What started as an off-the-cuff statement to a reporter ended up (as all good gaffes do) on the Colbert Report. In between, it sparked a flurry of state and national media attention, focused the ire of a 400-person rally in Portland, and tested a new administration's ability to respond to a self-created public relations disaster.
Former State Senator and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Peter Mills has applied to be Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and has had several discussions with Governor Paul LePage about the position.
Of the Republican candidates for governor who contested the 2010 primary along with LePage, Mills was seen to have the most in-depth knowledge of the details of Maine's legislative and government systems. He took positions to the left of LePage on a variety of issues, including health care.
It's a cliché that protest movements begin to splinter as soon as they gain some measure of power.
An analysis of online chatter seems to show this to be true of the Maine Tea Party movement which, after its great success culminating in today's inauguration of Republican Governor Paul LePage, is now losing some of its focus. (Although, to be fair, there has always been some measure of conflict within the group.)
With the final recount finishing up last week and the beginning of 2011 next week, we can now finally turn the page on the November 2010 election in Maine... but not before we announce the full results of the Down East/Kennebec Journal election prediction pool.
The charts below are the results of 85 valid entries, the most participants I've ever had. The results used to judge accuracy come from the Bangor Daily News and the Secretary of State's recount announcements.
Now that political operative Dennis Bailey has admitted his role in authoring the Cutler Files, an attack site launched during the campaign against independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler, and the Lewiston Sun Journal reports that they have confirmed the identity of the second author as Thom Rhoads, husband to former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rosa Scarcelli, now may be a good time to look back and see what these two and others said about the site over the past few months.
Democrats and political observers are coming down hard on Governor-elect Paul LePage for the decision to appoint his 22-year-old daughter, Lauren LePage, to a position in his administration making $41,000 a year.
The hiring, first reported by the Bangor Daily News, was quickly attacked as a "brazen display of political nepotism" by Maine Democratic Party executive director Mary Erin Casale.
A statement Governor-elect Paul LePage made about national health care reform and printed Sunday in the MaineToday newspapers has drawn national attention and has resulted in attempts from his staff to "clarify" LePage's remarks.
Interviewed in Washington, LePage apparently claimed that he had just learned that if thirty-five states join the lawsuit to repeal federal health care reform, the law "dies, automatically.”
Student representatives at the University of Maine yesterday spoke publicly in favor of the federal DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented young people to gain citizenship through service in the military or a college education.
The UMaine Student Government pased a resolution on the issue, which reads in part:
The Maine House and Senate were sworn in Wednesday and began the work of the 125th Legislature.
One of the first orders of business was to elect Kevin Raye as President of the Senate and Robert Nutting as Speaker of the House. The nominations of both Republicans were seconded by the respective Democratic floor leaders.
Republican leaders in the Maine House and Senate have delayed plans to eliminate the Labor Committee from the list of Joint Select Committees within the Maine Legislature.
The Labor committee has existed since 1887 and is responsible for overseeing the Maine Department of Labor, workforce development, wage and hour laws, labor relations, workplace health and safety, and the state retirement system, among other areas.