Archive for August, 2015
(To be updated as necessary; additions down below original post. ~AP)
During his July 30th radio visit with WGAN’s Ken and Mike Show (podcast link here), Maine Governor Paul LePage made the following statement:
- “If the people of Maine want me, I’ll do the job. If they don’t want me, just ask me to leave. You don’t have to impeach me… So far, I’ve only got four people write me that wanted me to resign.”
Since then, a poll conducted informally on one of the Bangor Daily News blogs has recorded that of almost 5400 Mainers responding, 89% want to see the governor resign.
Last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow ended her show with this:
Although LePage during the radio show stated that he had only had four requests for his resignation, a quick scan online finds many more than that are reported to have been sent to his office.
Here are a few of the confirmed letters and emails to Maine’s chief executive.
1. Hilda Jones, Scarborough:
- Dear Governor LePage: When you first ran for Governor of Maine, I have no doubt you intended to do your best for our state. Today, doing your best means turning the reins over to someone better suited to the job. I hope you’ll consider this an earnest request for you to do the right thing and resign.
Ms. Jones also wrote to Micki Mullen, Governor LePage’s scheduler:
- “Dear Ms. Mullen: I would appreciate it if you would ensure the Governor sees my urgent request.
I am asking him, in the name of common decency and for the benefit of all his constituents, to tender his resignation according to the established procedure, without unduly disturbing the regular and ongoing business of state government but as expeditiously as possible, hopefully within the week. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.”
Patricia Condon, LePage’s Director of Constituent Services, responded with the following (including smiley emoticon):
- Good afternoon!
Thank you for your e-mail to the Governor.
Our office appreciates hearing from you and will take your suggestion (s) under advisement.
Thank you again for taking the time to write. Have a nice Day.
2. Trudy Ferland, Pittsfield sent her request directly to Governor LePage and got this reply email:
- From: Governor
Subject: Thank you for contacting Governor LePage
Date: August 20, 2015 at 4:21:17 PM EDT
Thank you for taking the time to contact me. This message is to confirm that my office has received your email and will be taking appropriate steps for follow-up.
Comments and Requests for Assistance
Your ideas and suggestions are important to me. Depending on the nature of your issue, your message may be assigned to one of my designees for direct follow-up with you. My staff and I are committed to providing you with a timely response to your issues and concerns.
If your email is regarding a scheduling request, please make sure your message includes information about the time and location of the event and a brief summary of the agenda. Please resend your email with that information, if necessary.
For news and information on issues and upcoming events, please visit my web site at: http://www.maine.gov/governor
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
3. Eleanor Cade Busby, Damariscotta:
- Dear Governor LePage,
You said you would resign if enough people asked you to do so. Please keep your word.
You have hurt people who needed help and never listened to anyone who tried to explain how what you were doing was harmful.
You have disregarded and disparaged anyone who did not bow to your commands.
You have treated the people of Maine with utter disrespect.
You have behaved like a school yard bully with other elected officials and used name-calling as a tool to puff up your ego while never giving clear answers when questioned about your actions.
It’s time to get Maine back to the place people love and stop driving away anyone who is not up to your estimable standards.
No one elected you to become a petty dictator. You were elected to govern Maine according to the Constitution and the law, not according to your very flawed ideals.
It’s time for us to go back to work making Maine a great state and erase the embarrassing stains you have put on our reputation.
Eleanor C Busby
- Dear Gov. LePage:
It pains me to write this, even though I’ve never been a supporter of yours. I dislike partisanship enough that I’ve never registered to a political party since I started voting as a teen, but I dislike the disarray you’ve brought to Augusta enough to write this brief note.
Please step down as governor. You’ve embarrassed yourself and our fine state enough.
