Democratic leaders push gun bills after mass shooting in Colo.

By DON THOMPSON, The Associated Press on Aug. 16, 2012, at 10:15 p.m.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Democratic leaders in three big states have used this summer’s mass shooting in Colorado to push bills that would crack down on assault weapons and ammunition sales, rekindling a debate that has not gained much traction in Congress or on the presidential campaign. In Illinois, Gov. Pat …
Ron Spear gathers a plate of Chick-fil-A food from the Knox-Lincoln County Tea Party held Thursday evening in Warren.

Midcoast Tea Party group enjoys Chick-fil-A feast brought from Mass., talks politics

By Stephen Betts on Aug. 16, 2012, at 9:23 p.m.
WARREN | A carload of food from Chick-fil-A had more meaning Thursday evening than a tasty meal for the approximately 100 people who turned out for a meeting of the Knox-Lincoln County Tea Party. “This is about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the freedom of assembly to …

Opponents of Pa. voter ID law vow to continue battle

By Laura Olson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Aug. 16, 2012, at 7:58 p.m.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — After a state appellate judge decided Wednesday against preventing Pennsylvania’s new voter identification law from going into effect in November, opponents of that statute vowed to take their legal battle to the state Supreme Court. But as those challenges continue in the courtroom, some Democrats and advocates …
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree discusses the increase in frequency and intensity of rain and snowstorms described in a new Environment Maine report Tuesday, July 31, 2012, during a news conference at Portland City Hall.

Pingree discloses finances; GOP rips ties to China businesses

By Robert Long on Aug. 16, 2012, at 7:43 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A financial disclosure statement filed Monday gives some indication of how 1st District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree’s June 2011 marriage to multimillionaire hedge-fund manager and Democratic Party benefactor S. Donald Sussman increased her personal wealth. It also provided the Maine Republican Party with fodder to accuse Pingree, …

DOT denies wrongdoing in soliciting bids for east-west highway study

By Christopher Cousins on Aug. 16, 2012, at 7:39 p.m.
The department followed the same process it has used dozens of times when it issued a request for proposals related to the proposed east-west highway project.

Mitt Romney: I’ve paid at least 13% tax rate each of past 10 years

By Philip Rucker and Rosalind S. Helderman, The Washington Post on Aug. 16, 2012, at 7:39 p.m.
GREER, S.C. — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Thursday that he has paid a tax rate of at least 13 percent in each of the last 10 years, offering his fullest explanation to date of his tax status. “I did go back and look at my taxes and over …
Maine Republican U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Summers speaks at Fusion's monthly Noontime Network luncheon at Wellman Commons in Bangor Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012.

Charlie Summers touts his small-business experience in Bangor talk

By Andrew Neff on Aug. 16, 2012, at 7:26 p.m.
As a son born into a small family business in Illinois, a college graduate whose first full-time job was as a hotel assistant manager, and the former operator of a small-scale airport coffee stand, Charlie Summers is well versed in Maine’s small-business tradition. “I have the breadth …

Rockland House candidate defends residency

By Stephen Betts on Aug. 16, 2012, at 5:02 p.m.
A candidate for the Maine House seat that represents Rockland and part of Owls Head said he is a legal resident of Rockland even though he is living at the homeless shelter in Rockport that he operates. “My legal residence is Rockland,” Gordon Mank Jr. said on …

Snowe airs displeasure with GOP, Cynthia Dill agrees

on Aug. 16, 2012, at 4:29 p.m.
Maine’s retiring Republican senator, Olympia Snowe, criticized her party for focusing too much on social issues rather than jobs and the economy during an interview that aired Thursday on MSNBC. During the interview with Chuck Todd, Snowe said the Republican Party “hasn’t expressed the views of being inclusive.” Despite her displeasure …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage refuses to say why he is planning special legislative session

By Matthew Stone on Aug. 16, 2012, at 3:20 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage is considering a special, pre-election session of the Legislature this fall to propose an initiative that he says will “push the envelope” and further polarize Democrats against him. But the governor isn’t divulging much about his plans, leading Democrats to criticize him for a …

Help me, Cynthia Dill, you’re my only hope

on Aug. 16, 2012, at 1:26 p.m.
As more time passes in the race to fill the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: Democrat Cynthia Dill is the only hope Mainers have of defeating independent Angus King. Not because she is a threat to win, of course. I’ve noted …
A motorist and her dog wait for change at a toll booth, Thursday, July 19, 2012, in Biddeford, Maine.

Maine Turnpike Authority board approves toll hikes

By Scott Thistle on Aug. 16, 2012, at 10:49 a.m.
PORTLAND | The board of directors of the Maine Turnpike Authority voted unanimously Thursday to a slate of toll rate increases that will help boost revenues for the authority by about $21 million. “I think these all slice our lunch meat pretty thin,” James Cloutier of Portland and the …

What is LePage’s secret plan? Clues from other tea party governors

on Aug. 16, 2012, at 10:36 a.m.
My fellow BDN blogger Mike Tipping has an incredible news story, complete with an audiotape.  Governor LePage told fellow Republicans that he plans to suddenly call a special session of the Maine Legislature which will remake Maine politically. He tells them he “can’t divulge” what it’s about but, “I’m just …
U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Summers holds a press conference with Rob Engstrom, political director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, at Quirk Auto Park in Bangor on Tuesday to announce the Chamber's endorsement of Summers.

Maine small business group tells U.S. Chamber: ‘Go back to Washington’

By Scott Thistle on Aug. 16, 2012, at 9:34 a.m.
LEWISTON | A Maine small-business coalition with about 3,400 members says it has a simple message for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “Go home.” “The U.S. Chamber doesn’t care about small businesses in Maine,” said Craig Saddlemire, a Lewiston city councilor and local small business owner. “These are the …

Recording reveals LePage has plan to call special session to push through legislation

on Aug. 16, 2012, at 9:21 a.m.
At a Republican-only event at the Sea Dog brew pub in Bangor last night, Governor Paul LePage revealed that he has a secret plan to call the Legislature back into a special session before the November election in order to enact a policy that will “push the envelope.” LePage said …

Mass. lawmakers join Maine in urging fisheries disaster declaration

By Richard Gaines, Gloucester Daily Times on Aug. 16, 2012, at 6:01 a.m.
The commercial fishing industry has consolidated at an accelerating pace, with higher landings and gross revenues for fewer boats and a lesser number of crew members.