(UPDATED) Veto Day Score Card

Posted on April 28, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Not nearly as epic as last year’s list and hopefully less dramatic! A reminder that a 2/3s vote of members present in both legislative chambers is necessary to override the governor’s veto. Here goes:

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(HOUSE CALENDAR)

1. LD 365, “An Act To Provide a Tax Reduction for Modifications To Make a Home More Accessible for a Person with a Disability.” (House OVERRIDE, 148-0     Senate OVERRIDE, 34-0)

2. LD 419, “An Act To Establish the Summer Success Program Fund.”  (House SUSTAIN, 93-56) DEAD

3. LD 654, “An Act to Expand the 1998 Special Retirement Plan to Include Detectives in the Office of the Attorney General.” (House SUSTAIN, 96-53) DEAD

4. LD 655 “Resolve, To Provide the Engineering Study and Planning Needed for a Statewide, Centrally Located Emergency Services Training Facility and Several Regional Training Facilities.” (House SUSTAIN, 93-55) DEAD

5. LD 1279 “An Act To Authorize Advance Deposit Wagering for Horse Racing.” (House OVERRIDE, 120-29     Senate OVERRIDE, 23-11)

6. LD 1696, “Resolve, To Establish a Moratorium on Rate Changes Related to Rule Chapter 101: MaineCare Benefits Manual, Sections 13, 17, 28, and 65.” (House OVERRIDE, 101-45     Senate OVERRIDE, 28-6) 

7. LD 1514, “An Act To Conform Maine Law to the Requirements of the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.” (Senate SUSTAIN, 20-14) DEAD

8. LD 1498, “An Act To Clarify Medicaid Ombudsman Services.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 29-5     House OVERRIDE, 118-28)

9. LD 1465, “Resolve, To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Conduct a Study of Ambulance Services.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 33-1     House 139-10)

10. LD 1689, “An Act To Protect Children in the State from Possible Sexual, Physical and Emotional Abuse by Persons Who Have Been Convicted of Crimes.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 29-5    House 100-49)

DSC_0012

11. LD 1649, “An Act To Modernize Maine’s Solar Power Policy and Encourage Economic Development.” (House SUSTAIN, 96-52) DEAD 

12. LD 1253, “An Act To Improve the Evaluation of Elementary and Secondary Schools.” (House OVERRIDE, 112-31     Senate OVERRIDE, 33-1)

13. LD 1675, “Resolve, To Create the Task Force on Public-private Partnerships To Support Public Education.” (House OVERRIDE, 137-12     Senate OVERRIDE, 30-4)

14. LD 1394, “An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Commission To Strengthen the Adequacy and Equity of Certain Cost Components of the School Funding Formula.” (House SUSTAIN, 95-52) DEAD

15. LD 1489, “An Act To Clarify Expenditures Regarding Androscoggin County.” (House SUSTAIN, 87-61) DEAD

16. LD 1547, “An Act To Facilitate Access to Naloxone Hydrochloride.” (House OVERRIDE, 132-14     Senate OVERRIDE, 29-5)

17. LD 1552, “An Act To Reduce Morbidity and Mortality Related to Injected Drugs.” (House OVERRIDE, 108-40     Senate OVERRIDE, 29-5)

18. LD 1521, “An Act To Create Equity among Essential Nonprofit Health Care Providers in Relation to the Sales Tax and the Service Provider Tax.” (House OVERRIDE, 139-10     Senate OVERRIDE, 34-0)

19. LD 1579, “An Act Regarding the Maine Clean Election Fund.” (House SUSTAIN, 84-63) DEAD

20. LD 1629, “An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Commission to Study the Public Reserved Lands Management Fund.” (House SUSTAIN, 90-58) DEAD

21. LD 1224, “An Act To Amend the Child Protective Services Laws.” (House OVERRIDE, 147-1     Senate OVERRIDE, 34-0)

(SENATE CALENDAR)

