Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins

State House Bureau Chief

 
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 …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

Phone poll attacking Mike Michaud shows opponents are going negative, Democrats say

on June 17, 2014, at 4:37 p.m.
A new poll on the gubernatorial race was launched in recent days and looks to be an outright attack on Democratic candidate Mike Michaud. Audio of the poll, provided by someone who doesn’t want to be identified, reveals that the approximately 3-minute survey brings up many of the campaign talking points that have been …

Short-staffing at DHHS blamed for delays in delivering food stamp benefits to Mainers

By Christopher Cousins on June 17, 2014, at 10:41 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Department of Health and Human Services blames short-staffing for a delay in its delivery of supplemental food benefits to eligible low-income Mainers. DHHS spokesman John Martins, who could not immediately identify how many recipients are being affected by the problem, said the backlog affects people involved …

Longtime Maine taxation expert Michael Allen appointed to deputy finance commissioner

By Christopher Cousins on June 16, 2014, at 4:58 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Michael Allen, who for years has been a mainstay at Maine Revenue Services and served as a liaison between that organization and the Legislature, became the state’s new deputy commissioner of finance on Monday. He joins acting Finance Commissioner Richard Rosen as Gov. Paul LePage’s new leadership …
CAMPAIGN 2014
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud is all smiles while a crowd cheers as Planned Parenthood’s Maine Action Fund endorses him for governor Monday in Portland.

Planned Parenthood’s PAC endorses Michaud in Maine governor’s race

By Christopher Cousins and Seth Koenig on June 16, 2014, at 12:32 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Planned Parenthood’s Maine Action Fund political action committee endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud for governor Monday during an event in Portland. The endorsement adds another high-profile liberal group to Michaud’s portfolio, as the Blue Dog Democrat’s supporters push to unify left-leaning Mainers around their candidate and …
Hedges, former New York Times reporter and current Truthdig columnist, a plaintiff in Hedges v. Obama lawsuit filed against Obama Administration and members of U.S. Congress, stands outside 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in February 2013.

Award-winning journalist accused of plagiarism scheduled to speak at peace event in Portland

By Christopher Cousins on June 13, 2014, at 2:54 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Plagiarism accusations against a highly accomplished international journalist won’t affect his scheduled keynote speech at a peace rally in Portland on Monday. Chris Hedges, the author of several books who has spent years as a foreign correspondent for major media organizations that include The New York Times, …
Gary Alexander presents his Medicaid expansion study on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at the Department of Health and Human Services office building in Augusta.

Maine cancels contract with Alexander Group

By Christopher Cousins on June 13, 2014, at 2:45 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that it has terminated the controversial Alexander Group contract after revelations that portions of the report were plagiarized. Democrats who have been calling for a full refund from the Alexander Group praised the decision but said it …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

Republicans, Democrats reinforcing ‘unity’ messages in wake of contentious primaries

on June 12, 2014, at 8:10 a.m.
The Maine Republican Party will hold a candidate rally Friday in Bangor featuring most, if not all, of the party’s top-of-the-ticket candidates in the November general election. As reported by the BDN on Wednesday, the party announced Thursday that Gov. Paul LePage, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, 2nd Congressional District candidate Bruce Poliquin, …
CAMPAIGN 2014 & ANALYSIS
Bruce Poliquin, former state treasurer, talks with Brent Littlefield (right) along with other supporters of his campaign during election night at Dysarts in Bangor.

Can Poliquin unite GOP, make LePage’s winning formula work in the 2nd District?

By Christopher Cousins on June 11, 2014, at 6:49 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Shortly after it became clear Tuesday night that Bruce Poliquin had sewn up the Republican party’s nomination in Maine’s open 2nd Congressional District, he made it clear that he would need opponent Kevin Raye’s supporters if he is to win the general election in November. “We are …
CAMPAIGN 2014
Bruce Poliquin, former state treasurer, gets excited at Dysart's on Broadway in Bangor after checking early results during the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary.

GOP’s Bruce Poliquin wins 2nd Congressional District primary

By Christopher Cousins on June 10, 2014, at 9:14 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — Former State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin of Oakland has won the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary, according to an analysis of election tallies by the Bangor Daily News. The win marked Poliquin’s first successful campaign after he lost the GOP gubernatorial primary in 2010 and the party’s U.S. …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

LePage’s endorsement of Misiuk spends more time on LePage than Misiuk

on June 09, 2014, at 11:45 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage dipped his toe in the endorsement game Monday with a nod to Isaac Misiuk, a Republican who is opposing Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree in the general election for the 1st Congressional District in southern Maine. The Misiuk campaign funded the production of a more than one-minute …
CAMPAIGN 2014
U.S. Rep. and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud unveils his campaign plan to create an Office of Inspector General to fight “waste, fraud and abuse” in the Department of Health and Human Services in Augusta on Thursday.

