Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins

State House Bureau Chief

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, who is the Democratic nominee in the 2014 governor's race, talks with Warren Brown of East Millinocket during the town's Summerfest weekend.

Grim economy in Katahdin region divides political loyalties in governor’s race

By Christopher Cousins on July 19, 2014, at 5:48 a.m.
EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — A banner on the road into town proclaims East Millinocket is “The town that paper made.” The grim reality, however, is with the closure of the two big paper mills in the area, it could soon be known as the town that paper left behind. Few …
Richard Rosen

Study faults Maine for poor ‘rainy day’ planning, but lots of other states fare worse

By Christopher Cousins on July 16, 2014, at 4:55 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The balance in Maine’s rainy day fund has been the source of considerable State House drama in recent months, but a new study by a respected national group highlights that piling up cash reserves is not just political theater. The state’s rainy day fund is essentially state …

Emily Cain announces three-month fundraising total of $380,000 for congressional campaign

on July 15, 2014, at 10:21 a.m.
Democratic state Sen. Emily Cain of Orono, who is running for the open 2nd Congressional District seat against Republican Bruce Poliquin of Oakland, announced Tuesday that she has raised nearly $380,000 in the second quarter of 2014, bringing her overall total for the 2014 election to more than $870,000. Cain’s second …
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud

Michaud fundraiser with Giffords spurs Maine GOP to question his commitment to gun rights

By Christopher Cousins on July 14, 2014, at 3:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud’s involvement in a fundraiser next month with a prominent national gun control advocate is triggering questions from Republicans about where the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, who in the past has received support from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and the National Rifle Association, stands …
Governor Paul LePage

The 61% calculus: Why November’s election isn’t shaping up to be a repeat of 2010

By Christopher Cousins on July 11, 2014, at 12:30 p.m.
Part 2 of 2 AUGUSTA, Maine — For more than three years, a common sight on Maine roads has been a bumper sticker that reads “61%: We did not vote for Paul LePage.” The sticker began showing up shortly after LePage took office, reinforcing the notion that he rose from …

Michaud joins Hobby Lobby overturn effort; Legislative Dems blast LePage; $820,000 en route for worker training

on July 10, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.
On Wednesday I reported that Rep. Chellie Pingree, is among numerous congressional Democrats who are sponsoring an attempt to reverse last week’s controversial and split Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case. Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud is now on board as a co-sponsor, too. “This legislation prohibits for-profit corporations from …
U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree

Pingree backs Democrats’ push to overturn Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling

By Christopher Cousins on July 09, 2014, at 5:32 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree announced Wednesday that she is backing a bill in Congress that would reverse last month’s Hobby Lobby decision by the U.S. Supreme Court and bar employers from denying female employees reproductive health coverage. Isaac Misiuk, Pingree’s Republican opponent in the November election, …

Maine sues EPA over jurisdiction of water quality standards in Indian territories

By Christopher Cousins on July 08, 2014, at 2:02 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — State officials announced Tuesday that they have sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a decades-long dispute involving water quality standards on Native American lands. The conflict centers on whether Maine has jurisdiction over the tribes within their own territories. Though the state argues that it was …
Eliot Cutler

Cutler supporters’ lawsuit challenges constitutionality of Maine donation limits

By Christopher Cousins on July 07, 2014, at 7:31 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Four supporters of independent Eliot Cutler’s bid for governor filed a suit Monday in U.S. District Court over what they argue are inequities in Maine campaign finance laws. The injunction asks that individual contribution limits for donations to Cutler’s campaign be the same as they are for …
 U.S. Rep. and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud

Pro-Michaud PAC pledges $2 million for television advertising in Maine gubernatorial race

By Christopher Cousins on July 07, 2014, at 6:20 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A new political action committee that is supporting Democrat Mike Michaud in Maine’s hotly contested governor’s race said Monday that it will launch a television advertising campaign worth at least $2 million in the run-up to the November election. Consultants with experience in political media buys said …

GOP rep bows out; poverty in Maine skyrockets; win a gas-powered alarm clock!

on July 02, 2014, at 11:48 a.m.
One of the GOP’s rising stars bows out of Legislature Rep. Tyler Clark, R-Easton, has announced that he will not seek re-election after serving three terms in the House of Representatives. That means that the local Republican committees in House District 148, which includes Caswell, Connor Township, Cyr Plantation, Easton, …
Gov. Paul LePage speaks during the 2014 Maine Republican Convention.