22. LD 1398, “An Act to Reduce Electric Rates for Maine Businesses.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 33-2   House OVERRIDE, 110-38)

23. LD 1468, “Resolve, To Improve the Safety of Ferries in the State.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 35-0 House OVERRIDE 113-32)

24. LD 1540 “An Act To Protect All Students in Elementary or Secondary Schools from Sexual Assault by School Officials.” (Senate OVERRIDE 34-0,      House OVERRIDE, 140-6)

25. LD 1686, “An Act to Amend the Finance Authority of Maine Act.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 28-7   House OVERRIDE 122-24)

26. LD 1614 “Resolve, To Provide Funding for the County Jail Operations Fund.” (House OVERRIDE, 148-0     Senate OVERRIDE, 33-2)

27. LD 1617, “An Act Regarding the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 34-1     House OVERRIDE, 129-18)

28. LD 1692, “An Act to Amend and Clarify the Laws Governing the Brunswick Naval Air Station Job Increment Financing Fund.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 26-9     House SUSTAIN, 85-62) DEAD

29. LD 867, “An Act To Provide Tax Fairness and To Lower Medical Expenses for Patients under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act.” (Senate SUSTAIN, 23-12) DEAD

30. LD 690, “An Act To Ensure the Safety of Home Birth.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 28-7)

31. LD 1645, “An Act To Address Employee Recruitment and Retention Issues at State Mental Health Institutions.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 34-0)

32. LD 1472, “Resolve, To Enhance the Administration of the Child and Adult Care Food Program by Creating Clear Guidelines for Organizations and Streamlining the Application Process.” (Senate SUSTAIN, 23-12) DEAD

33. LD 1481, “An Act to Protect Maine’s Natural Resources Jobs by Exempting from Sales Tax Fuel Used in Commercial Farming, Fishing and Forestry.”

 

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NOTE: This post will be updated as results become known.

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Maine House Rejects HO #34, 96-52

Posted on January 18, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Last Thursday the Maine House of Representatives took up House Order 34, “Establishing the House Special Investigative Committee”, sponsored by Rep. Ben Chipman (D-Portland), calling for a special committee to investigate allegations of multiple incidences of wrongdoing by Governor Paul LePage. Ultimately the House voted 96-52 to indefinitely postpone the measure, effectively killing any further action towards impeachment. Full floor debate is below.

Roll call of the vote here.

From the House Journal:

    (4-3) On motion of Representative CHIPMAN of Portland, the following House Order: (H.O. 34) (Cosponsored by Representatives: BABBIDGE of Kennebunk, BEAVERS of South Berwick, BEEBE-CENTER of Rockland, BLUME of York, EVANGELOS of Friendship, RYKERSON of Kittery, SAUCIER of Presque Isle, WARREN of Hallowell) WHEREAS, the Constitution of Maine, Article IX, Section 5 provides that every person holding any civil office under this State may be removed by impeachment for misdemeanor in office; and WHEREAS, the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part First, Section 8 vests in the House of Representatives the sole power of impeachment; and WHEREAS, grave and serious allegations have been raised regarding the conduct of Governor Paul R. LePage; now, therefore, be it ORDERED, that the House Special Investigative Committee is established to investigate allegations of misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance and other misconduct by Governor Paul R. LePage and to make a recommendation to the full House of Representatives as to whether cause exists for impeachment. The committee shall conduct a comprehensive review of allegations of misconduct by Governor LePage, including but not limited to the:

    1. Refusal, beginning in 2012, to facilitate the issuance of land conservation bonds that were ratified by the voters of the State in statewide elections held in November 2010 and November 2012 and repeated insistence on extracting compliance by the Legislature on unrelated issues prior to the Governor’s carrying out the will of the people of the State regarding issuance of the bonds;

    2. Alleged use of state assets as leverage to bring about the resignation in 2013 of the President of the World Acadian Congress, Jason Parent;

