Articles by Eric Russell

Former Maine Gov. Angus King

Angus King still deflecting questions about which party he’ll caucus with

By Eric Russell on May 11, 2012, at 2:39 p.m.
BANGOR | Independent U.S. Senate candidate Angus King, viewed by many as the favorite to win Olympia Snowe’s seat, is again taking heat for putting off questions about which party he’ll caucus with and suggesting he may not accept committee assignments. Asked by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews which party King …
Michelle Ferm (left) and Paula Eaton (center) sample a salad made by Ann Marie Orr of Ann Marie's Kitchen at the Bangor Buisness Expo at the Bangor Civic Center on Thursday, May 10, 2012. Thursday's expo marks the first time food vendors and resturants were represented with food being offered to attendees.

Expo offers chance for Greater Bangor businesses to network

By Eric Russell on May 10, 2012, at 5:33 p.m.
Businesses in Greater Bangor, many of which are just trying to survive in a struggling economy, don’t get many opportunities to network with one another. That’s why the annual Bangor Business Expo, hosted by the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce, is so well-received, Chamber President John Porter …
Carroll Conley executive director and the Rev. Bob Emrich chairman of board of directors of the Christian Civic League of Maine.

Will North Carolina’s recent same-sex marriage ban affect Maine in November?

By Eric Russell on May 09, 2012, at 1:13 p.m.
BANGOR | Advocates for same-sex marriage were dealt a blow Tuesday when voters in North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment that not only banned gay marriage but outlawed civil unions and domestic partnerships as well. So what does North Carolina’s 61 percent to 39 percent vote mean for Maine, …
Paul LePage

Democrats accuse Republicans on budget committee of following LePage’s ‘secret marching orders’

By Eric Russell on May 08, 2012, at 2 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Republicans and Democrats on the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee appeared to part ways on Monday during negotiations over a 2013 supplemental budget package for the Department of Health and Human Services. Some lawmakers had been holding out hope that the two sides might find common ground and pass …
U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe waves to her supporters after delivering her speech at the Maine GOP Convention Sunday afternoon at the Augusta Civic Center. Behind her is her husband, former Maine Gov. John McKernan.

Snowe speaks to GOP convention for final time as member of Congress

By Eric Russell on May 06, 2012, at 1:37 p.m.
AUGUSTA | U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe addressed the Maine Republican Party Convention on Sunday for the final time as a member of Congress and urged the audience to continue pushing the GOP as the “party of potential.” Snowe shocked Maine Republicans — and Mainers in general — when she …
Maine Gov. Paul LePage delivers his speech at the Maine GOP Convention  Sunday at the Augusta Civic Center.

‘Get off the couch and get yourself a job’: LePage talks welfare reform at GOP convention

By Eric Russell on May 06, 2012, at 12:49 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage began his speech Sunday at the Maine Republican Party convention by saying he was glad he wasn’t campaigning. He then proceeded to give to a friendly and cheering audience 25 minutes worth of remarks that sounded a lot like a campaign speech. “This November …
James Carlton of the Lincoln County State Committee counts votes of his county's delegates during the election of national committeemen at the Maine Republican Convention at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, Maine, Saturday, May 5, 2012.

Ron Paul the big winner at Maine GOP convention, but Romney supporters will continue fight

By Eric Russell on May 06, 2012, at 10:39 a.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Republican Party convention devolved into full-blown chaos over the weekend, first on Saturday as supporters of Ron Paul successfully took control and then on Sunday as they secured a majority of the state’s national delegates. The 2012 state GOP convention, held over two days at …
Sen. Susan Collins speaks at the Maine GOP Convention in Augusta Saturday afternoon, May 5, 2012.

Sen. Collins addresses Maine GOP convention, says state needs to stay red

By Eric Russell on May 05, 2012, at 2:23 p.m.
AUGUSTA | U.S. Sen. Susan Collins paid tribute Saturday to her soon-to-be departing Senate colleague Olympia Snowe during remarks at the Maine Republican Party Convention. “What an honor it has been to serve alongside Olympia,” Collins said. “She has devoted her life to public service, and to serving the …
Maine GOP Convention Chair Brent Tweed (left) listens to concerns as party leadership decides how to proceed with delegate selection Saturday afternoon May 5, 2012 in Augusta.

As predicted, Ron Paul backers take over Maine GOP convention

By Eric Russell on May 05, 2012, at 12:44 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Fervent supporters of Ron Paul assumed control of the Maine Republican Party convention on Saturday with hopes of using their new power to send a majority of delegates to represent Maine at the national convention. The narrow election late Saturday morning of Paul delegates as convention secretary …
Gov. Paul LePage speaks in Rockland in March 2012.