Group that met with LePage denies terrorist links

By Christopher Cousins on July 01, 2014, at 7:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The group with alleged ties to domestic terrorism that met eight times with Gov. Paul LePage in 2013 consists of four Maine men who believe their constitutional rights have been violated. The little-known Maine Constitution Coalition was thrust into the state and national spotlight Monday when Mike …
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows, who is running against Republican incumbent Sen. Susan Collins, discusses her views on reforming the nation's Social Security system during a press conference on Monday in Augusta.

Bellows calls for wealthy to pay more into Social Security to help neediest recipients

By Christopher Cousins on June 30, 2014, at 5:11 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows on Monday said she’d vote to shift more of the financial burden for paying for Social Security to high-level earners while expanding the benefit for those who need it most. Bellows, who opposes incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins in the …

Roundup: Enviro group backs Collins, poll trashes government and northern Maine a very difficult home

on June 30, 2014, at 5:06 p.m.
Collins endorsement by conservation group angers Bellows The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund on Monday endorsed Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins for re-election to the Maine Senate, citing Collins’ fight against climate change and efforts to protect the environment in Maine and beyond. Shenna Bellows, Collins’ Democratic opponent in the November …

Anti-gay marriage organization given reprieve from disclosing donors; $50,250 fine still stands

By Christopher Cousins on June 25, 2014, at 4:53 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Ethics Commission gave the National Organization for Marriage a reprieve Wednesday on disclosing the donor list from its 2009 campaign against same-sex marriage in Maine. But the five-person commission did not back down on its demand for the national organization to pay a $50,250 fine …

Jackson joins legislative watchdog panel with oversight of document-shredding, labor probes

By Christopher Cousins on June 24, 2014, at 7:11 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Democratic Sen. Troy Jackson, who once called for Gov. Paul LePage’s impeachment over allegations that the governor improperly tried to sway unemployment appeals in favor of businesses, has been named to the legislative committee that will determine the path forward for a state investigation of those allegations. …

Eliot Cutler pledges to personally match donations to his campaign; Poliquin invokes Justin Bieber

on June 24, 2014, at 5:57 p.m.
Independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler announced Tuesday that between now and and the state’s next financial reporting deadline for political candidates on July 15, he’ll personally match all donations to his campaign. In a fund raising email to supporters headlined “All In,” Cutler called this a “pivotal moment. “When …
Rep. Alexander Willette, R-Mapleton

LePage adds familiar faces to re-election campaign staff

By Christopher Cousins on June 24, 2014, at 4:43 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The campaign to re-elect Gov. Paul LePage ended months of questions about the Republican’s lack of staff Tuesday with the announcement of several new hires, including familiar faces from LePage’s 2010 campaign and the Legislature. Brent Littlefield, LePage’s strategic consultant, has been the public face of the …

Looking for your political nirvana in Maine? This web quiz says you should move to…

on June 23, 2014, at 2:12 p.m.
Find out which Maine town is your political match Have you ever wondered what Maine town best mirrors your political beliefs? A political analysis firm called Clarity Campaign Labs has just launched a new whiz-bang website that after asking you a series of seven questions, will identify what Maine town best suits …
A worker flattens trash at the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town in January 2013.

BEP rejects appeals to alter tonnage limit at state-owned Juniper Ridge Landfill

By Christopher Cousins on June 19, 2014, at 5:15 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A citizen-led environmental board voted Thursday to uphold recommendations by the Department of Environmental Protection that will maintain current limits on how much municipal solid waste can be dumped in the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town. With Thursday’s vote, the Board of Environmental Protection rejected appeals …
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