Wednesday Morning Reads: Open Thread

Posted on August 10, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

A few political stories of note this morning:

State investigators conclude there was no wrongdoing by Maine Green Energy Alliance.

 

A state investigation into the financial practices of the now-defunct Maine Green Energy Alliance has revealed examples of poor accounting and oversight, but no instances of missing money or inappropriate spending, according to people familiar with the probe.The findings come three months after a legislative committee asked for an examination of how the alliance spent roughly $500,000 of a $1.1 million federal grant meant to expand home energy audits and weatherization through community organizing and education.

Rep. Jon Hinck (D-Portland), who is the lead Democrat on the state’s Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee, issued the following statement:

 


“I applaud OPEGA for its evidenced based-investigation and believe there are important lessons in this report for managing future state contracts,” said Hinck, who had previewed some of the reports findings. “The report shows that Efficiency Maine moved appropriately to cancel the contract once it became aware of the performance issues. The report provides no substantiation for the unfounded accusations leveled by Republican Party Chair Charlie Webster and certain Republican lawmakers. At this point I would expect an apology for making those wild and unfounded claims.”

Governor Paul LePage calls for “cuts until it hurts” during a visit to the Maine Air National Guard’s 101st Air Refueling Wing in Bangor.

 

The state already faces a shortfall of $25 million identified in the $6.1 billion budget that passed in June, but the governor said it is clear to him that $25 million will not be enough.”We’ll see as we go along,” he said. “If you get to $25 [million] and there is still room and you get $50 [million] and there is still room and, if at $75 [million] it hurts, you stop.

“But if $100 [million] still seems easy, you go to $125 [million]. You go until it hurts.

“It’s just like a business,” LePage continued. “You get all the necessities done and you make sure the services are provided and you stop then.”

Despite the pending weapons charges against him, Rep. Fred Wintle (R-Garland) wants to return to the legislature. While Wintle’s attorney says his client is “better”, it will remain to be seen what comes from his September 13 court date, when the case next goes before the grand jury. There has been no released reaction yet from Speaker Nutting, who in May after Wintle’s arrest made a public statement and asked that the lawmaker be barred from the Statehouse as part of his bail conditions.

BDN is reporting that the new “Redneck Olympics” in Hebron are facing a lawsuit over its name. Organizer Harold Brooks, who got a phone call from the USOC legal offices on Monday,  states that he based the name upon “the Olympics in Greece” and therefore is exempt. But that explanation may not get him very far in court:

 

Under the U.S. Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the committee has exclusive rights to the name in the U.S.According to the Special Olympics website, the USOC gave special permission for the Special Olympics to use the word in 1971.

(Sidenote: Here is a link to a large list of festivals, fairs and events to check out this month in Maine. Personally, the Great Falls Balloon Festival in Lewiston has long been a family favorite.)

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