You began with the best of intentions. I know that. You seem like an honest man, and I trust my instinct in this regard, but good intentions cannot be confused with leadership, and you seem to have been confusing them for 5 years now. Now, with dwindling support among members of your own party, you cannot possibly be expected to lead or to accomplish the lofty goals you set for yourself upon taking the oath of office. Please step down. I have no doubt that Mike Thibodeau would do a fine job picking up the disarray. I implore you, for the good of the state we both love. It’s time for Augusta to get back to work, and that just can’t happen with you at the helm.
I wish you all the best in the future.
5. Bruce Forbes, Augusta:
- Dear Paul LePage:
It is time for you to go. You are not qualified in intellect or temperament to be our Governor.
I hope you leave soon.
6. Lenore Mullen, Augusta:
I’m hoping you meant what you said regarding your resignation as Governor of Maine. You and your tea party friends have taken Maine to a new low. Your policy actions and bullying have become a joke with the National media, and a huge frustration for Maine taxpayers. I could go on for hours regarding the problems you have created for Maine citizens and taxpayers, but I’m sure you have heard it already.
My hunch is this resignation statement you made is rooted in the legal advice your attorneys are providing. I believe articles of impeachment will be charged against you. I am not an attorney, or a member of the Maine Legislature, so I don’t honestly know if the votes are there to impeach you. However, I have observed that with each passing day more R’s in the Legislature are distancing themselves from the messes you have created.
So, as a Maine taxpayer, I will sit back, make some popcorn and watch all this play out.
Paul, do the decent thing that Maine taxpayers deserve and resign.
7. Mal Gormley of Damariscotta received the same form letter and smiley from Ms. Condon as noted above for this brief missive:
- Please resign.
8. Stefan Low, Thomaston:
- Dear Governor LePage,
Please know there are more than four of us Maine citizens that would like you to leave office. I would like to add my voice to the hopefully growing chorus of those utterly tired of your buffoonery, misuse of power and obstructionism. You are a disgrace to this state and have no place holding a higher office. Methinks the entire concept of politics as compromise and mutual effort escapes you.
Return to the private sector to be the dictator you so long to be, please, and allow someone worthy to occupy the office of Governor. I will refrain from the vulgarity that you, frankly, deserve. Please go. Now. Thank you for your time, but sadly not your service.
9. Joe Earley, Waterville:
- Dear governor lepage,
I would VERY much like to take you up on your offer to resign if the people of Maine raise their voices against you.
Not Your Sycophant
Others who confirm they have written to Governor LePage, asking him to resign:
- 10. Lisa Herzog, Pittsfield
11. Nancy Glista, Bar Harbor
12. Sherri Smith Robinson, Gray
13. Wendy Knickerbocker, Castine
14. Sandra Greene Miller, Vassalboro
15. Jan Frost, Rockport
UPDATES/ ADDITIONAL LETTERS
16. Alan Tibbetts, Sidney:
- Dear Governor LePage,
Since you asked, YES, please resign, soon. You probably don’t get much honest feedback, but there are many reasons why you are not a good fit for the position. If you would like to discuss those reasons at length we can do that.
A resignation is in everybody’s best interests. I don’t begrudge you the pension; it is a cost of doing business.
Enjoy the rest of your life!
17. Cecile Thornton, Lewiston:
- Dear Gov. LePage,
As much as I would love to use expletives in the fashion that you do. I will remain polite and somewhat to the point.
The people of our state have endured your lousy leadership for far too long. It is with as much respect as I can muster when addressing you that I very politely ask you to resign. Please, step down from the office of Governor of the great state of Maine.
I am from Lewiston. I am of French Canadian heritage. I speak French and went to parochial school for eight long years.
I am not from away. I have always lived in Maine and hope to live my life out here (I am sixty now).
Many good, sane people are against your tea party-like leadership. We are embarrassed to have you in office. We never voted for you and know that the only way you got elected was because of Elliot Cutler’s run.
Please step down, Governor. That’s what we want.
18. Nicole Anderson, Portland:
- Please resign as Governor of Maine. The people of Maine find you highly offensive and a complete embarrassment. Thanks in advance for stepping down as Governor. We are tired of your ineptitude and careless irresponsibility to actually represent the people of Maine.
