Articles by Mike Tipping


Radio host claims immigrant rights groups seek to “enslave the poor to the new plantation.”

on Sept. 19, 2014, at 9:21 a.m.
Maine NAACP leaders today strongly criticized conservative radio host Ray Richardson for comparing public assistance programs to slavery and groups working on poverty and immigration issues to plantation owners. In a recent column for the Portland Daily Sun, Richardson attacked organizations including the NAACP, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, …

Polls show a close, two-way race for Maine governor

on Sept. 14, 2014, at 9:02 p.m.
A new poll released on Sunday from Public Policy Polling (sponsored by Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund) shows Governor Paul LePage and Congressman Mike Michaud statistically tied in the race for governor (Michaud at 43% and LePage at 42%) with Cutler trailing at 11%. The survey sampled 1,059 likely voters for …

LePage spokesperson filibusters on Sovereign Citizen meetings on 207

on Aug. 20, 2014, at 10:08 a.m.
Governor Paul LePage’s campaign strategist and spokesperson, Brent Littlefield, appeared on the TV show 207 last night to respond to my book, As Maine Went, which I discussed on the program a few weeks ago. It was a strange spectacle. During the seven-minute segment, Littlefield failed to refute a single fact …

The beards are back!

on Aug. 07, 2014, at 2:09 p.m.
Yesterday, Prevent Harm, a new political advocacy group focused on protecting the public from toxic chemicals, launched its “Fear the Beard Campaign” with a rally at the Eastern Promenade Playground in Portland. They describe the effort as a grassroots campaign aimed at reminding Maine voters of Governor Paul LePage’s close …

Poll of older Mainers shows concerns over ability to stay at home

on July 22, 2014, at 10:22 a.m.
A poll released today by AARP asked 2,000 Maine voters over the age of 50 about a number of issues affecting their lives and their choices of candidates for Maine State and Congressional elections. One of the areas of top concern, right below access to affordable prescription drug coverage, was …

Two men who met regularly with Gov. LePage arrested for pursuing Sovereign Citizen beliefs

on July 16, 2014, at 8:20 a.m.
The Bangor Daily News today reports that Jack McCarthy, one of the members of the  Constitutional Coalition, a group of Sovereign Citizen conspiracy theorists who met with Governor Paul LePage at least eight times last year, was found guilty of two counts of operating a vehicle without a license in …

Constitutional Coalition member doubles down on Gov. LePage’s “hanging” remark

on July 14, 2014, at 10:11 a.m.
On Friday, for the first time since his meetings with Governor Paul LePage became public knowledge two weeks ago, Constitutional Coalition member Jack McCarthy returned to the airwaves as host of the Aroostook Watchmen radio show on WXME. During the hour-long program, McCarthy spent fifteen minutes discussing a particular exchange …

Despite LePage’s claims, it’s hard to get a meeting with the governor

on July 11, 2014, at 8:19 a.m.
One of the ways that Governor Paul LePage has attempted to defend his frequent and lengthy meetings with Sovereign Citizen conspiracy theorists is to claim that he simply meets with anyone who asks. A recent letter to the media from LePage Press Secretary Adrienne Bennett, for instance, states that “he …

Reaction to LePage’s meetings with Sovereign Citizen extremists continues

on July 09, 2014, at 7:13 a.m.
The response to my book excerpt and the initial news reports on Governor Paul LePage’s meetings with a group of Sovereign Citizens has been intense, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down even a week later. I have responded to some false claims by the LePage administration about the …

Gov. LePage lies about Sovereign Citizen meetings, threatens to sue

on July 01, 2014, at 9:41 a.m.
In a set of phone calls to the Bangor Daily News yesterday evening, Governor Paul LePage made a number of provably false claims about his series of meetings with members of the Constitutional Coalition, a Sovereign Citizen group whose members are part of “a domestic terrorism movement,” according to the …

Gov. LePage met with, encouraged Sovereign Citizen extremists

on June 30, 2014, at 9:09 a.m.
This morning an excerpt from the first chapter of As Maine Went is up at Talking Points Memo. I’m very proud to have my work featured on a site that has been a national trailblazer for online journalism, one of my favorite news sources for more than a decade and …

Frary falsely attacks book on Gov. LePage and Tea Party without reading it

on June 29, 2014, at 1:58 p.m.
It seems John Frary has ignored that age-old adage: never judge a book by its Kickstarter. In a column in the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel today, former Republican Second District congressional candidate John Frary accuses me of being a “hack political journalist” and writes that he assumes my book …

Gov. LePage loses the support of his own balladeer

on June 25, 2014, at 6:54 a.m.
First of all, let me just say how incredible you all are. I never imagined when I was planning for the announcement of As Maine Went: Governor Paul LePage and the Tea Party Takeover of Maine that after one day of a 23-day Kickstarter campaign that we’d already be at …

As Maine Went: a new book on Gov. LePage and the Tea Party

on June 24, 2014, at 6:51 a.m.
Hey, I wrote a book! After more than a year of outlining, interviewing, researching, writing and editing, my book, As Maine Went: Governor Paul LePage and the Tea Party Takeover of Maine, is finally headed to the printers. I’m very proud of the final result and I hope you take …

Gov. LePage didn’t vote Tuesday

on June 11, 2014, at 3:49 p.m.
“Please be sure to do your civic duty and vote before the polls close tonight,” exhorted Governor Paul LePage on his official Facebook Page yesterday. Absentee voting records indicate, however, that he didn’t take his own advice. After getting a tip from a Democratic Party staffer, I took a look …

Yes we Cain, apparently

on June 11, 2014, at 6:39 a.m.
State Senator Emily Cain of Orono won the Democratic Primary for the Second Congressional District walking away last night, garnering around 70% of the vote over her opponent, fellow Senator Troy Jackson of Allagash. Throughout the race, Cain seemed to be playing in a different league from Jackson, leading by …

LePage delays on refund for fundamentally dishonest report

on May 30, 2014, at 11:35 a.m.
The rampant plagiarism in the Alexander Report shouldn’t be a complete surprise to Governor Paul LePage. After all, Gary Alexander was paid to cut corners. The conservative consultant was given his $925,000 no-bid contract by LePage precisely because he was willing to operate outside the bounds of normal academic and …

Maine’s right-wing outrage machine

on May 09, 2014, at 9:03 a.m.
Over the past few days, the conservative right in Maine has targeted the Maine People’s Alliance (for which I work as communications director) with a fascinating, coordinated attack. It started with an unfortunate oversight. A flier was distributed by MPA volunteers in districts across the state represented by Republicans who …

The biggest problem with reporting on political polls

on April 29, 2014, at 12:05 p.m.
In my column over the weekend, I once again warned about the “unskewed” polling conspiracy theory regarding weighting polls based on party ID. Read that piece or this primer from Pew if you’d like more info on why focusing on a difference between reported party identification numbers from a survey …

How the Koch brothers are killing Medicaid expansion in Maine

on April 09, 2014, at 6:24 a.m.
In December of last year, Maine Representative Brian Duprey (R-Hampden) posted a photo to Facebook from a presentation at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference he was attending Washington D.C. ALEC is a secretive organization that serves as a pipeline into state legislatures for corporate-backed policies. “Watching my good …
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