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Dirigo Blue was founded in 2009, out of the ashes of Turn Maine Blue. Like its predecessor, it was meant as a place for liberals and progressives (but really anyone - we're liberal after all) to come together and discuss political happenings in Maine and the nation.

Unfortunately, after many weeks of contemplation and behind the scenes work, I've come to realize that I can no longer participate in any sort of regular basis on the blog. I spend upwards of 40 hours a week running it, plus additional time monitoring other sites of import to Maine politics. I've been doing this essentially for free since earlier this year -

I can no longer afford to maintain this sort of commitment. After the Labor Day weekend, I will only act as a caretaker to this site.

It's been a lot of fun, these last few years: it's been an incredible learning experience and more. I've met a large number of amazing of people - too many to name - many of whom I now consider friends. I've learned somewhat of how the legislature works, and how to read bills and statutes. I've traveled to parts of the state I had never been too. It will take some time to get used to not reaching for a phone or keyboard when breaking news comes over the wire.

I've learned how to ask questions, and that good journalism isn't as easy as it seems.

But it takes a lot more money than that to really keep things going. This has always been the difficulty of blogs focused on state level politics. Earlier this year, Kenneth Quinnell of Florida Progressive Coalition announced that he was shuttering his blog for reasons the same as mine. Florida's population is about 14 times larger than Maine's is.

I want to thank those that have contributed over the years to this endeavor, whether with your own posts and comments, advice, or monetarily. Those contributions of $10, $25, $100 were so generous, and helped pay to keep this blog online, as well as the archives. They are so very much appreciated - a validation of the work we've done.

I really want to thank the professionals in the Maine media - you folks were always so gracious when this untrained newby stumbled into your midst, and you put up with my gaffes or when I stepped on your toes (my apologies!). You helped me learn about how to do journalism while it wasn't in your interest to do so - I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. And unlike in the movies, we never got together to have a drink after the stories were filed - it would be fun to do that.

I also want to thank my two compradres, Andi Parkinson and Bruce Bourgoine. Many of you have to come to know them, and look forward to their writings here. My hope is that they will continue to post in these pages, and engage readers in discussion and debate. They have been loyal to me and this blog for a long time - they are trusted friends, and I look forward to continuing that as we move forward.

The blog will still have an online presence, and readers are encouraged to post their own threads and/or comments.

Thanks for reading! It's up to the rest of you to lead now. Do us proud!


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