19. Jim Elmore, Bangor:
20. Jenni Moroney Butler, Windham
21. Chad Thorne, Pittston
22. Scott Harriman, Brunswick:
- Governor LePage,
Please resign. You are an embarrassment to the people of Maine and are causing serious damage to our state. Please just leave now.
23. Gerard Pare, Augusta:
- I personally believe that Governor LePage should quit. He’s been nothing more than an impish childish bully. When I hear one of his tirades I picture a spoiled brat standing in a sandbox stomping his feet hoarding all the toys and not letting anyone else play because he’s not getting his own way. His actions have not saved taxpayers money but have cost us. He forgets that he represents all of the people of the State of Maine; not just the super wealthy and those who chose to play his games. Governor LePage is vulgar and has stained the reputation of Maine as being level headed. Though he could have been a great governor and did the hard work with couth and willingness to work across the aisle. He chose instead to act like an irrational buffoon who speaks before he thinks. If he truly cares about what is in the best interest for the State of Maine he will resign. I have a great deal of respect for the office of governor ; and the man in it has not earned my respect because of his blatant disrespect for others and blatant disregard for the laws that govern this state. Please Governor LePage resign so that we don’t have to impeach you.
24. David Hill, Saco:
- Governor Paul LePage,
Please resign for the sake of the State of Maine.
25. Dianne Hill, Saco:
- Paul LePage,
It would be nice if you would resign so something gets done in this stae. (sic)
26. Kate Rogers, Auburn
27. PeggyAnn Doak, Bangor:
- Dear Mr. La Page (sic),
I am asking you, requesting that you exit your office in the quickest and most assured way that never will you return. The people of Maine need a mature, grounded and non partisan Governor if we are to survive this difficult times, let alone progress to a better position financially, educationally and morally. Your actions have been childish, play ground type antics that not only embarrass our great state of Maine, but also interfere with the welfare of the people who love it and choose to live here.
I wish you good luck in your endeavors outside of political office. Perhaps one that does not include personal contact or decisions concerning the lives and future of other human beings.
Most Gracious Regards,
================================================Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
More than half of Portland’s school board officials joined half of the city council this morning in throwing their support to mayoral candidate former State Senator Ethan Strimling. A press conference was held on the front steps of Portland City Hall with multiple statements read by those in attendance and on behalf of supportive members absent.
Via press release issued by former Portland Mayor and current city councilman Nick Mavodones on behalf of the group:
- Eleven Portland elected officials back Ethan Strimling for Mayor
In an impressive display of support and a call for new leadership in Portland, eleven of seventeen Portland elected officials announcedtheir endorsement of Ethan Strimling for Mayor on the steps of City Hall. They are City Councilors Jill Duson, Kevin Donoghue, Ed Suslovic and Nick Mavodones, and Board of Education members Pious Ali, John Eder, Stephanie Hatzenbuehler, Marnie Morrione, Sarah Thompson, Holly Seeliger and Anna Trevorrow. Councilor Nicholas Mavodones kicked off the conference, describing his frustration with the current situation at City Hall. “Unfortunately, over the past few years I have seen first hand asa city councilor the impact of failed leadership under Mike Brennan. Our council is divided, ourschool board is divided, our community is divided. Many key city staff members have left. The frustration I’ve felt has been profound.”
Mavodones cites a lack of collaboration and leadershipskills as the fundamental problem that has resulted in the cities difficulties in moving forward.He continued, “I believe we must support a candidate for mayor that has the proven leadership skills necessary to bring our community together and realize our collective goals.Ethan Strimling has displayed these leadership skills time and time again.”
Councilor Mavodones then read a statement for City Councilor Ed Suslovic, who was unable to attend.
