Archive for July, 2015

Maine Supreme Judicial Court Hears Oral Arguments On 65 LePage Disputed “Vetoes”

Posted on July 31, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


A full Court Room #12 awaiting oral arguments

A full Court Room #12 awaiting oral arguments

On July 17, Governor Paul LePage submitted the following questions to the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court pursuant to Article VI, Section 3 of the Maine Constitution:

  • What form of adjournment prevents the return of a bill to the Legislature as contemplated by the use of the word, adjournment, in Art. IV, pt. 3, §2 of the Maine Constitution?
  • Did any of the action or inaction by the Legislature trigger the
    constitutional three-day procedure for the exercise of the Governor’s veto?
  • Are the 65 bills I returned to the Legislature on July 16 properly before that body for reconsideration?

The Court announced that they would hear the arguments within 2 weeks of the governor’s request. They also posted all documents submitted.



From a media advisory:

STATE OF MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT Docket No. OJ-15-2 In the Matter of Request for Opinion of the Justices

Governor LePage's legal council Cynthia Montgomery delivers her argument to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, 7/31/15.

Governor LePage’s legal council Cynthia Montgomery delivers her argument to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, 7/31/15.

The Justices will hold Oral Argument on the Governor’s Request for an Opinion of the Justices at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, July 31, 2015, in Courtroom 12 of the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland.

The argument will proceed as follows:

    1. Counsel for the Governor (Cynthia Montgomery) will be allotted fifteen minutes for argument. Up to three uninterrupted minutes may be reserved; up to two minutes may be reserved for rebuttal.

    2. Counsel for Representatives Kenneth W. Fredette, Eleanor M. Espling, and Jeffrey L. Timberlake (Clinton Boothby) will then be allotted up to five minutes for argument. No uninterrupted or rebuttal time is allotted.

    3. Counsel for the President of the Maine Senate and the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives (Timothy Woodcock) will then be allotted up to fifteen minutes for argument. Up to three uninterrupted minutes may be reserved, but no rebuttal time is allotted.

    4. Counsel for the Attorney General (Rosemary Gardiner) will then be allotted up to five minutes for argument. No uninterrupted or rebuttal time is allotted.

    5. Counsel for the Governor will then argue in rebuttal if time has been reserved.

Here is the full press pool video.

Photos from within the courtroom here.

Afterwards, Rep. Jeff Timberlake (R-Turner), Rep. Heather Sirocki (R-Scarborough) and former Secretary of State Senator Bill Diamond (D-Cumberland) met with press to discuss the just concluded Maine Supreme Judicial Court oral arguments heard regarding the 65 vetoes disputed by Maine Governor Paul LePage.

Democratic House leadership released statements.

Speaker of the House Mark Eves (D-N Berwick): “We thank the court for an incredibly fair, thorough and respectful hearing that reflects the seriousness of the issue. We are confident in our position that the laws in question must be enforced by the governor. We have faith the court will make the correct ruling on behalf of the people of Maine.”

House Majority Leader Rep. Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan): “It is unfortunate that the governor chose to waste our tax dollars on lawyers and trials instead of admitting he made a mistake. I am confident that the justices will uphold over 100 years of legal precedent and that the 71 new laws that passed with bipartisan cooperation will stand.”

No word as to when there will be a response from the justices, but it could be fairly quickly.


*RELATED: (UPDATED) The Curious Tale Of Governor LePage And The 19- Scratch That- 70 “Pocket Vetoes” LAWS

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“Mark W. Eves Vs Paul R. LePage” Federal Civil Lawsuit Filed in U.S. District Court

Posted on July 30, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Photos here of the press conference held today on the steps of the courthouse in Portland.




