Bernie Sanders 2016 Campaign Announces Maine Working Class Cabinet

Posted on January 19, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Today at the State House, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign announced the creation of the Maine “Working Class Cabinet.” Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will chair the committee.

From his prepared remarks:

    “Bernie Sanders is the strongest advocate for working families this country has seen since President Roosevelt nearly 70 years ago. He plans to build a strong economy for all of us, not just the billionaires. He is also our best hope for tackling climate change, getting big money out of politics, fighting for women’s rights, caring for our veterans, and making college tuition free and debt free. This cabinet is a reflection of the people-powered campaign Bernie Sanders is running. We look forward to working together to get him elected.”

House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe:


    “If you’re not outraged by the disappearance of the middle class here in the state of Maine, then it’s time to skip the cocktail parties. It’s time to head down to the main street to the coffee shop. It’s time to talk to your neighbors.”

bernpressBernie 2016 Maine Working Class Cabinet

    Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap
    House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe,
    State Senator David Dutremble
    State Senator Geoffrey Gratwick
    State Senator David Miramant
    State Senator John Patrick
    State Representative Robert Alley
    State Representative Roberta Beavers
    State Representative Lydia Blume
    State Representative Heidi Brooks
    State Representative James Campbell
    State Representative Ralph Chapman
    State Representative Benjamin Chipman
    State Representative Michael Devin
    State Representative Mark Dion
    State Representative Donna Doore
    State Representative Michelle Dunphy
    State Representative Jeffrey Evangelos
    State Representative Richard Farnsworth
    State Representative Paul Gilbert
    State Representative Adam Goode
    State Representative Scott Hamann
    State Representative Denise Harlow
    State Representative George Hogan
    State Representative Brian Hubbell
    State Representative Michel Lajoie
    State Representative Gina Melaragno
    State Representative Kimberly Monaghan
    State Representative Christine Powers
    State Representative Diane Russell
    State Representative Deane Rykerson
    State Representative Robert Saucier
    State Representative Stanley Short
    State Representative Stephen Stanley
    State Representative Peter Stuckey
    State Representative Ryan Tipping-Spitz
    Honorable Severin Beliveau, Former Maine Democratic Party Chair
    Honorable John Richardson, Former Speaker of the House
    Honorable Michael Brennan, Former Past Mayor of Portland
    Honorable Bruce Bryant
    Honorable Robert Duplessie
    Honorable Charles Priest
    Former President Don Berry, ME AFL-CIO
    Former President Joe Gaudette, ATU 714
    District VP, Serina DeWolfe CWA District 1400
    President Peter Keefe, IBEW 2327
    Reggie Munson, Ironworkers Local 7 Business Agent
    President Cokie Giles, Maine State Nurses Association
    Chairperson Tom Reynolds, Androscoggin County Democratic Party
    Chairperson Troy Haines, Aroostook County Democratic Party
    Former Chairperson Shelly Mountain, Aroostook County Democratic Party
    Chairperson Bruce Hodson, Knox County Democratic Party
    Chairperson Rita Moran, Kennebec County Democratic Party
    Chairperson Joanne Dunlap, Franklin County Democratic Party
    Chairperson Carole Boothroyd, Piscataquis County Democratic Party
    Chairperson Ellen Farnsworth, Washington County Democratic Party
    Legislative Chairperson Charles Chick Cicotte, American Legion
    President Jim Gerritsen, Organic Seed Growers OSGATA
    Craig Brown, Founder, Common Dreams
    President James Pross, Androscoggin Land Trust
    Tomlin Perkins Coggeshall, Founder, Frances Perkins Center
    Maine Business Leader Kevin Mattson
    Maine Business Leader Jim Wellehan
    Maine Business Leaders Connor and Chelsea Belliveau

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LePage Holds Presser to Address Racism Charges, Blames Media For Bad Drug Coverage

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

Maine Governor Paul LePage found himself in hot water recently, as his racially-charged comments made regarding Maine’s heroin crisis at a Bridgton town hall event made international news.

    “These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty… these types of guys… they come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home. Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road.”

Some reactions are below.

1. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree: “Governor LePage’s comments were disgraceful and racist. Once again, just a week before Martin Luther King Day, the governor has made a comment that is offensive to the African American community and to all of us. It does not represent the values of Maine people and is embarrassing to our state. And although the governor seems to regret getting caught making those remarks, he also seems unwilling to apologize to the community that he has insulted.”

2. 2CD Democratic candidate Emily Cain (D-Orono): “We need to be talking about real solutions to the serious epidemic of heroin addiction afflicting our state. Governor LePage’s appalling remarks this week embody the very worst of fear-mongering in politics that hold us back as a state and a nation, and they do not reflect Maine values. There is absolutely no place for this in our public discourse – especially in Maine. Unfortunately, Congressman Bruce Poliquin – who in the past has referred to himself and LePage as ‘good friends’ – has still remained silent on LePage’s ugly remarks. Does Bruce Poliquin defend LePage’s comments?”

3. Senate Democratic Minority Leader Justin Alfond (D-Portland): “At best, the governor’s comments were careless or poorly stated. At worst, they were purposeful and deeply offensive. Either way, they were completely unproductive. Maine’s drug addiction crisis is complex, and impacts ever aspect of life for those affected by it. We need to work on solutions, not reduce the problem to racially charged soundbites.”

4. House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan): “Today, at a national summit of rural state leaders, I am being bombarded by questions about Governor LePage’s hateful statements rather than about what Maine is doing right. At a time when Maine needs leaders to move our state forward, the governor is making national headlines for the wrong reasons yet again. He is making it harder for us to work on policies important to Maine people, whether it’s energy, substance abuse or growing the rural economy.”

5. Assistant Majority Leader Sara Gideon (D-Freeport): “The governor keeps saying he wants to address the state’s drug epidemic. Comments like the one he made in Bridgton keep Maine from moving forward on this front. If the governor is serious about tackling this crisis, he should stop standing in the way of the Legislature’s comprehensive plan and help Mainers desperate for treatment get the care they need.”

A few days later, the governor held a press conference in his Cabinet Room in hopes of clarifying his remarks and discussing the state’s heroin epidemic. From a media advisory:

    AUGUSTA- Governor Paul R. LePage will hold a news conference at 10:00 AM in the Cabinet Room to discuss his recent remarks regarding Maine’s drug crisis. All verified media is welcome to attend.

    When: Friday, January 08, 2016, 10:00 AM
    Where: Cabinet Room, State House, Augusta

Here is full video from that press conference.

Here are a few parsed out moments from the press conference.

1. Maine Governor Paul LePage to Media: “You Don’t Like Me, and I Don’t Like You”

2. Governor Paul LePage Describes Drug Bust He Personally Witnessed While in Office

3. LePage Accuses Press of Being in Bloggers’ Backpockets

4. LePage To NECN: “Your comment is inappropriate”; “Never said anything about being black”

5. Maine Governor Paul LePage on Drug Omnibus Bill: “Ecstatic” Legislature Taking Up Issue

6. LePage on Media Role in Solving Maine’s Drug Crisis

7. Maine Governor Paul LePage Tells Stories of Addicts, Narcan Usage

8. LePage Tells Media What They Are Missing in Reporting on Maine’s Drug Crisis

9. LePage to WMTW: “Only time I see you in this building… is when you are criticizing me”

10. LePage Verbally Attacks Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond (D-Portland) At Press Conference

11. Maine Governor Paul LePage Hints at New County Jail Program

12. LePage Takes Followup Question, Re: Drug Busts He Has Witnessed

The governor will conduct another public town hall event tomorrow evening in Windham.

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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 Release Resolution Condemning Governor Paul LePage

Posted on January 13, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Statement put out by Maine House Democrats this evening:

    House resolution affirms lawmakers’ commitment to Maine values
    Resolution includes pledge to honor commitment of public office

    AUGUSTA – The Maine House on Thursday will take up a resolution that affirms lawmakers’ commitment to the standards the public has the right to expect of its public officials.

    DSC_0120“We have the opportunity to show Maine people – and indeed the rest of the nation – that we stand for the Maine values of civility, progress and respect for diverse ideas and backgrounds,” said Assistant House Majority Leader Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, who is offering the House resolution. “No matter what our political affiliation, we reject the politics of retribution, intolerance and divisiveness. We take seriously the commitment we made to serve Maine people.”

    Gideon and House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe on Wednesday invited all members of the House, regardless of party affiliation, to support the nonpartisan resolution. Under the resolution, members pledge to “honor the responsibilities entrusted to us by the people of the state.”

    “At a time when Maine is grappling with serious challenges, we should come together and remind ourselves and our constituents that we need to rise above partisanship for the people of Maine,” said McCabe, D-Skowhegan. “We have a drug epidemic that is taking the lives of five Mainers each week, a need for good-paying jobs and an economy that continues to lag. To move forward, we need healthy debate without fear of retribution. This nonpartisan resolution is an important first step.”

The resolution is below.

The House will take up the resolution, along with what could be the first steps towards impeachment of the governor, tomorrow morning.

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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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Four Maine Democrats Announce 2016 State Senate Bids

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

The accompanying press release is below.

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

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

AUDIO LINK HERE.

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.

 

Documents:

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
ORAL ARGUMENT PROCESS

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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Weekly Radio Address by House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan): LePage must cooperate with investigation

Posted on July 4, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

      Rep. McCabe: LePage must cooperate with investigation
      As the representatives of Maine people, lawmakers demand accountability and transparency

        The Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee this week launched an investigation into whether Governor Paul LePage misused state funds and abused his power to exact retribution on a political rival. It was a remarkable vote. The six Republicans and six Democrats on this watchdog panel were unanimous in their understanding that Maine people deserve answers and expect transparency from their governor.

        Good morning. I’m Representative Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan, the House majority leader. Thank you for tuning in.

        The people of Maine need to know whether their governor did, in fact, threaten to withhold state funds from a historic private non-profit school that serves at-risk youths if they followed through with their plans to hire Speaker Mark Eves, forcing Good Will-Hinckley to rescind its employment offer.

        House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe speaks with press at the Blaine House, 5/29/15.

        House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe speaks with press at the Blaine House, 5/29/15.

        This kind of political retribution is unacceptable.

        Every elected official in Maine must feel free to vote their conscience without fear of ending up on the governor’s enemies list.

        No Maine citizen should have to look over their shoulder, worried about being the target of the governor’s vendetta politics simply because they disagree with him.

        No Maine school, town organization or institution should have to worry about becoming collateral damage because of the governor’s agenda of retribution.

        The governor – just like any other public official – is accountable to the Maine people.

        That’s why I applaud the Government Oversight Committee’s unanimous bipartisan decision to authorize the investigation.

        That’s also why I’m concerned that the governor is trying to dodge serious questions about how he has conducted himself in office.

        Governor LePage is not above the law or exempt from the Constitution.

        Governor LePage promised transparency to the Maine people, but now he is trying to avoid questions about the misuse of public funds and other outrageous abuses of power that reek of Nixonian politics.

        I’m calling on Governor LePage to fully cooperate with this investigation.

        Let me be clear: this investigation is just one of the options on the table. If the governor wants to push us toward other avenues, we will go there.

        I speak as a representative of the Maine people. I also speak on behalf of the entire House Democratic caucus when I say we owe it to the people of Maine to do everything we can to restore their trust in our political system.

        The demand for an investigation has been intensifying – and for good reason. We are talking about some of the most cherished values we hold as Mainers and Americans.

        Skowhegan’s own Margaret Chase Smith may have described those basic principles best when she laid out her Declaration of Conscience.“The right to criticize; The right to hold unpopular beliefs; The right to protest; The right of independent thought.”

        Margaret Chase Smith went on to say, “The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood nor should he be in danger of losing his reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know someone who holds unpopular beliefs. Who of us doesn’t? Otherwise none of us could call our souls our own. Otherwise thought control would have set in.”

        DSC_0071She’s absolutely right.

        No Maine woman or man should have to fear losing their job because a powerful politician has put them on their enemies list.

        That’s not the government Mainers want or deserve. They want honest elected officials who are not only fighting every day to improve the lives of Maine people but also protecting our Constitution and the rights we hold dear.

        It’s our responsibility in the Legislature to stand together to preserve the integrity of our government and the offices we hold.

        Thank you for listening. I’m House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan. I wish you and your families a safe and happy Fourth of July.

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