Suslovic wrote, “I didn’t take this decision lightly. I’m friends with Michael Brennan. I’ve supported Michael and I’ve voted for him. But the last few years on the Portland City Councilhave been difficult and, frankly, not productive ones for our city. The time has come to make achange in our leadership. We need a leader who can bring people together. We need a leaderwho will listen to others. That leader is Ethan Strimling.”Mavodones was followed by Councilor Jill Duson, who also shared her frustrations with current leadership, “This past year, we have faced serious challenges to our continued vitality as a community and we can expect to face similar challenges going forward. To meet these challenges we need leadership that listens; leadership that respects; leadership that inspires the engagement of diverse stakeholders; leadership that values collaboration; and leadership that interrelates with integrity in Augusta and D.C.”
She concluded her statement by saying, “I have urged Ethan to run for Mayor, and I urge Portland voters to choose Ethan to lead the city for the next four years.”
Councilor Duson followed with remarks from fellow Councilor Kevin Donoghue, who was also not able to attened. “(Ethan) understands that our mayor needs to directly engage hiscolleagues in policy work that makes a difference, lead discussions on important issues likeaffordable housing and education, and renew our relations with Augusta. I am voting for Ethan Strimling for Mayor and the opportunity leadership can avail.”
Marnie Morrione, Board of Education member then took the podium to speak about her perspective as an advocate for public education. “Ethan has been a tireless advocate for our students, particularly those who have fallen through the cracks and have not had the same opportunities as others. He cares about the future of kids and he’s devoted his life to makingtheir futures brighter, one by one. I hope you will join me in supporting Ethan Strimling for Mayor.”
Strimling responded on Facebook: “I am deeply grateful and want to thank each and every one of the eleven elected officials for their support and for placing their trust in me. I am looking forward to going out with them into their communities throughout the city and having the opportunity to listen to their friends and neighbors about their vision for Portland.”
*RELATED:Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
From the Brennan for Mayor campaign:
Mayor Brennan Formally Submits Nominating Petitions
PORTLAND– Mayor Michael Brennan formally submitted over 350 signatures today to secure his place on the ballot in this November’s mayoral election. Brennan is the first candidate to officially submit his nomination petitions and serves as the city’s first popularly elected mayor in nearly nine decades. “Portland needs and deserves a mayor that truly cares about this city. That’s why I ran 4 years ago and that’s exactly why I’m seeking re-election. Collecting these signatures has been a great opportunity to talk directly to Portlanders about the issues that face our city,” said Brennan.
As the city’s top elected official, Mayor Brennan has implemented several initiatives designed to encourage economic development and job creation as well as support and strengthen the city’s diverse neighborhoods. He represents the city’s interests in Augusta and Washington D.C. where he advocates for the city, its residents and businesses.
“We must continue to grow as a city and community if we want to have a future for our children and grandchildren. Our growth can be measured in low unemployment, business creation and commercial development. At the same time, our growth must be measured by increased compassion, commitment to diversity and finding common ground to resolve disagreements,” said Brennan. “I’m running for another term to ensure that Portland is a prosperous, inclusive community that maintains its place as Maine’s economic and cultural center.”
Before becoming Portland’s mayor, Brennan served many previous terms in the Maine State Legislature (House of Representatives from 1992 to 2000 and in the Senate from 2002 to 2006). He chaired the Education Committee, the Health and Human Services Committee and the Joint Select Committee on Health Care Reform, as well as served as Senate Majority Leader.
Brennan lives in Portland with his wife, Joan Martay. They have two grown children, Travis and Ryan.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
His campaign press release:
- Ethan Strimling announces run for Mayor of Portland
Today, Ethan Strimling stood with his wife, friends and supporters in front of Learning Works in the West End, where he’s worked for the past 18 years to announce his plans to run for mayor of Portland.In his remarks, Strimling noted that he has been spending time listening to what Portland residents from all walks of life are saying about their hopes for the city and their vision for its future.
“People want to be able to say: ‘I’m raising my kids in Portland because we have the best schools in the state. I work in Portland because it is where I found a great job that pays a livable wage. And I live in Portland because it’s affordable, safe and has a great quality of life.”
