The Gaggie Awards are back.

Not by popular demand. (But that’s never stopped state Rep. John Martin.)

Not out of a misguided sense of public obligation. (Like a Republican candidate running on the Portland peninsula.)

No, the Gaggies are back mostly because this column has to be written before the polls close, so we’re forced to rely on haphazard insults. (It’s the same method independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler uses to organize his press conferences.)

The Gaggie Awards are named for Hayes Gahagan, whose 1978 independent candidacy for the U.S. Senate was memorable for his announcement that nefarious forces had somehow planted subliminal images in his campaign photos, including genitalia in his hairline. More recently, Gahagan has served on the Republican State Committee.

Seems anticlimactic.

This was an unusual election year. A few well-known politicians could’ve swept every award category. Without intervention from the rules committee, Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage (My &#$?!@ Press Secretary Will Explain What I %#@! Meant Award), Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (The Rich Are Different And I Want To Be Different Like Them Award) and independent candidate for governor Kevin Scott (First Space Alien To Qualify For The Maine Ballot Award) would have sucked up all the trophies. Instead, they each get a coupon redeemable for 10 percent off on psychiatric counseling.

Now to the winners.

The Two-Faced Plaque For Agreeing With All The Voters All The Time goes to GOP state Senate candidate Tom Saviello of Wilton for a column published Oct. 13 in the Original Irregular in which he explained why he voted against a constitutional amendment to reduce the size of the Legislature to 115 House members and 31 senators. “The greatest concern in Augusta is that Maine’s rural voice is being lost,” he said. “Call it Two Maines. Call it urban vs. rural … but our voice is being dampened by the larger populated areas.”

In the next paragraph, Saviello said he’d have no problem supporting a measure to cut the House down to 100 members and the Senate to 16.

The Laurel Wreath Signifying Remarkable Detachment From Reality is presented to Democratic state House candidate and self-described “artist-politician” Anna Mather of East Machias for her answer to a question about the state budget crisis. According to the Downeast Coastal Press, Mather said, “I do believe the budget is the governor’s responsibility, for one thing. And it is definitely not something that I have done a lot of studying about, so I don’t have a specific answer in regards to that. I’m really not there.”

I’m on Kevin Scott’s planet.

Speaking of Scott, his erstwhile campaign manager, Michael Pajak, earned the I Have The Courage Of My Convictions As Long As I Don’t Have To Use My Real Name Award. According to the blog, Pajak has been posting anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments on the As Maine Goes Web site under the pseudonym “The Distributist” (sample: “Existing information could lead one to conclude that homosexual behavior is to genetics what islam (sic) is to religion”).

Asked about his homophobia and religious intolerance, Pajak refused to answer, saying he was being questioned about a “fictional character.”

Sort of like the lynch mob in “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

Pajak was also a consultant for Republican Dean Scontras’ First District congressional campaign, so it’s appropriate that we call Scontras himself to the stage to accept the Medal For Being The Least Likely Anti-War Activist. In 2010, Scontras said he opposed the war in Afghanistan and favored withdrawing the troops. In his unsuccessful primary bid for the same office in 2008, he had supported the war effort.

Of course, in ’08, he was running against a guy who was serving in Iraq.

The Prize For Most Confusing Position On Casinos is jointly awarded to Democratic state Senate candidate Rick Burns of Berwick and Republican state House hopeful Deborah Sanderson of Chelsea. Burns told the Reporter newspaper: “Maine citizens would not be faced with decisions about casinos and gambling were it not for the fact that unfair trade agreements have left [us] economically destitute.”

Sanderson is quoted in the Herald Gazette as saying, “I love the idea [a casino] could bring jobs to Maine. I’m probably going to vote ‘no’ on it.”

Finally, there’s Republican House candidate John Michael of Auburn, who told the Lewiston Sun Journal he’d like to serve on the Legislature’s Business or Labor committees, “where I might contribute some common sense to keep the two sides from killing each other.”

During his previous stint in the Legislature, Michael was censured for a screaming, obscenity-laced tirade against two of his colleagues. While running for governor in 2002, he repeatedly used a racial epithet in a radio interview. His trophy features a can of gasoline and a match.

If you didn’t win, you can complain to me at But that would make you an idiot.