Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins

State House Bureau Chief

 
STATE & CAPITOL

Spat with GOP primary foe highlights Holbrook’s struggles in Maine’s 1st District race

on Sept. 30, 2016, at 3:27 p.m.
The primary election for the 1st Congressional District seat came and went months ago but animosity between the two Republican candidates continues. Mark Holbrook of Brunswick walked away with the nomination after he bested Ande Smith of North Yarmouth by just 57 votes. Animosity between Holbrook and Smith began to …
STATE & CAPITOL

LePage administration continues information freeze about new psychiatric unit

on Sept. 30, 2016, at 9:41 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where the Department of Health and Human Services is moving toward building a new forensic unit near the state-run Riverview Psychiatric Center without sharing its plans with lawmakers or the city of Augusta. The issue has been simmering for months but came up again Thursday when …
Nathan Beck (right) and his father, Dan Beck (center), listen during a Human Rights Commission hearing regarding allegations that Moody's Diner, which is co-owned by Beck, discriminated against a longtime employee in Augusta in this November 2014 file photo.

LePage’s probe of human rights panel finds no bias against businesses

By Christopher Cousins and Jake Bleiberg on Sept. 28, 2016, at 2:38 p.m.
“We are gratified to see the panel’s understanding that our agency is wildly underfunded and understaffed and its recommendations for more of both.”
STATE & CAPITOL

Poll: Mainers want legal pot, higher minimum wage

on Sept. 28, 2016, at 9:50 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where once again many eyes are on new poll results from the Portland Press Herald and University of New Hampshire Survey Center. According the poll of 500 likely voters in Maine, incremental annual increases in the state’s minimum wage look likely. Sixty percent of respondents favor …
STATE & CAPITOL

National Republican group commits $600K for late attack ads in Maine’s 2nd District

on Sept. 27, 2016, at 4:35 p.m.
The Congressional Leadership Fund announced Tuesday that it will spend $600,000 between now and Election Day in a bid to foil Democrat Emily Cain’s bid to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in Maine’s 2nd District. The fund, which is a super-PAC backed by House Republican leadership, said the money …
STATE & CAPITOL

‘Dark money’ from California backs Maine Democrat challenging Senate president

on Sept. 27, 2016, at 2:38 p.m.
A California-based political organization has pledged $50,000 to the Democrat in one of Maine’s most-watched Senate contests, again highlighting that money from out-of-state is pouring into legislative races. The $50,000 pledge, which was revealed in registration paperwork filed last month for a political action committee called Progressive Maine, is intended …

What they’re wearing

By Christopher Cousins on Sept. 26, 2016, at 9:08 p.m.
First impressions are everything? Trump in a blue tie and Clinton in a red suit. So much for political color assignments. Tap to load more updates

Issues poll finds voters prefer Clinton on immigration, trade, national security

By Christopher Cousins on Sept. 26, 2016, at 8:57 p.m.
A new Gallup poll released just ahead of tonight’s debate found that voters prefer Republican Donald Trump on economic issues but that Democrat Hillary Clinton holds the edge on education and foreign affairs. The telephone poll of more than 1,000 registered voters from all 50 states Sept. 14-18 asked respondents to …
STATE & CAPITOL

New poll shows solid leads for Poliquin, Trump in Maine’s 2nd District

on Sept. 26, 2016, at 9:31 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where there are new Maine-centric poll numbers to peruse thanks to the University of New Hampshire Survey Center and the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. In the presidential race, which is on everyone’s mind today with the first 90-minute debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump …
Mark Holbrook of Brunswick, 2016 Republican nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives, Maine's 1st Congressional District

Underdog in Maine’s 1st District follows campaign trail blazed by LePage, Trump

By Christopher Cousins on Sept. 25, 2016, at 7 a.m.
With the chips stacked against him in his challenge of fourth-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, Republican Mark Holbrook is convinced there are factors lurking outside conventional wisdom that will lead to his victory.
STATE & CAPITOL

As a 50-50 U.S. Senate looms, spotlight shines on King, Collins

on Sept. 22, 2016, at 9:45 a.m.
A Politico story has us contemplating Maine having the two most powerful U.S. senators in the country.
Sen. Justin Alfond (left) and Speaker of the House Mark Eves give a presentation on the Democrats' budget proposal during a town hall meeting at the Hammond Street Congregational Church in Bangor in this April 2015 file photo.

Maine Democrats’ reworked strategy focuses less on LePage

By Christopher Cousins on Sept. 22, 2016, at 6:52 a.m.
Democratic legislative leaders hopeful of securing significant House and Senate majorities in November sought to launch a new narrative about their vision for the future of Maine.
Gov. Paul R. LePage

LePage joins court challenge to Obama’s new overtime rule

By Christopher Cousins on Sept. 20, 2016, at 3:57 p.m.
LePage has signed on to a legal complaint by 21 states against new overtime rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor.
STATE & CAPITOL

Angus King: Trump’s immigrant ban would come at ‘terrible cost’

on Sept. 20, 2016, at 12:27 p.m.
Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King on Tuesday rejected Donald Trump’s argument that the United States should close its borders to immigrants. King, the former governor whom Maine voters overwhelmingly elected to the Senate in 2012, said on CNN’s “New Day” program, which was subsequently summarized by The Hill, that ending …
STATE & CAPITOL
Fairchild Semiconductor wafer fabrication building in South Portland.

LePage says Fairchild sale will lead to job cuts he predicted in April

on Sept. 20, 2016, at 9:57 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where Gov. Paul LePage is saying “told ya so” (that’s a paraphrase) regarding major manufacturing job losses in southern Maine. During his weekly radio appearance Tuesday morning on WVOM, LePage said he’s known about the sale of Fairchild Semiconductor of South Portland to an Arizona-based company …
STATE & CAPITOL

LePage rips ‘PC’ Clinton, predicts Trump will win Maine

on Sept. 16, 2016, at 9:48 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where Gov. Paul LePage has made a prediction about the results of the presidential race in Maine: Donald Trump will secure three of Maine’s four electoral votes. LePage, who has said recently he won’t speak to reporters anymore, told a reporter for Brietbart News, a conservative …
STATE & CAPITOL

No one shows at hearing for Maine welfare-to-work program changes

on Sept. 14, 2016, at 1:54 p.m.
No one turned out Wednesday in Augusta to discuss rule changes proposed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services for a welfare-to-work program that the state is moving toward privatizing. DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew said the proposed rule changes have little or nothing to do with the state’s …
Maine Correctional Center at Windham

LePage to meet recovering mom who says it’s wrong to punish people for addiction

By Christopher Cousins on Sept. 14, 2016, at 12:28 p.m.
Gov. Paul LePage has invited a woman who is recovering from heroin addiction to Augusta to discuss how the state can address its drug addiction problem.
STATE & CAPITOL

New Maine poll offers good news for Trump, Poliquin

on Sept. 14, 2016, at 9:09 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where a new Colby College/Boston Globe poll has again raised the prospect of Donald Trump winning in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District and taking one of our coveted electoral votes. Maine, one of two states that splits electoral votes by congressional district — giving one each to …
Sue Sapiel, customer service representative at the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Family Independence, prints out a new EBT card that includes a photo in this April 2014 file photo.

LePage welfare privatization bid puts 51 state jobs on chopping block

By Christopher Cousins on Sept. 12, 2016, at 5:42 p.m.
LePage and his administration have been discussing privatizing the state’s ASPIRE program for months and are nearing approval of a $62.5 million contract.