Strimling closed his remarks by saying, “As Mayor, my job will be to bring all of us together to build a vision for our city that we can achieve. We know we are stronger together, because only when we are united can we achieve our greatest potential.”
Ethan Strimling, who served in the 122-4th Maine State Legislature, had previously lost the Portland mayoral race to incumbent Michael Brennan in 2011. That race had a field of 19 candidates seeking the office. More about him from his campaign:
- Ethan is the director of LearningWorks, a non-profit that provides learning opportunities for at-risk youth, the immigrant community, and low-income families in Portland, Maine and regionally. Ethan has led LearningWorks for almost two decades, spearheading its transformation from a small Portland neighborhood advocacy group to a life-changing multi-million dollar organization that provides the best learning opportunities in Maine to the communities it serves.
Ethan is a Senior Political Analyst for WCSH/WLBZ TV and The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram where he co-authors the weekly opinion column, Agree to Disagree. From 2002 – 2008, Ethan served in the Maine State Senate as Chair of the Labor Committee, Criminal Justice Committee, and the Homeland Security Task Force, while also serving on Taxation for six years. Prior to, he ran a national Political Action Committee focused on electing young leaders and provided policy analysis to Maine US Congressman Tom Andrews.
Ethan lives in Portland with his wife, Mary.
Special Election for House District 19 Set for November; Jean Noon of Springvale Seeking Democratic Nod
Governor Paul LePage and Secretary of State Matt Dunlap announced today that a special election to fill the seat last held by second termer Rep. William Noon (D-Springvale), who passed away last month, has been set for November 3:
Maine’s three political parties, the Democrats, Green Independents and Republicans, will now caucus to choose candidates for the seat. Candidates must be nominated by 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28. Petitions for non-party candidates may be requested from the Elections Division and must also be submitted to the Secretary of State by Friday, Aug. 28 at 5 p.m. Write-in candidates must be declared and file with the Secretary of State by 5 p.m. on Sept. 14.
The candidate elected by Sanford voters in November will serve out the remainder of Noon’s term, which will run until the General Election in November 2016.
- “It’s an honor to take on the important work that my husband started in service to our community and our state,” said Jean Noon. “As a farmer, teacher and longtime resident of Springvale, I know first hand the challenges facing communities like ours.”
Noon is an organic sheep farmer. She raises sheep on her 75 acre farm in Springvale. Jean also served as an art teacher for 13 years in local public schools.
“It is an honor to have Jean run for Bill’s seat. She is the perfect candidate to carry out his work for the citizens of Springvale and Sanford,” said Speaker Mark Eves, D- North Berwick. “Bill was a great legislator and a good friend, and I know he would be very proud to see his wife continue his work.”
Speaker Eves’ Legal Team File ‘Notice of Claim’ Against Governor LePage with Attorney General’s Office
Attorneys for Maine Speaker of the House Mark Eves filed a state law claim against Governor Paul LePage today with the state’s Attorney General. From an accompanying press release by David Webbert:
Today, I filed a new notice of claim under Maine law against Gov. Paul LePage on behalf of Speaker Mark Eves.
The attached written notice explains why Speaker Eves has a very strong state law claim against the Governor for intentional interference with employment. Not only did the governor violate federal law, but he also violated Maine law when he blackmailed Good Will-Hinckley to coerce it into firing Speaker Eves. This state law claim adds to the Speaker’s case against the Governor and will be considered as part of the lawsuit in federal court.
Maine law requires that this notice be filed with the Office of the Governor and the Attorney General. It also requires that Speaker Eves wait 120 days after filing this notice before he can add this state law claim to his lawsuit filed in federal court on July 30, 2015.
Here is the notice of claim.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
(Breaking story; will be updated as needed. ~AP)
As anticipated, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court wasted no time in coming back with a speedy response to last week’s hour long hearing, issuing the following opinion today: a 6-0 smack-down of Governor LePage (PDF).