Michaud proposes independent inspector general office to oversee DHHS

By Christopher Cousins on June 05, 2014, at 1:42 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, the Democratic candidate for governor, said Thursday that, if elected, he will create a state-level Office of Inspector General to fight “waste, fraud and abuse” in the Department of Health and Human Services. Michaud’s announcement came in response to Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s …

Maine lifts $25,000 cap on donations that individuals can make to political candidates each year

By Christopher Cousins on June 04, 2014, at 10:24 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Ethics Commission has lifted the $25,000 aggregate cap for individuals donating to political campaigns, based on a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. The decision was lauded by Mainers who believe political contributions are a form of free speech and part of the democratic process. It …
The Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations has notified Pine State Trading Co. that a contract awarded in February for marketing operations has been rescinded.

State liquor marketing contract rescinded

By Christopher Cousins on June 04, 2014, at 9:34 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The state’s liquor and lottery agency has notified Pine State Trading Co. that a contract awarded in February for marketing operations has been rescinded and that a new request for proposals will be issued to restart the bid process. The Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations …
CAMPAIGN 2014
Gov. Paul LePage shakes hands at a campaign event in a gravel pit in Gray where he received the re-endorsement of the Maine chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors on Tuesday.

LePage endorsed by building contract group during campaign stop at gravel pit

By Christopher Cousins on June 03, 2014, at 12:52 p.m.
GRAY, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage said Tuesday during a campaign stop at a gravel pit in Gray that the state’s economy would be much better off if Democrats in the Legislature hadn’t spent the past two years turning away dozens of his policy initiatives. LePage’s comments came during an …
CAMPAIGN 2014
Maine gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler lays out his environmental platform at Gomez Park on the Bangor waterfront on May 6.

Cutler dramatically outspends LePage, Michaud as his recent fundraising lags in Maine governor’s race

By Christopher Cousins on June 03, 2014, at 11:18 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Independent Eliot Cutler continues to far outpace incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud in spending on the 2014 governor’s race, despite the fact that contributions to his campaign, especially in recent weeks, have been meager. While the Cutler campaign insists that the …
State Sen. Emily Cain visits with fellow Democrats during the lunch break at the Maine Democratic Convention in Bangor, Maine, Saturday, May 31, 2014.

Michaud, Democrats link their personal stories to their political ambitions

By Christopher Cousins on May 31, 2014, at 8:07 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — As passionate as Mike Michaud is for Democratic wheelhouse initiatives like expanding Medicaid, raising the minimum wage or women’s health issues, those issues took a back seat Saturday as Michaud wrapped up the Democratic State Convention with a call for civility. “Instead of giving you a barn-burning …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

Democrats add recreational marijuana legalization to party platform

on May 31, 2014, at 10:48 a.m.
Delegates at the Democratic State Convention on Saturday voted overwhelmingly to add recreational marijuana legalization to the party platform. At least 75 percent of the delegates voted in favor of supporting legalization for people 21 years of age or older. The vote means that the party’s platform, a lengthy and wide-ranging document …
CAMPAIGN 2014
Ben Grant (right), chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, speaks at the start of the 2014 Maine Democratic Convention at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor Friday afternoon.

Democrats frame themselves as ‘party of the future’ during state convention kick-off

By Christopher Cousins on May 30, 2014, at 8:33 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — The Democratic State Convention kicked off in Bangor Friday afternoon with an impassioned call by party leaders to unseat Republicans — particularly Gov. Paul LePage — and take back what they called “our Maine.” The convention, which runs through Saturday at the Queen City’s new Cross Insurance …
CAMPAIGN 2014
Former Maine Senate President Kevin Raye, R-Perry, at the 2014 Maine Republican Convention at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on April 25. Raye is running for the Republican nomination to Maine's 2nd Congressional District.

National Rifle Association endorses Kevin Raye in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District

By Christopher Cousins on May 30, 2014, at 1:10 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — Less than two weeks before the June 10 primary, the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund on Friday endorsed Kevin Raye, one of two Republicans seeking to be the party’s candidate in the race for an open seat in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. Mike Leavitt, a spokesman …
 
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