Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins

State House Bureau Chief

 

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 | 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 …
CAMPAIGN 2014
Eliot Cutler

Cutler supporters’ lawsuit challenges constitutionality of Maine donation limits

By Christopher Cousins on July 07, 2014, at 7:31 p.m.
AUGUSTA | 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 …
CAMPAIGN 2014
 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 | 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 …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

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 | 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 …
CAMPAIGN 2014
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 | 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 …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

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 | 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 | 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. …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

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 …
CAMPAIGN 2014
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 | 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 …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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.
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 | 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, …
 
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