    3. Exertion of pressure, in March 2013, on hearing officers in the Department of Labor, Bureau of Unemployment Compensation to favor employers in their decision making;

    4. Refusal, beginning in May 2013, to allow cabinet members and members of the administration to appear and testify before legislative committees;

    5. Alleged use of state assets as leverage to bring about the resignation in January 2015 of the President of the Maine Community College System, John Fitzsimmons;

    6. Request, in February 2015, that the Maine Human Rights Commission postpone a proceeding against a particular business pending before the commission and threatening to withhold state assets when the commission declined to postpone the proceeding;

    7. Creation, in April 2015, without public notice in violation of Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, of a panel to conduct a review of the Maine Human Rights Commission; and

    8. Alleged use of state assets as leverage to intimidate the Board of Directors of Good Will-Hinckley in June 2015 into terminating its employment of Mark W. Eves, the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and be it further ORDERED, that the House Special Investigative Committee consists of 13 members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the Speaker’s designee, 6 of whom are appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives upon the recommendation of the House Minority Leader, and that the first-named member is the chair of the committee; and be it further ORDERED, that the House Special Investigative Committee:

    1. Shall adopt rules to govern the proceedings before it in order to ensure due process, fundamental fairness and a thorough investigation;

    2. May administer oaths and compel the attendance and testimony of persons and the production of papers, documents and other evidence under oath, by subpoena, when the testimony, documents or evidence is necessary for or incident to any inquiry relevant to the business or purposes of the committee and punish any person for the neglect, refusal to appear or failure to produce papers or documents or provide evidence commanded by subpoena or who, upon appearance, either with or without subpoena, refuses to be sworn or testify or produce papers, documents or evidence demanded;

    3. May hire special counsel and such other personnel as may be necessary to carry out the committee’s responsibilities; and

    4. Following its review and investigation of the facts and circumstances relating to the alleged misconduct of Governor Paul R. LePage, shall submit to the House of Representatives no later than April 1, 2016 its findings and recommendations in the form of a final report, including, if the committee concludes such action is warranted, articles of impeachment describing the misdemeanors in office with which Governor Paul R. LePage is charged. The committee may request from the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the Speaker’s designee extensions of time to complete its work.

Multiple interviews followed the conclusion of the day’s work.

1. Representatives Chipman and Gay Grant (D-Gardiner)

2. House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport)

3. Speaker of the House Mark Eves (D-N. Berwick)

4. House Majority and Asst Majority Leaders Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan) and Sara Gideon (Freeport)

Governor LePage issued a written statement to the press:

    “As I have said all along, this impeachment nonsense was nothing more than a political witch hunt that had absolutely no merit. While some members of the Legislature were obsessing for months over this foolishness, I have been working on the real issues that matter to the Maine people.”

    “Just today, I was the keynote speaker at the Mid Maine Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting, where I spoke about the drug crisis facing our state, lowering taxes and reducing student debt to keep our young people here. I met with the State Employee Health Commission to discuss how to reduce the cost of health care, and I had a lunch meeting with a group of manufacturers to discuss how reducing energy costs can help them create more jobs.”

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Maine House Democrats Discuss 2016 Legislative Priorities

Posted on January 7, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

On the first day of the 2016 session, the Maine House Democratic caucus took time before the start of the day’s work to lay out their objectives for the remainder of the 127th session.

From a press release:

    Speaker of the House Mark Eves (D-North Berwick) opened the press conference by saying, “We’re focusing on priorities that matter for Maine families and our communities. Those priorities include getting good, high paying jobs for our towns, making sure seniors can stay in their homes, getting people who want it the life-saving treatment they need to enable recovery from drug addiction, and educating our children.”

    House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe and Assistant Majority Leader Sara Gideon focused on job creation and the economy, particularly for rural Maine.

    House Democratic leadership take questions from Maine press, 1/6/16.

