idea (website link). When it comes to civil liberties both on and off line Snowe is always on the wrong side of the issue. She is a statist big government control fanatic.

DN: Running a Senate campaign requires a great deal of money, even in a small state. A lot of insurgent candidates have gone outside their state and used nontraditional fundraising methods. How are you planning on getting the money you need for an effective challenge?

AID: Well obviously I won’t go into too many details, but I am working on securing funding for this race from sources both in Maine and outside the state. I have a team of adept people working on this effort who are good at what they do.

DN: In the recent gubernatorial election the Democratic candidate came under fire for raising money from outside the state. Is that a legitimate criticism?

AID: No, it comes up every year. LePage raised money outside the state as does anyone running for high office in Maine. The criticism is disingenous and petty.

DN: So far how has the reception to your candidacy been with folks in Maine and within the Maine GOP. Have you found any allies yet?

AID: Yes I have but we shan’t be revealing them until the time is apt.

DN: So you’ve had positive responses in general?

AID: Yep. My wife & mother are hearing from all sorts of people that are pleased Maine is getting a viable primary candidate & that I am going to be raising serious issues.

DN: Your opponent has found that steering a moderate course works for her in a state which is divided fairly evenly politically. How do you counter that and do you run the risk of being caricatured as a fringe candidate or an extremist?

AID: Well, Snowe & Collins like to describe anyone to their right as extremist. However, I think once we drown out the personal attacks that have been happening for quite some time & will continue, we can make the case that it is time for Snowe to go.

DN: Do you think it’s a disadvantage for a state like Maine to have two Senators whose positions are so similar? Does it leave the state’s people underrepresented?

AID: Yes, fiscal conservatives have been completely disenfranchised in this state. The politics here is more European in the fact there is a “consensus” in the establishment for big government and huge public sector.

DN: Is it a problem that you’re running against the establishment consensus which the people are presumably familiar with and not entirely unhappy with since they keep voting it in? How do you convince them that your alternative is politically viable?

AID: By every means at my command.

DN: You’re a prolific writer on various topics. Like presidential candidates, many Senatorial candidates write books to disseminate their ideas and promote their campaigns. Are you considering doing that?

AID: I am open to any offers from publishers wishing to publish my thoughts. I would love to do such a book. Although I promise not to do a book trailer which, like Pawlenty’s, promises that I will fight off aliens like Will Smith in ID4. I could whip out such a book in a few weeks.

DN: You should. I expect to see it on the featured shelf at Mr. Paperback in Ellsworth when I’m up there in June.

DN: You have an unusual and diverse background, earning a living as a musician and writer and not from a traditional 9-5 job. How would you answer critics who claim that this doesn’t represent your constituents well?

AID: I would argue that the nature of being a freelance writer/novelist/musician makes you truly aware of the economy. When people are suffering they buy less “entertainment” and other things. Advertising revenue dries up because the economy is suffering and freelance writing payment is either seriously limited or goes away completely. Many outlets either have stopped paying completely, gone under or have seriously cut back what they pay (one reduced my per piece rate by 66%). Furthermore it lags greatly behind the rest of the economy, you can tell people are truly feeling comfortable when the industry picks up.

DN: So you share their pain when they get laid off at the lumber mill?

AID: Yes… getting dropped/laid off hurts whether you are a writer, a lumberman or a fisherman.

DN: Can you name a Senator who you would be most likely to vote with regularly if you were elected?

AID: Rand & Rubio… the two Rs. The Rocker, Rand & Rubio — the voting trio.

DN: What, not your neighbor Scott Brown?

AID: Brown is more RINO than liberty minded…

DN: Thanks. I think that covers the basics. We’ll be following your campaign and maybe we can talk again as we get closer to the primary.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • Handy, there is a certain amount of party switching going on and I suspect there will be more in the next couple of years.


  • I think Snowe [and Collins] should switch parties anyway. They would be “moderate Democrats” just as effectively as they are “moderate Republicans.” While we’re at it, Ben Nelson of Nebraska should switch to the GOP. They would all be more comfy and at home that way.

  • Whoa! Are you suggesting that Dodge contrived a piece of badly written campaign literature, which Dave slapped his own name on and posted as if it truly were what it claims to be: an interview? I don’t know how to say this, exactly, but ain’t that just a tad dishonest?

  • El Bicho

    Odd that there’s no mention that this is longtime BC contributor Marty Dodge.

    Considering Dave doesn’t appear to use ampersands in his writing, it’s much more likely they went Dread’s route than Alan’s.

    And Dave wouldn’t be solely responsible if I were seriously running for national office. A follow-up by myself or someone working for me to see how I came across and to see that Dave didn’t edit me in a way that reflected poorly seems natural course of business.

  • Moreover, whatever medium was used to conduct the interview, the writer/editor–in this case, Mr. Nalle–is solely responsible for either (a) correcting obvious mistakes of spelling, grammar, punctuation, word usage, etc. or (b) employing “[sic]” to identify errors in the original that the writer wishes to leave intact.

  • #6, haven’t you heard of the telephone? It’s an instrument that enables people to speak with another entirely free of the Internet! Oh, and there’s also something called a tape recorder that allows such conversations to be preserved for subsequent transcription. What’ll they think of next?

  • Well, since Dave is based in Texas and Andrew Dodge in Maine, I’m guessing this interview took place via e-mail or live chat rather than in person. In that case the responses as reproduced would be Mr Dodge’s own. I could, of course, be wrong.

  • Re #3 and #4: please clarify something. Whom are you criticizing for this article’s bad writing, spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, etc.? This is an interview with Andrew Ian Dodge, written not by him but by the interviewer. Dave Nalle is therefore solely responsible for such slips as “I have just gotten much better at articulated them.” Why blame Mr. Dodge?

  • Costello

    Get yourself somebody in PR or communications becuase this is a horrendous read. Hard to believe anyone would take you serious as a writer let alonea US Senator

  • “I have just gotten much better at articulated them.”

    Could’ve fooled me…

  • RJ

    Dave, you might want to fix the link to Andrew’s website.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Well, we can certainly see that intellectualism is not real high on Dodge’s list of qualities on his resume. But I’m glad he’s unable to keep his extremism out of his normal conversation – otherwise the people of Maine might not be able to see what a problem this guy would be if he were elected to office.