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(UPDATED x3) Governor LePage’s “Notes From The Edge”: A Compilation

Posted on July 27, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UPDATE X2: A LePage letter to now House Majority Leader Rep. Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan) is being added to this post. Frankly, with the two different pens and more scribbled appearance, it is harder to read than some of the others, but is related to bonds similar to that of the harshly worded one to Senator Patrick.

mccabe lepage letter


UPDATE: A June 2012 note from the governor to State Senator John Patrick (D-Oxford) is being added to this post. It reads (emphasis mine):IMG_20150727_175457194_HDR


    You are a bald faced liar and cheat! Character eludes you. It is up to the Governor’s discretion on when bonds are sold, he has up to five years.



(With apologies to Carrie Fisher et al)

Sometimes it is simply better to let the content tell the story.

1. First is this recent letter from retired librarian Louise Sullivan of Cape Elizabeth to Maine Governor Paul LePage, which read:

    “Dear Gov. LePage, please resign. You will save yourself time and embarrassment. You will save our state time and money. Sincerely, Louise Sullivan”

The governor wasted no time with his reply.


2. For handwriting comparative purposes, there is this 2013 note sent by the governor to Rep. Brian Hubbell (D-Bar Harbor).


3. Governor LePage to supporter Victor Lister of Athens, dated July 6.


Mr. Lister had sent a copy of a published LTE to the governor:

    “It’s time for the media to take the Constitution seriously. The paper has tyrannically silenced too many voices for too long, and it should watch its language.

    Why is Gov. Paul LePage called “bombastic”? I hear him denounced regularly, and I can’t figure out why.

    I don’t approve of “taking care of” legislators by making them heads of educational institutions.

    I’m a veteran and profit mightily from being one, but I question its cost to our nation.

    Clearly, we’ve entered the “Bread and Circuses” stage of decaying empires, and, though I personally profit from it, I think it is social diabetes. LePage is doing his darndest to put Maine on a diet; the least we can do is recognize the need.

    Victor Lister, Athens”.

4. A rather informative look at the sharp-toned division between Governor LePage and GOP legislative leaders are apparent with this note, sent to Senate President Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo):

5. Lest one think that the governor incapable of being polite to legislators, we have this note directed to Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst). Seems Governor LePage thinks more of Lockman’s potential leadership qualities than those GOP leaders currently serving:


6. Sometimes the meaning of the governor’s words has been lost upon the audience, in this case, Maine principals. From September 2012:

loser cartoon lepage

Jonathan Nass, LePage’s then senior policy adviser, had sent the above image along with a letter to some Maine high school principals, which read:

Governor Paul LePage sits at Governor James G. Blaine's Congressional desk.

Governor Paul LePage sits at Governor James G. Blaine’s Congressional desk.

    “Governor LePage was recently given the attached cartoon and asked that I forward it along to all of the state’s high school principals. You will see that the governor added a hand-written note. Thank you for your time and best wishes for the new school year.”

Some reported reactions:

    Deborah Migneault, principal of Portland High School, said her first thought was: What did the governor pay for postage?

    “If he sent that to all principals, it seems like an incredible waste,” she said. “We have enough to think about. I don’t think that cartoon motivates us.”

    Christian Elkington, principal of Massabesic High School in Waterboro, said he understood the governor’s point that vocational and technical education should be encouraged as an option, but disagreed with the assumption that schools don’t do that already.

    “We aren’t forcing kids down one path or another,” he said.

LePage press secretary Adrienne Bennett attempted to clarify that “career and technical education has not been given the recognition it deserves.”

    “The governor is simply saying let’s do better, let’s provide students with the choices that will provide successful outcomes,” she wrote. “Every child learns differently; our teachers recognize this and so does the governor.”

7. Finally is this note from Governor LePage on his 2014 re-election campaign letterhead to then Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook).

As the two share a “history”, no explanation from Bennett or anyone else on the second floor is needed, and unlike the above notes to Ms. Sullivan and Mr. Lister, this was not in response to a letter from Senator Jackson, but rather the governor taking the initiative to write first.