LePage nominates Waldoboro engineer as PUC commissioner

By Eric Russell on May 03, 2012, at 12:33 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage has nominated an engineer from Waldoboro to serve as a commissioner of the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Mark Vannoy, an engineer with Wright-Pierce of Topsham, would fill the seat that recently was vacated by Vendean Vafiades, who resigned earlier this year. Vannoy still needs …
Maine Senate President Kevin Raye (R-Perry), a candidate for Maine's 2nd Congressional District, talks with the Bangor Daily News during his campaign stop at Getchell Brothers in Brewer on Wednesday.

Kevin Raye launches ‘cut the mustard’ congressional campaign tour

By Eric Russell on May 02, 2012, at 2:54 p.m.
BREWER | Kevin Raye cut his political teeth as a staff member for U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe and he agrees with his mentor that Washington, D.C., is broken. But Raye, a four-term Republican state senator and Maine’s current Senate president, is more optimistic than Snowe about the future of …
Charles Webster

Will sparks fly at Maine GOP’s weekend convention?

By Eric Russell on May 01, 2012, at 5:01 p.m.
AUGUSTA | For the second time in two years, the annual convention of the Maine Republican Party could be marred by in-fighting, although if 2010 is any indication, that might not necessarily hurt the party. In the last few days, GOP Chairman Charlie Webster has come under criticism for …
Gov. Paul LePage

Moderate Republicans to LePage: Apologize for ‘corrupt’ comment

By Eric Russell on April 30, 2012, at 4:03 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Two powerful moderate Republicans in the Maine Legislature are calling on Gov. Paul LePage to apologize for comments he made last week alleging corruption by midlevel managers in state government. Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta and Rep. Patrick Flood of Winthrop — the co-chairmen of the Appropriations …
Gov. Paul LePage (right) speaks to a crowd at Nokomis High School in Newport during a town hall meeting on Thursday, April 26, 2012. Department of Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt looks on.

LePage stirs ruckus after calling state workers ‘corrupt’

By Eric Russell on April 27, 2012, at 1:11 p.m.
AUGUSTA | It’s no big secret that Gov. Paul LePage wants to shrink state government, but he took that idea a step further on Thursday by maligning an entire block of state workers as “corrupt.” According to press accounts of the event, LePage was asked a question about fees …
Richard Rosen

Lawmakers tentatively approve more than $95M in bonds but LePage could hold cards

By Eric Russell on April 26, 2012, at 7:35 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Members of the Appropriations Committee late Thursday approved a series of bond proposals totaling more than $95 million that would fund highway projects, research and development, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, higher education and the Land for Maine’s Future. Republicans and Democrats on the Legislature’s budget committee …
The first bipartisan forum in the U.S. Senate race was held at the University of Maine in Orono Wednesday evening. The candidates participating (from left to right) were Maine Attorney General William Schneider, State Rep. John Hinck, independent candidate Andrew Ian Dodge, former Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, current Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers, State Senator Cynthia Dill, businessman Steve Woods, and home builder Benjamin Pollard.

U.S. Senate finance reports leave more questions than answers

By Eric Russell on April 26, 2012, at 12:22 p.m.
AUGUSTA | As the 13 candidates for U.S. Senate canvass the state ahead of the June 12 primary, campaign finances may not be on voters’ minds, but the topic certainly will be on candidates’ minds. Campaign finance reports for the 1st quarter of 2012 were required to be filed …

LePage vetoes bill to increase county fees; sponsor says that will create shortfall

By Eric Russell on April 24, 2012, at 6:40 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage has issued another veto, this time of a bill that sought to increase filing fees charged by county registries of deeds in property transactions. When a Maine resident buys property, documents are filed with the registry of deeds in the county where the property …
Gov. Paul LePage speaks in Rockland in March 2012.

Maine could afford to borrow millions, but political will to issue bonds is questionable

By Eric Russell on April 24, 2012, at 5:16 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Lawmakers learned Tuesday that the state has the economic capacity to borrow roughly $24 million in general obligation bonds beginning with the 2014 fiscal year. That number doesn’t include what the state could borrow within the Highway Fund to help pay for repairs to aging roads and …
Paul LePage

LePage signs budget minus the two items he vetoed

By Eric Russell on April 24, 2012, at 4:06 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Without fanfare, Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday signed a supplemental budget package that pays the state’s bills through June 30, the end of the current fiscal year. The budget includes several million dollars worth of savings achieved through attrition and further departmental streamlining. It also includes new …

Should Maine voters be setting tax policy?

By Eric Russell on April 23, 2012, at 5:07 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine voters could again be asked to help set government policy on spending and taxes if a political action committee is successful in putting a new initiative on the ballot. Later this spring, the group Maine Taxpayers United plans to begin gathering the more than 57,000 signatures …