Politics

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BANGOR, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage is going after the state teachers' union for its support of two questions that will appear on the November ballot.

"The MEA wants legislators to support a 10 percent income tax on successful Mainers," LePage says in his weekly radio address.

Gov. Paul LePage has told his commissioners he wants to cut the number of state workers and reduce overall state spending below current levels to fund a significant income tax cut in next year’s budget package.

A memo that was sent to commissioners earlier this month and obtained by Maine Public Radio reveals that the governor has set three goals for the budget-writing process that is already underway.

PORTLAND, Maine - Among the speakers at yesterday's opening day of the Democratic Convention was outgoing Portland state Rep. Diane Russell.

Russell has been pushing a proposal to reduce the influence of so-called superdelegates in the Democratic Party's selection of presidential nominees.

Jim Hutchison / Flickr/Creative Commons

National nominating conventions are always a bit chaotic, but Democrats appear to be joining Republicans in ratcheting up the chaos more than usual during the first day of the Democratic convention, which got off to a rocky start in Philadelphia.

By Holly Ramer, The Associated Press
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ When it comes to women in elected office, Maine stands out for longevity, Vermont for its state Legislature and New Hampshire for achievements across all levels of government.

As Hillary Clinton seeks to become the nation's first female president, an analysis by The Associated Press finds that women in the U.S. remain significantly underrepresented at all levels of elected office.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The chair of Maine's special Education Commission, which has come under fire for closing its first meeting to the public, has hired an attorney. 

Last week, Bill Beardsley did not hesitate to say that he had made a mistake in banning the public and press from the commission's first meeting, in violation of the state's open meetings law.

Doug Ashley, ABC News / Flickr/Creative Commons

Even though Maine Republicans supported Ted Cruz in the state presidential caucuses this year, Maine’s delegates to the Republican National Convention say Donald Trump energized them with his acceptance speech. They acknowledge that not everyone in the party is ready to embrace Trump, but they believe he can help elect candidates for state office this fall.

PORTLAND, Maine — The chairman of the York County Republican Committee is under fire for referring to Rep. Justin Chenette as "Little Justine" in an email to fellow Republicans. Jim Booth also says there's "a lot of hate" for Chenette.

Chenette, a Democrat from Saco, became the nation's youngest openly gay legislator when was first elected to the Maine House in 2012. He is now running for the state Senate after defeating longtime legislator Barry Hobbins.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A congressional candidate from Brunswick is hoping the new certification of the Libertarian Party of Maine will boost his bid to win Maine's 1st Congressional District seat.

Jim Bouchard, who describes himself as a leadership trainer and founder of a martial arts center, is running as a write-in candidate. He won't appear on the November ballot.

PORTLAND, Maine - Ahead of the Democratic National Convention, a Maine delegate is telling donors there's enough support for a floor vote to abolish unpledged "superdelegates'' in future elections.

Democratic state Rep. Diane Russell has gained national prominence for advocating against the outsized influence of superdelegates, who are elected officials and party leaders free to vote for the candidates of their choosing at next week's gathering in Philadelphia.

It’s Thursday and time for Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on Maine politics. This week, Mike Cuzzi, a Democratic strategist and senior vice president of Vox Global in Portland, and Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising and Marketing, a former Republican lawmaker.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr/Creative Commons

As Donald Trump takes the stage in Cleveland Thursday to formally accept the Republican nomination for president, delegates from around New England will cheer for the candidate, who has run largely on an anti-establishment platform.

PORTLAND, Maine - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has proposed a rule change that would provide the agency with more leeway to withhold information regarding the locations of communicable disease outbreaks.
 
The Portland Press Herald reports that the proposal comes a year after the newspaper sued the CDC after they denied a request for information about chicken pox outbreaks during the 2014-15 school year.
 

After a decade as a spectator, former Republican 1st District U.S. Rep. David Emery is back in the political spotlight as he seeks a seat in the Maine State Senate.

Emery was recruited to enter the race after another GOP candidate dropped out, but with a political resume that stretches back to the Reagan era, Emery is more than just a fill-in candidate.

Among those attending the Republican National Convention this week was U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who returned early to attend a veterans’ conference in Augusta. She says she is still not ready to endorse Donald Trump even though he is now the Republican Party’s nominee for president.

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