    House Democratic leadership take questions from Maine press, 1/6/16.

    McCabe, D-Skowhegan, noted that the release of voter-approved Land for Maine’s Future bonds, growth of the agricultural sector, and promotion of the outdoor recreation economy are all key.


    “If we here in Augusta are going to accomplish things, we’ll need willing partners,”
    McCabe said. “We’ll need the other legislative caucuses and we’ll need Governor Paul LePage. We’ll need transparency and cooperation from the administration. We’ll need the governor to allow his commissioner and other state employees to work with the Legislature and we’ll need access to the information we need to do our jobs.”

    Gideon, D-Freeport, focused on how investments in broadband and renewable energy can boost the economy.

    “If we all agree that jobs are the top priority, then let’s talk about two ways that we can actually pump life into our economy,” said Gideon. “Maine can catch up and step into the 21st century if we start investing in functional and forward-thinking technology and infrastructure. This is true for broadband capability and it’s true for Maine grown-energy production.”

After the press conference, House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe took more questions from the media:

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Maine House Republican Members Outline 2016 Legislative Objectives

Posted on January 4, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

From a press release:

“The Maine Legislature must deal with a number of challenges as legislators return to Augusta this week.

Maine is in the midst of the worst drug crisis in state history. Governor LePage requested funding for 10 new MDEA agents immediately to help fight the supply side of this epidemic. That funding has been found within existing resources and the process of recruiting those agents has already begun.

Now it’s time for legislators to turn their attention toward drug treatment and education. This is an issue that requires a thoughtful and thorough process and whatever plan is ultimately brought forward for a vote must be completely vetted by the committees of jurisdiction. We cannot afford to race through this process.

In addition to the drug epidemic, there are several fiscal issues that demand the immediate attention of legislators.

• Tax Conformity: On the heels of the omnibus spending package passed in Washington last month, whether or not Maine complies with these new tax changes could cost roughly $40 million.

• Voter approved changes made to the Maine Clean Elections Program will cost the state an additional $7-$10 million.

• Indigent Legal Services: This program was not funded for the second year of the biennium. This is a constitutionally mandated program and will require $4 million in funding.

• County Jails Issue: A bill to address the situation with the county jails was carried over to the upcoming session. This also has the potential to cost the state additional money.

Speaker of the House Mark Eves (D-N. Berwick) responded:

    “Every day, more Maine families struggle to save the lives of their loved ones suffering from crippling addiction. While some members would rather posture in front of a microphone, we are focused on using available resources to mount a serious effort to tackle the drug crisis and give families, law enforcement, and treatment providers the tools they need.”
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Andi’s Weekly Review/ Sneak Peek, Jan 1 (NEW WEEKLY FEATURE) #mepolitics

Posted on January 1, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UPDATE: More information regarding the second Wednesday rally has been provided by one of the organizers, via Facebook.

————

“Alliance for the Common Good Rally of Unity

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 (first day of the new legislative session), 1-4 PM

Hall of Flags, State Capitol, Augusta

Bring: signs (but not on sticks so you can get thru security), information to distribute or put on tables, and ideas to add to a speak out that is part of the afternoon events.

What are your concerns about what the state of Maine should be doing and the directions it should be going in?

What do our legislators need to hear from the public?

These were last year’s primary points of unity (which are ones again this year):

Respect for community sovereignty.
An economy that protects our environment.
Reserving Maine money for Maine people.
Keeping money out of politics.

Some issues we will likely address there:

*Paul LePage’s actions against Mark Eves that may be grounds for impeachment
*Renewed attempts to have more people covered by MaineCare
*November referenda on raising the minimum wage, rank choice voting, marijuana use, and more
*State of Maine’s campaign to take away more of the Penobscot Nation’s sovereignty

Please come and be part of the Alliance for the Common Good’s Fourth annual Rally of Unity.”

——————-

1512843_10207415324009372_7853276067766535371_nHappy 2016! As promised, I will be attempting to sit down at the keyboard every Friday to summarize what has transpired in the past week and give a preview of what to expect next week. (The classic AP Stylebook be darned, btw- going to use my own, um, unorthodox “AP” rules of engagement!)

So with that in mind, here goes nothing!

WEEK IN REVIEW: Just a few quick items for this between holidays, look-back edition.

    1. The first one is SUCH a goody and relevant to the Christmas season. Ah, sometimes the Governor is simply the gift that keeps on giving!

    WMTW reported that Governor LePage gave a few dozen legislators, including House leadership, a childrens’ book entitled, “If You’re Riding A Horse And It Dies, Get Off”:

    pigg

      It’s not clear which members of the House of Representatives got stiffed, but we do know that House leaders did receive copies of the book.

      “We only had 80 (copies) — very simple,” LePage said.

      Many of the people contacted by WMTW News 8 about this story did not want their names attached to this story out of fear of retribution from the Governor’s Office.

    Interesting, in light of the ongoing Eves/ Good Will-Hinckley situation, that simply reporting “a fear of retribution from LePage” is taken as a given.

    Later, the chief executive took to Twitter to scold Maine media:

    Maybe the governor should have dragged the “Piggy Christmas Tree” out of the mothballs? That one was such a crowd pleaser!

    2. 128th Legislative candidate filings are coming in and being posted online. Link here.

NEXT WEEK’S SNEAK PEEK:

    1. Monday, 1/4/16: Maine youngsters go back to school after winter break as parents across the state rejoice (“… and Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again”).

    2. Tuesday, 1/5/16 (10a-5p): While the Legislature doesn’t officially come back until Wednesday the 6th, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee (AFA) will be conducting a public hearing the day before regarding LR 2599, “An Act To Combat Drug Addiction Throught Enforcement, Treatment and Recovery” (AUDIO LINK HERE).

    3. Wednesday, 1/6/16: The House and Senate come back into the second half of the 127th Legislative Session at 10 am (which anyone with experience in Augusta will know that while many ringing bells will echo in the hallways, they won’t actually start for at least a half hour later than that).

    But one event that WILL happen as scheduled will be an 11am “State House Rally To Impeach Paul LePage” outside the State House, just under the governor’s second floor windows. The same group rallied in June 2015.

    Since June, the group has garnered over 20k signatures on a petition calling for the governor to resign.

    Later the same day, a group called “Alliance For The Common Good Unity” plan to rally as well. On Facebook, the organizers state they are gathering at 1pm, but they are listed as meeting at 2pm in the Hall of Flags.

    4. Thursday, 1/7/16: The legislature is in session and the Environmental Priorities Coalition will meet from 11:30-12:30 in State House (SH) Room 334 to issue a briefing on land conservation.

    5. Friday, 1/8/16 (9a- ?): Government Oversight Committee (GOC) meets. Among the “Unfinished Business” agenda items is this one of note:

      OPEGA Information Brief on State Funding for Good Will-Hinckley
      – Review and Approval of GOC Addendum to OPEGA Report

So, there you have it- the first of what will hopefully be a weekly column of useful info or what have you. Have a great weekend, folks!

~Andi

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Maine Gov’t Oversight Cmte (GOC), Gov. LePage/ Good Will Hinckley Public Hearing (ALL VIDEOS)

Posted on October 17, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Pt 1

Pt 2

Pt 3

Jack Moore, Chair of Good Will-Hinckley Executive Board

GOC Chairs Senator Roger Katz, Representative Chuck Kruger meet with press

Senator Katz speaks with WMTW at end of hearing

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LePage Weekly Address to Maine SNAP Recipients: “Get Outta The Hammock!”

Posted on September 22, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

AUDIO HERE: Maine Will Test Assets for Those Seeking Food Stamps

Maine Will Test Assets for Those Seeking Food Stamps

Hey, you lazy Maine black bears- Guvnah says it's time to get outta the hammock and get a job! Yeah, YOU there!