    Until you’ve walked in my shoes you have no idea what abuse and poverty is. I’ve never attempted to throw your wife and kids or challenge your pension as you did to my family. I know what abuse is and you must realize it doesn’t always come from industrialized landowners. You talk a good game, but I saved the pension fund without you helping. I’m very sorry you felt the need to attack my family and tried to throw us on the street, but I guess actions do speak louder than words.


It is being reported that WGME spoke with Ms. Sullivan and that the segment will air later tonight, and that the governor’s staff will not be responding.


UPDATE X3: Portland Press Herald political reporter Steve Mistler linked back to this MPW post with his Aug. 17 story, “LePage’s handwritten notes show failings in Maine’s record retention law”. Some crucial points made regarding the handwritten notes, existing Maine law, and the ongoing Good Will-Hinckley investigation:

    Neither LePage nor his staff apparently makes copies of his letters – even when the topic at hand involves state policy or other matters of public interest connected to his official duties as Maine’s chief executive.

    For example, LePage’s threat to strip Good Will-Hinckley school in Fairfield of $530,000 in state funding if it hired House Speaker Mark Eves as its next president was communicated in a handwritten note from the governor to the school’s board chairman, Jack Moore. Moore has said he may have discarded the note, and a copy was not among the documents the governor’s office released to the Portland Press Herald last week in response to a Freedom of Access Act request for all records related to the Good Will-Hinckley matter.

    The administration has taken the position that LePage’s handwritten notes are not subject to the public records law because they are personal communications, not official business.

    But current and former state archivists disagree, as do experts on the Freedom of Access Act.


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Rep. Jeff Evangelos, Sen. Chris Johnson Speak Publicly on Gov. LePage Investigation

Posted on July 21, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

As part of their monthly meeting held in Newcastle last night, Lincoln County Democrats invited State Senator Chris Johnson (D-Somerville) of the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee and State Representative Jeff Evangelos (I-Friendship) to speak about the ongoing investigations of Governor Paul LePage and Good Will-Hinckley.

The clip is just over an hour long and includes discussions by both legislators, as well as a lengthy Q&A session with the audience, which numbered as many as 40 people at one point. Some quick observations via Instagram here, as the meeting was occurring.

More photos of the meeting can be found here.


*RELATED: ANALYSIS- Governor LePage & Good Will-Hinckley (NEW)

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(UPDATED) June 24 AUDIO: House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) Agreed to Extend Legislative Session to July 16

Posted on July 14, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

7/15/15 UPDATE: The 7/9/15 letter from Rep. Fredette has now been added to this post.


Listen for yourself. These are highlights from audio recorded on June 24, when the House was discussing extending the first regular half of the 127th Maine Legislative session past June 30th. This audio and accompanying transcription of House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) agreeing to extend the Legislative session to July 16 is, quite simply, the last proof needed regarding the Governor’s erroneous assertions that the legislature had adjourned.

These 70 bills are LAW. There is no questioning the processes in place. As the Governor himself often says, “End of story”.

Here is the House Record for that evening, which serves as a transcription when compared to the audio.

*RELATED: (UPDATED) The Curious Tale Of Governor LePage And The 19- Scratch That- 70 “Pocket Vetoes” LAWS

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(UPDATED) The Curious Tale of Governor LePage and the 19- scratch that- 70 “Pocket Vetoes” LAWS

Posted on July 12, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

7/12/15  12:05 am UPDATE: As Governor LePage took no action on the additional 51 bills listed below before the deadline minutes ago, those additional bills have now become law as well. This post will be updated with any new information as it becomes available, as well as any statements from legislators.


A curious thing happened on Monday night, as Maine realized that Governor Paul LePage had failed to act on 19 bills sitting on his desk within the 10 day window for a decision to veto or sign them- and as such, they became law.

The next day, LePage and his administration denied that this was the case, stating that they were dead via the pocket veto option available to the chief executive… which is only true if the Legislature was not “at ease” but rather had “adjourned sine die” on June 30th (which they had NOT).

But while the Governor and his staff continue to insist that they are right, the Revisor’s office disagreed.

Here is the list of the 19 new laws.

Bills on Governor’s Desk Past the 10 Day Limit

LD 25 “An Act To Protect the Privacy of Citizens from Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Uses” Sponsored by Representative Diane Russell
LD 78 “An Act Regarding Limitations on Certain Storm Water Fees” Sponsored by Senator Nathan Libby
LD 113 “An Act To Reduce the Penalties for Certain Drug Offenses” Sponsored by Senator Roger Katz
LD 234 “An Act To Adjust Appropriations and Allocations from the General Fund and Other Funds for the Expenditures of State Government for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2015” (Emergency) (Governor’s Bill) Sponsored by Representative Margaret Rotundo
LD 299 “An Act To Protect Children in Municipal and School Facilities by Requiring Boiler Inspections” Sponsored by Senator Dawn Hill
LD 369 “An Act To Align Municipal General Assistance Programs with the Immigration Status Policies of the Department of Health and Human Services” Sponsored by Senator Eric Brakey
369LD 522 “An Act To Clarify a Recently Enacted Law Designed To Expand the Number of Qualified Educators” Sponsored by Senator David Burns
LD 722 “An Act To Strengthen Penalties for Abuse of General Assistance” Sponsored by Senator Eric Brakey
LD 756 “An Act To Enhance the Address Confidentiality Program Regarding Property Records” Sponsored by Representative Michelle Dunphy
LD 822 “An Act To Allow a Former Spouse of a Member of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System To Begin Collecting Benefits When the Former Spouse Reaches the Member’s Retirement Age” Sponsored by Representative Patrick Corey
LD 870 “An Act To Amend the Maine Spruce Budworm Management Laws” Sponsored by Senator James Dill
LD 1013 “An Act To Prevent the Shackling of Pregnant Prisoners” Sponsored by Senator Anne Haskell
LD 1039 “An Act To Amend the Polygraph Examiners Act” Sponsored by Senator Anne Haskell
LD 1085 “An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Right To Know Advisory Committee Concerning Receipt of a Request for Public Records” Introduced by Rep. Barry Hobbins
LD 1108 “An Act To Protect Children and the Public from Electronic Cigarette Vapor” Sponsored by Representative Jeff McCabe
LD 1134 “An Act To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Distribute Information Regarding Down Syndrome to Providers of Prenatal and Postnatal Care and to Genetic Counselors” Sponsored by Senator Amy Volk
LD 1185 “An Act To Establish the Municipal Gigabit Broadband Network Access Fund” Sponsored by Representative Norman Higgins
LD 1303 “An Act To Stabilize and Streamline the Department of Environmental Protection’s Ground Water Oil Clean-up Fund and Maine Coastal and Inland Surface Oil Clean-up Fund” Sponsored by Senator Thomas Saviello
LD 1391 “An Act Regarding the Treatment of Forensic Patients” Sponsored by Representative Richard Malaby

LePage’s lawyers Cynthia Montgomery and Hank Fenton quickly wrote to Grant Pennoyer, Executive Director of the Legislative Council, about the actions of the Revisor’s office.

And Pennoyer responded back, just as zippety-quick… and against Team LePage.

This sentence is key:

“Absent a legal opinion from an authoritative external legal source, such as an opinion of the justices or a written opinion of the attorney general, which the office has used as guidance in the past, the revisor’s office will continue to perform its administrative responsibilities in an absolutely nonpartisan manner.”

And here’s why it’s important. Moments ago, Maine’s Attorney General Janet T. Mills responded to requests earlier this week by Senators Tom Saviello (R-Franklin) and Asst Minority Leader Dawn Hill (D-York), on the question of whether or not the Legislature was adjourned sine die or not, as well as the status of the 19 now printed bills/ laws.

