Kenneth M. Curtis
Kenneth Curtis, Democrat, was elected Governor of Maine in 1966 and re-elected in 1970, the first governor to serve two consecutive four-year terms. While in Augusta, Curtis oversaw far-reaching changes in both public policy and governmental management, working successfully with a Republican legislature throughout. Among his achievements were creation of a cabinet system within the state executive branch, Maine’s present-day income tax, and many education, human service, and environmental advances.
About the series:
We’ve come a long way since President John F. Kennedy characterized politics as “a noble calling,” to today, when the nation’s political system is routinely described as “dysfunctional” and the political atmosphere in Washington and Augusta as “poisonous.”
Competition and cooperation co-exist in all healthy systems, side by side and sometimes cheek-by-jowel, to advance the system’s purposes. Whether it is a forest ecosystem, the human body, a large bureaucracy, or an economic system, its elements compete for resources to meet their own needs, even as they act to contribute to the survival and persistence of the system itself. Somewhere along the way from the 1960s, the U.S. political system lost sight of this important principle, threatening its public credibility, trust, and purposes.
Each speaker in the series will address these timely and important questions:
- How was politics “played” in earlier times in Maine and the nation? And, how has that changed today?
- How did this come about? What are the implications for the state and the nation of our continuing along this path? And, what will it take to change course?
- What does Maine have to offer the nation in this regard, based on our experience here?