Hey, you lazy Maine black bears- Guvnah says it’s time to get outta the hammock and get a job! Yeah, YOU there!

    Our administration will start testing applicants for food stamps to determine if they have more than $5,000 in assets. It has just come to my attention that this is the federal law.

    Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program— which is called SNAP or food stamps—is for people who truly need a hand up.

    If an able-bodied person has over $5,000 in assets, such as ATVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles or jet skis, then they must divest of these items before asking the taxpayers for assistance.

    The asset test will apply only to households without children. It will apply to about 8,600 people on food stamps.

    They will be required to disclose whether their assets exceed $5,000 in value. This asset test is a provision of federal law that Maine has waived in recent years.

    Liberals have been spreading false information about what constitutes an asset. For the purpose of food stamps, assets do not include equity in a home or a household’s primary vehicle. They also do not include personal household items, furniture, TVs or washers and dryers.

    However, assets do include the balance of bank accounts, snowmobiles, boats, motorcycles, jet skis, all-terrain vehicles, recreational vehicles, campers and other expensive luxury possessions.

    Governor LePage addressing attendees at UMF town hall, 9/22/15

    Governor LePage addressing attendees at UMF town hall, 9/22/15

    The majority of Mainers agree that before someone gets taxpayer-funded welfare benefits, they should sell non-essential assets and use their savings.

    Hard-working Mainers should not come home to see snowmobiles, four wheelers or jet skis in the yards of those who are getting welfare.

    DHHS is constantly working to transform the welfare system from a culture of entitlement to one of self-reliance. Welfare should be a safety net, not a hammock to support expensive toys or non-essential assets.

    When Mainers see some people using welfare benefits to keep boats or motorcycles, it hurts the public perception of the program.

    It also hurts our ability to provide welfare resources for our most vulnerable citizens: the elderly, the disabled and the mentally challenged.

    We have made moderate progress with welfare reform, but there is much more work to do. We have moved from the Number 1 welfare state in the country down to Number 3.

    We should be in the middle of the pack. That’s why we will keep working to make our welfare system an affordable safety net for truly needy Mainers.

    image002

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Mainers Take Governor LePage Up On Offer, Writing to Ask For Resignation: A Compilation (UPDATED)

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

(To be updated as necessary; additions down below original post. ~AP)

quitDuring 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:

http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_maddow_flapage_150820

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.

    Scheduling Issues

    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.

    Stay Informed

    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.

    Sincerely,

image002

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

4. David Rowe, Portland:

    Dear Gov. LePage:

    roweIt 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:

    Paul,

    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!

    Respectfully,

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:

elmore postcard

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.

    Thank you,

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.

    Thank you,

25. Dianne Hill, Saco:

    Paul LePage,

    It would be nice if you would resign so something gets done in this stae. (sic)

    Thank you,

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,

================================================

*RELATED: (UPDATED X3) Governor LePage’s “Notes From The Edge”: A Compilation

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Special Election for House District 19 Set for November; Jean Noon of Springvale Seeking Democratic Nod

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

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.

JeanNoonAmong those running is his widow Jean Noon. From a press release:

    “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.”

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(UPDATED) Maine Supreme Judicial Court Rules Against Governor LePage, Upholds 71 Laws

Posted on August 6, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

(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).

Reactions:

    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.

    Governor Paul LePage: “This was not about winning or losing; it was about doing things right. We are fortunate to be able to seek legal opinions from the Judicial Branch, and we’re thankful the Justices came to a fast and fair resolution to this issue. We look forward to moving on and continuing to work for the Maine people.”

    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.”

==========

(UPDATE)

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.”

Front page of Maine Republican site “As Maine Goes”, 8/6/15.

Reaction from former U.S. Senator Collins staffer Lance Dutson, now co-founder of Get Right 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.”

==========

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

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