Mills’ response is below.

As of yesterday, it was announced that another 51 bills could also become law if the governor also ignores them until after 12:01 am July 12th (Sunday). Here is the list of those bills.

Who knows where next this goes– Maine may well see Paul LePage take the Legislature, the Revisor’s office, Grant Pennoyer and the Attorney General to court. It’s all anyone’s guess.

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Dem Weekly Message by Senator Dawn Hill (D-York): LePage has become the monkey wrench in government that he purports to despise

Posted on July 10, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |


Hill says, “Gov. LePage has become the monkey wrench in government that he purports to despise.”

    These days, working in Maine politics is a bit like living with Alice – Alice in Wonderland that is. What is up is down and what is down is up. Logic is lost and nonsense rules the day.

    In our Wonderland, the governor tosses the Constitution aside to make up his own rules.

    dawn hillGood Morning. This is Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dawn Hill of York.

    During his five years in office, Governor LePage has become adept at vetoing legislation. In fact, he holds the record for the Governor who has issued the most number of vetoes. This session alone, he’s vetoed nearly 180 bills.

    Governor LePage has not been shy about exercising his veto authority. And, no one, can begrudge him that authority. But, this authority is not without limits.

    Under the Maine Constitution, during the first year of a legislative session, the governor has ten days to sign or veto a bill. If he takes no action, then the bill becomes law.

    During the second year of a legislative session, an additional method of veto, called a “pocket veto,” is available to the Governor. According to the Constitution, this is the only time a pocket veto can be used.

    And since we’re only at the end of the first year of the legislative session, the law is pretty clear on how he can veto.

    Whether Governor LePage was misusing a pocket-veto of a bill or, he lost track of the 10 day time limit for a veto, the Constitution is straightforward–those 19 bills ARE now law.

    The governor has threatened to take this all the way to the Maine Supreme Court. Why? There is no good reason–other than to point to more political gamesmanship. He often relishes in the idea of wasting lawmakers’ time–but what he’s forgetting by this latest round of threats–is that he is also wasting taxpayer dollars. He has become the monkey wrench in government that he purports to despise.

    The governor took an oath of office to uphold state law and the Constitution. Even as governor, he can’t pick and choose which laws to follow and which ones he can ignore. In this country, and in this state, no one is above the law.

    Governor LePage has overstepped and overreached; abusing the power that comes with the office of governor–again. Even his long-time political allies are unable to defend him. From Republican political pundits to lawmakers, one after another is stepping forward and condemning his actions. One Republican lawmaker publicly said that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back–adding, lawmakers must express “no confidence” in Governor LePage.

    What’s next? Well, hopefully nothing.

    Most of us want to return to the legislative session next week and do our job. We want to continue finding pathways of success–continue passing bills that will make our communities stronger, our citizens more successful, and our state more competitive.

    We’re not in Wonderland–we’re in Maine. So the Governor can either get out of the way of the Legislature or join the team of Democratic and Republican lawmakers who are getting things done.

    Thank you for listening. This is Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dawn Hill of York. Have a very good weekend.

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Weekly Message of Governor Paul LePage: Fighting for a government free of fraud and abuse

Posted on July 7, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

AUDIO LINK HERE: Fighting for a government free of fraud and abuse

image001Fighting for a government free of fraud and abuse

No one in the State of Maine cares more for at-risk kids than I do. I was an at-risk kid. I have been there.

Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

I know what it’s like to grow up in a dysfunctional household with an abusive parent. I know what it’s like to live on the streets where crudeness and violence are so normal that the rest of the world seems foreign. I also know what it’s like to feel alienated in a public school system that doesn’t understand the needs of the at-risk kids. I care about all Maine kids, and I care about the at-risk youth at Good Will-Hinckley.

governor_lepage_350When I heard Good Will-Hinckley had hired Speaker of the House Mark Eves to run their charter school for at-risk kids, I thought it was a joke. If Speaker Eves had his way, no charter schools would have ever opened in Maine. He worked his entire political career to oppose and threaten charter schools in Maine. He is the mouthpiece for the Maine Education Association. Giving taxpayers’ money to a person who has fought so hard against charter schools would be unconscionable.

Supporters of Speaker Eves, including his admirers at the Portland Press Herald,, have portrayed him as a nice family man who is being persecuted for simply trying to get a job. That is pure political spin, and the Maine people know it.

Mark Eves enjoys the prestige and the perks that come with his powerful position as Speaker of the House. However, like most professional politicians, he does not like having to defend his voting record. And that record is crystal clear: Eves has been the most visible and most powerful opponent of charter schools in Maine.

Regardless of his efforts to close charter schools, he wanted a cushy job at a charter school that paid $150,000 in salary and benefits. You can’t make this stuff up. The media is bending over backward to defend Eves, but Mainers see it for what it is. It’s a political hack-o-rama at its worst.

Unlike prior presidents at Good Will-Hinckley who hold advance degrees in education administration and have had long careers as educators, Speaker Eves’ only qualification was being a politician in Augusta, where he’s used his position to oppose charter schools and to threaten the existence of the very organization he sought to lead.

I have spoken out against people in powerful positions who have abused the taxpayers’ trust at the expense of the Maine people. Former legislator Paul Violette, the past head of the Maine Turnpike Authority, went to jail for enriching himself and misappropriating public money.

Another former legislator, Dale McCormick, past head of the Maine State Housing Authority, was spending much more public money than was necessary to build housing units for low-income Mainers. She was ousted for her mismanagement of that agency.

These former legislators used their political positions to land cushy, high-paying jobs in which they were trusted to use taxpayer money to improve the lives of Mainers. They abused that trust and had to face the consequences of their actions. The same is true of Mark Eves.

Speaker Eves most recently broke the public trust when he orchestrated closed-door budget negotiations with three other legislative leaders, then forced the 183 other legislators to vote on a budget they did not have time to read. Thankfully, 47 legislators saw through this and voted against it.

I’m sure Mark Eves is a nice family man. He is free to speak his mind personally and politically. But so am I. When I disagree with Speaker Eves or any other politician and when I see that their actions are not in the best interest of the State of Maine, I will speak up. If Speaker Eves or anyone else wants to sue me in hopes of a big pay day, that’s their right. But I will always fight for the right of the Maine people to have a government that is free from waste, fraud and abuse.

I will not get a big pay day for my efforts. But I will sleep well at night, knowing I did the right thing for the Maine people.


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Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign Holds Huge Town Hall in Portland ME #Bernie2016 #mepolitics

Posted on July 7, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

DSC_0173DSC_0179Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, running for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, spoke with thousands of enthusiastic supporters on July 6th at the Cross Insurance Arena/ Portland Civic Center. Crowd estimates range from 7500 (MPBN) to as high as 9000 (BDN).

Photos of the event can be found here.

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Announcing New Page to the Site: “ANALYSIS- Governor LePage & Good Will-Hinckley”

Posted on July 5, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

GOC meeting with OPEGA director Beth Ashcroft, 7/1/15, to discuss whether or not to investigate the allegations against Governor Paul LePage. The committee voted 12-0 to do so and will meet again July 17.

GOC meeting with OPEGA director Beth Ashcroft, 7/1/15, to discuss whether or not to investigate the allegations against Governor Paul LePage. The committee voted 12-0 to do so and will meet again July 17.

As some may have noticed already, a new page was added to the top of Maine Progressives Warehouse over the weekend. Entitled ANALYSIS- Governor LePage & Good Will-Hinckley (NEW), its purpose will be to serve as a one click resource space to all available information listed in chronological order by date. It will be updated as more information is found or becomes available.


***Audio/Video of Maine Governor Paul LePage


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