Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins

State House Bureau Chief


Lawmakers defend GOP senator against LePage’s call for him to step down

on Oct. 07, 2015, at 9:49 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where we’re on the heels of another day of political events that would be surprising if they weren’t just more of what’s become normal at the Maine State House: Gov. Paul LePage attacking fellow Republicans. As you may have read here at State & Capitol, LePage is on …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage’s order to investigate human rights panel revealed

By Christopher Cousins on Oct. 06, 2015, at 7:03 p.m.
Earlier this year, Gov. Paul LePage issued an executive order calling for an independent panel to review the Maine Human Rights Commission, the existence of which was unknown until its revelation by a television news report on Tuesday.
Kerri Dunton, a 22-year veteran of the Air Force and Air National Guard, who is now a caseworker for Preble Street Veterans Housing Services in Bangor, tells officials from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, how a proposed asset test for food stamps would impact veterans.

$5,000 test for food stamps panned, praised at public hearing

By Christopher Cousins on Oct. 06, 2015, at 5:01 p.m.
Citizens and anti-poverty advocates on Tuesday decried Gov. Paul LePage’s plan to block Mainers with more than $5,000 in certain assets from receiving food stamps, saying it will only victimize senior citizens, the disabled, veterans and the poor.

LePage: Good Will-Hinckley probe is merely ‘witch hunt’ by GOP senator

on Oct. 06, 2015, at 12:23 p.m.
“This is a witch hunt by Sen. Roger Katz,” said Gov. Paul LePage to reporters at the State House Tuesday morning. “He’s been chasing me down since January of 2011. I have no reason why.”

Former Maine wind energy official takes reins of natural gas company

on Oct. 06, 2015, at 8:44 a.m.
I’ve been lying to you. Most days, I launch into the Daily Brief with something like “Good morning from Augusta, where…” even though most of the time I’m writing from home. The point of that opening was to put your focus (and mine) in the State Capitol and whatever’s going on. …
Gov. Paul LePage addresses the audience during a town hall meeting Sept. 29 at Bucksport Middle School.

LePage staff won’t appear before Good Will-Hinckley watchdog panel

By Christopher Cousins on Oct. 05, 2015, at 4:41 p.m.
The governor’s legal counsel and senior policy advisor offer to take written questions in lieu of testifying before legislative watchdog panel.

Republican trio proposes defunding Planned Parenthood in Maine

on Oct. 02, 2015, at 9:41 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where it feels as if it could snow. Am I the first person you’ve heard that from this year? You’re welcome. By all accounts, it’s been a rough week in Maine and the nation. Another Maine paper mill is on the ropes, a ridiculous amount of …

Panel: Maine should consider requiring campaign donor lists

By Christopher Cousins on Oct. 01, 2015, at 2:54 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Ethics Commission approved with a 4-1 vote Thursday the pursuit of a proposed bill that would require organizations that spend money in Maine elections to disclose their donor lists in campaign finance filings. The commission, which among other things oversees campaign finance laws in Maine, …

George Mitchell, Angus King step into Question 1 debate with endorsement

on Oct. 01, 2015, at 9:42 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where here, there and everywhere across the U.S., the federal government remains open on the first day of its new fiscal year, thanks to a continuing budget resolution that sustains funding for the government until Dec. 11. All four members of Maine’s congressional delegation voted in favor …
Steady voter turnout at the Brewer Auditorium kept the voting booths full Nov. 6, 2012.

Why Maine could make national political groups disclose donors

By Christopher Cousins on Oct. 01, 2015, at 7:23 a.m.
The Maine Ethics Commission is moving to staunch the flow of “dark money” in elections through supporting legislation aiming to unmask anonymous donors to political causes.

Maine Democrat who switched to independent 5 months ago switches back

on Sept. 28, 2015, at 9:49 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee is gathering today to begin a probe into how money in the Fund for a Healthy Maine program is being spent. The Fund for a Healthy Maine is supported by a 1998 class-action lawsuit that resulted in a …
Mike Thibodeau is the president of Maine Senate. When he is not in Augusta dealing with the business of the state he is busy producing and marketing snow shovels at his Frankfort company, Mt. Waldo Plastics, he co-owns with his wife, Stacy Thibodeau.

Senate President Mike Thibodeau emerges from budget scuffle as unlikely peacemaker

By Christopher Cousins on Sept. 27, 2015, at 7:43 a.m.
No one ever branded him liberal until Gov. Paul LePage.

Should national groups disclose donors if they fund elections in Maine?

on Sept. 25, 2015, at 9:05 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta and in my opinion, one of the best Fridays of the year: It’s finally fall, the air is crisp and there’s not a drop of rain in the immediate forecast. We’re in for a gorgeous weekend, but first there’s some business to attend to, such as one more day …

State issues 55 layoff notices in fear of possible federal shutdown

By Christopher Cousins on Sept. 24, 2015, at 4:03 p.m.
State employees whose positions are all or partially funded with federal government money have received layoff notices effective Sept. 30.

Lewiston mayor calls for website that lists all welfare recipient names, addresses

on Sept. 24, 2015, at 9:54 a.m.
Good morning, folks, and welcome. The attention of the world will be rightly cast on Washington, D.C., today, where Pope Francis is scheduled to make a historic speech to Congress. I am not Catholic, but it seems to me that this pope has captured the attention of the masses well beyond …
Maine Gov. Paul LePage reacts as Maine GOP Party Chairman Rick Bennett introduces him during a celebration of the party's new headquarters in Androscoggin County on Aug. 27, 2014.

Maine GOP packages welfare, tax cuts into single ballot question

By Christopher Cousins on Sept. 23, 2015, at 3:22 p.m.
“We decided we need to take these questions directly to the voters.”
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage: Tap liquor revenues to cut income tax, drug-test more welfare recipients

By Christopher Cousins on Sept. 22, 2015, at 11:38 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage and the Maine Republican Party will go straight to a statewide vote in pursuit of his goals of eliminating the income tax and implementing a variety of reforms to social services.
Mt. Kineo, which was acquired through the Land for Maine's Future Program in 1990, rises out of Moosehead Lake in a photo taken in 2007.

Is the Land for Maine’s Future program destined for elimination?

By Christopher Cousins on Sept. 20, 2015, at 7:05 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage has said it is not his intention to eliminate the Land for Maine’s Future program, but there’s a major gulf between what the governor says and what he’s doing.
Hillary Clinton waves to supporters during a campaign event on Friday in Portland.

In Maine, Clinton touts Obama links, rips ‘failed’ GOP policies

By Christopher Cousins and Michael Shepherd on Sept. 18, 2015, at 5:24 p.m.
“I want the American people to understand what the choice is,” Clinton said.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins

DAILY BRIEF: Susan Collins casts 6,000th consecutive vote in 18-year streak

on Sept. 18, 2015, at 9:40 a.m.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins reached a milestone on Thursday, casting her 6,000th straight vote since she took office in 1997. The Republican has never missed a roll-call vote as a U.S. senator, which says a lot not only about Collins’ dedication, but to the forces of the universe which inextricably have never put …
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