Attorney General Janet T. Mills: “The Office of the Attorney General is pleased with the full and complete responses to the Governor’s questions elucidated in the unanimous 47 page opinion today. The Opinion of the Justices is on all fours with all the research conducted by our Office and with the Opinion of the Attorney General of July 10, 2015. We are also pleased that the Court ruled expeditiously so as to avoid any further unnecessary debate and confusion. The answers to the Governor’s questions are clear, unambiguous and completely consistent with his own past practice and with that of every other Governor in recent memory. Except when the Legislature has adjourned sine die, the Chief Executive has ten days (excluding Sundays) within which to return any bills with his objections. By his failure to do so, he has forfeited the right to veto any of the bills at issue.”
Speaker of the House Mark Eves (D-N. Berwick): “The court has rightly rejected Gov. Paul LePage’s legal gymnastics. The decision affirms these bills are law. The governor must enforce them. The ruling also reaffirms the Constitution, historical precedent, and honors the separation of powers in our Democracy that protects against partisanship and abuse of power. The decision is a victory a huge win for Maine women, families, seniors, and veterans, who will see great benefits from the laws we passed.”
House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan): “This ruling is a victory for the Maine people and the Maine constitution. It affirms both the good bipartisan work of the Legislature and the separation of powers. I call on Governor LePage to abide by the Court’s opinion, fulfill his constitutional duties and enforce all 71 laws that were duly passed by the Legislature.”
Asst House Majority Leader Sara Gideon (D-Freeport): “The Supreme Court has confirmed what we’ve long known – the Legislature has the sole power to decide when it is adjourned. Today’s ruling ensures Maine will make progress on key issues like women’s health, veterans’ services, domestic violence, drug overdose deaths, affordable housing for seniors and many more. I look forward to the executive branch implementing these laws and doing the work the people hired them to do.”
And the verdict is in. Governor's effort to delay, distract and rewrite Maine's Constitution unanimously rejected. #mepolitics
— Phil Bartlett (@PhilMaine) August 6, 2015
— Steve Mistler (@stevemistler) August 6, 2015
— Paul Merrill (@PaulMerrillWMTW) August 6, 2015
— Mario Moretto (@riocarmine) August 6, 2015
— MPA (@mainepeople) August 6, 2015
Breaking: ME Supreme Judicial Court rules – bills are law! #mepolitics
— ACLU of Maine (@ACLUMaine) August 6, 2015
Statement of Senate President Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo):
- “Today, Maine’s highest court confirmed that the Governor’s inaction on these 65 bills resulted in them becoming law. While I am disappointed that some of these measures are now law, I am pleased that we have a court opinion which reaffirms the longstanding, 195-year old practice of dealing with vetoes that is outlined in the Constitution.
We should now move past this dispute and use this as an opportunity to change the tone in Augusta. The executive and legislative branches must work together. I encourage the Administration to reset their relationship with the Legislature to foster an environment of engagement and collaboration. Effective leadership requires instilling confidence both in our colleagues in Augusta and constituents back home. When that confidence is shaken we should not be surprised when we are unable to accomplish our goals. By working together we can all accomplish great things for the people of Maine.”
- “Today’s court opinion reaffirmed what virtually every observer knew from the very beginning – that the Governor’s interpretation of the Constitution was incorrect. As he has stated, the Governor’s aim with these vetoes was to waste the Legislature’s time.
Going forward, as Republicans, we need to refocus on effectively governing the State of Maine. As Republicans, we are proud to stand by the principles of honesty, integrity, and good government. We hope that this ruling will result in a different pattern of conduct from this Administration, one that more closely resembles the tradition of Maine Republican statesmanship that so many of our elected officials have exemplified. The time for political games, inflammatory rhetoric, and irresponsible governing is over.”
I am getting private notes that Maine Democrats won at the Supreme Court today . SORRY, uh no . The LAW won & the Constitution was followed
— Ray Richardson (@RayRichardsonJr) August 6, 2015
==========Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )