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

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

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

 

 

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

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

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

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

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

More photos of the meeting can be found here.

===========

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

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

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

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

image001Fighting for a government free of fraud and abuse

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

Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

image002

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

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.

      Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Maine Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee Unanimously Votes to Investigate Governor Paul LePage

Posted on July 1, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

On the heels of yesterday’s citizen rally at the State House (LePage Admits To Threatening Good Will-Hinckley Re: Eves Hiring, Denies Actions Were “Blackmail”) came news late in the afternoon that the Maine Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee (GOC) would be meeting today to take up the investigation requests by Republican State Senator Tom Saviello of Wilton and a trio of Representatives, Independents Jeff Evangelos of Friendship, Ben Chipman of Portland and Democrat Charlotte Warren of Hallowell.

DSC_0019Committee Members

Senate: Roger J. Katz, Chair (R-Kennebec)
David C. Burns (R-Washington)
Paul T. Davis, Sr. (R-Piscataquis)
Christopher K. Johnson (D-Lincoln)
Stan Gerzofsky (D-Cumberland)
G. William Diamond (D-Cumberland)

House: Chuck Kruger, Chair (D-Thomaston)
Robert S. Duchesne (D-Hudson)
Anne-Marie Mastraccio (D-Sanford)
Michael D. McClellan (R-Raymond)
Richard H. Campbell (R-Orrington)
Deborah J. Sanderson (R-Chelsea)

Governor LePage through his legal counsel Cynthia Montgomery sent a letter to the committee, questioning their authority to conduct any sort of investigation into the chief executive officer.

The 12 GOC members met with Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) Director Bath Ashcroft for almost an hour, decided that they did indeed have sufficient authority to look into the serious allegations, and proceeded to discuss the scope of the investigations to be conducted by OPEGA.

Here is video of the meeting, with the sole agenda item for GOC being “NEW BUSINESS- Requests for an OPEGA Review of Matters Relating to Funding for the Goodwill- Hinckley School”.

After almost an hour of discussion, the committee agreed by an unanimous 12-0 vote to have OPEGA look into the concerns. Specific goals and parameters were set by the committee as to the scope.

Afterwards, some of those involved were willing to issue quick statements.

The committee will meet again at 9 am on Friday, July 17.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

(UPDATE) LePage Admits to Threatening Good Will-Hinckley Re: Eves Hiring, Denies Actions Were “Blackmail”

Posted on June 29, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

6/30/15 UPDATES: Rallies were held at the State House today, both in support of the governor and his budget veto (within the Hall of Flags; 75 participants including Governor LePage) and another opposing LePage, demanding a full investigation into the allegations against him (about 300 participants, outside the State House and under LePage’s office windows)

SUPPORTERS (photos available here):

OPPONENTS (photos available here):

=========

Maine Governor Paul LePage being interviewed 6/29/15 by WMTW reporter Paul Merrill and Mal Leary of MPBN.

Maine Governor Paul LePage being interviewed 6/29/15 by WMTW reporter Paul Merrill and Mal Leary of MPBN.

Maine Governor Paul LePage was interviewed outside his office at the State House briefly today; audio was recorded by WMTW’s Paul Merrill via his cell phone and shared with this reporter. Also interviewing the governor was MPBN’s Mal Leary.

    PAUL MERRILL: Wondering about your reaction to the talk of impeachment…

    GOV. LEPAGE: It is what it is; it’s a free country. They can do whatever they want. If they impeach me, I won’t have to retire.

    PAUL MERRILL: Regarding Speaker Eves… was there any explicit threat about his employment?

    GOV. LEPAGE: First of all- I don’t understand about a “threat”. Here is a person who for five years has been going against charter schools. HE voted against them; he spoke harshly against them. And NOW he’s concerned? I dunno what he’s talking about. I’m a pro charter school advocate; he’s an opponent. Would I stand up against him? And incidentally, about monies you are talking about? The money you’re talking about is out of the budget. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the legislature took that money out of the budget. So…

    PAUL MERRILL: So you never threatened to withhold money.

    GOV. LEPAGE: Yeah, I did! If I could, I would! Absolutely; why wouldn’t I? Tell me why I wouldn’t take the taxpayer money, to prevent somebody to go into a school and destroy it. Because his heart’s not into doing the right thing for Maine people.

    PAUL MERRILL: But they would say that- if you said, “If you hire him, then I don’t get the money”, that’s blackmail.

    GOV. LEPAGE: No, it’s not. Go, go read the definition. Please go read the definition of “blackmail”. I don’t gain anything out of it and neither does he. So there’s nobody gaining anything. So I think you are misusing the word. And that’s coming from a Frenchman.

    MAL LEARY: The ‘New York Times’ yesterday portrayed you as “a party of one”. How do you feel when you read that you’re “a party of one”?

    GOV. LEPAGE: Let me tell you something. This is how- my only comment about that is I was elected by 1.3 million people, with the most votes in the history of Maine governors, to come to Maine and to get rid of the status quo and the corruption. And I will continue do that, with every ounce of blood until my last day. Whichever, whichever comes first- the impeachment or my- the term of office.

    PAUL MERRILL: You expect to veto the budget this afternoon?

    GOV. LEPAGE: Absolutely.

    PAUL MERRILL: Do you know about what time? What’s time frame?

    GOV. LEPAGE: It will before I leave at 5 o’clock. (giggles)

    PAUL MERRILL: Any comments about the veto, the impending veto?

    GOV. LEPAGE: Uh, it’s gonna be different. Than you’ve ever seen. (giggles)

    PAUL MERRILL: How so?

    GOV. LEPAGE: That’s all I’m gonna say. (giggles)

DSC_0112

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Maine Democrats Hold Better Deal Town Hall in Brunswick (VIDEOS)

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

alfFrom the event page (photos here):

    Join House Speaker Mark Eves and Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond for the third town hall meeting on the Better Deal for Maine plan. The Better Deal for Maine rejects Governor Paul LePage’s trickle-down economics. It is a tax reform plan that grows the economy from the middle out, not the top down. It cuts taxes for the middle class, lowers property taxes for all Maine homeowners and invests in Maine schools, workers and communities.

    Read the full plan here: http://betterdeal.me/

Below are the videos of the full event, held at the UU Church in Brunswick last night. Attendance was high and the questions ranged from the Democrats’ plan to other issues being weighed in the Legislature and Augusta currently. Unlike the Governor’s events, neither the questions nor people asking them were not screened before speaking.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

LePage, Democrats Continue to Push Their Tax Plans

Posted on April 16, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Maine Governor Paul LePage used April 15 aka “Tax Day” to hold a press conference attacking Democrats’ “Better Deal for Maine Plan”, continue to push his tax reform plan as part of the FY 2016-7 budget, and unveil via the right wing national organization American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) an “online tax calculator” for the state, designed to provide what theoretically Mainers would pay for taxes under the LePage proposal. Via media advisory:

    Governor Paul R. LePage will announce the launch of a new online calculator on “Tax Day,” Wednesday, April 15. The new calculator will provide Maine taxpayers an opportunity to compare tax rates and credits under current law to the Governor’s tax reform and savings plan, which the Legislature now is considering.

    In addition to the launch of the calculator, the American Legislative Exchange Council will join the Governor to release its 8th edition of “Rich States, Poor States.” The new data focuses on specific policy choices throughout the 50 states that have led to prosperity in some states and caused others to fall behind in economic growth.

The governor took the opportunity to blast individual Democrats by name, including all members of leadership.

Afterwards, Speaker of the House Mark Eves held his own press conference to respond.

Tonight, Governor LePage will hold another public town hall meeting to discuss his budget and tax reforms, this time in Ellsworth. Next week, Democrats will start to hold their own town halls, with the first scheduled to be in Bangor on Wednesday.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Democratic Leaders Unveil ‘Better Deal for Maine’ Plan

Posted on April 16, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Last Thursday’s press release read in part:

Top Democratic leaders in the State House on Thursday countered Gov. Paul LePage’s budget with their plan to grow the economy from the middle out rather than the top down.

Speaker Mark Eves, Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond, House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe and Assistant Majority Leader Sara Gideon announced the plan at Cony High School, which is in a school district that could see a $1 million cut in funding if the governor’s budget passes.

The Better Deal for Maine:

  • Puts more money in the pockets of Maine families: Cuts property taxes by $120 million annually for Maine residents by doubling the Homestead Exemption for all Maine homeowners and by increasing the Property Tax Fairness Credit by more than $57 million per year.
  • Invests in Maine’s future: Bolsters investment in Maine students, workers and seniors. Increases funding for K-12 education by $20 million per year.
  • Prevents property tax hikes: Increases revenue sharing to $80 million each year for local services like police, fire, and public works, while rejecting the governor’s new taxes on non-profits.
  • Targets income tax cuts for the middle class: Cuts income taxes by hundreds of dollars for the vast majority of Maine families while asking the wealthiest 5 percent to pay their fair share. Under the Better Deal for Maine, 98 percent of income tax cuts go to the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers. Under the governor’s plan, 50 percent of the tax break goes to the top 10 percent.
  • Is fiscally responsible: Unlike the governor’s budget, the Better Deal for Maine is fully paid for now and into the future.
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

HD 93’s Dickerson (D-Rockland) Abruptly Resigns; Special Election Will Decide Replacement

Posted on January 15, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

UPDATE: The special election to fill this seat has now been scheduled for March 10.

Rep. Elizabeth Dickerson (D-Rockland) announces resignation: "You are looking at a free woman"

Rep. Elizabeth Dickerson (D-Rockland) announces resignation: “You are looking at a free woman”

Last weekend, Rep. Elizabeth Dickerson (D-Rockland) announced in a late night post to Facebook that “You’re looking at a free woman”, later elaborating that she had resigned her seat from the 127th Legislature.

An official statement was issued the following morning:

“After much thought and deliberation, I am announcing that I will resign the office of State Representative for District 93 this coming week. I am moving out-of-state for professional and personal opportunities that have developed since the election, but it is with a heavy heart that I leave Knox County and the Midcoast region. It has been a privilege to serve the people of Rockland and Owls Head over the last two years. I want to thank the residents of the district for the honor of serving them in Augusta. I look forward to helping during this transition time and I thank everybody for allowing to me to serve our communities.”

Dickerson elaborated in a much longer and detailed post on her website, explaining that she had moved to Colorado in December and expanding on her decision.

DSC_0171While her colleagues in the House and Democratic leadership wished Dickerson well, House Minority Leader Rep. Ken Fredette (R-Newport) immediately took a different tack:

“I wish Representative Dickerson all the best in her future endeavors. Her resignation presents an opportunity for Republicans to gain another seat in the Maine House, adding to the gains we made in November. We’re looking forward to the special election so we can make our case to the good people of House District 93 and we are confident that our common sense message will resonate with them.”

A number of potential candidates have now expressed interest in filling the seat, with more anticipated to throw their hats into the ring:

      1. Regional School Unit 13 Board Chairman Steve Roberts (D)

 

      2. RSU 13 Board member Carol Bachofner (D)

 

      3. Veteran retired educator Ralph Newbert (D)

 

    4. James Kalloch (R), who lost to Dickerson by 3% last November

The Maine Green Independent Party has also stated that they intend to recruit a candidate, but no names of those under consideration have yet been released.

The next steps include Governor LePage to call for a special election, which per the Secretary of State’s office, could take a few months to hold. The parties will be conducting caucuses to select their candidate.

      (§382.

REPRESENTATIVE TO LEGISLATURE

      When there is a vacancy in the office of Representative to the Legislature, the municipal officers of any

 

      municipality affected by the vacancy may inform the Governor if there is a need to fill the vacancy before

 

      the next general election, and the Governor shall issue a proclamation declaring the vacancy and ordering a

 

      special election under section 366. [1985, c. 161, §6 (NEW).]

1. Nominees chosen. The Governor shall order the appropriate political committees to meet and
shall set the deadline for choosing nominees, which may not be less than 15 days following the Governor’s
proclamation declaring a vacancy. The committees shall follow the procedure outlined in section 363.
[ 2011, c. 409, §2 (AMD) .]

SECTION HISTORY

1985, c. 161, §6 (NEW). 1997, c. 436, §57 (AMD). 2011, c. 409, §2
(AMD).)

Late today, the increasingly antsy Fredette once again spoke out publicly about Dickerson’s resignation:

Resignation letter of HD 93 Rep. Elizabeth Dickerson (D-Rockland) addressed to Speaker Mark Eves (D-N Berwick)

Resignation letter of HD 93 Rep. Elizabeth Dickerson (D-Rockland) addressed to Speaker Mark Eves (D-N Berwick)

      It’s been five days since Rep. Elizabeth Dickerson decided she no longer wanted to represent the people of Rockland and Owls Head in the Maine House of Representatives.

Despite the fact Rep. Dickerson announced her plans to resign on Facebook and in a media release, as of Thursday afternoon, she had yet to submit her formal letter of resignation to the Secretary of State. House Republicans want to know why she has not formally stepped down. According to the Bangor Daily News, there are now three people who are interested in representing the people of House District 93.

“The people of Rockland and Owls Head deserve proper representation in the Maine House,” said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette. “We want to know why, if Rep. Dickerson truly wants to give up her seat, she has yet to formally resign? There are people ready and willing to step in and do the job. What’s the delay?”

Dickerson responded by sharing a photo of herself with the letter and an envelope addressed to Speaker of the House Rep. Mark Eves. One hopes that this will be sufficient to calm Rep. Fredette down.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

« Previous Entries Next Entries »

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: