Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto

State House Reporter

 
STATE & CAPITOL

Congressman brings legal weed tips from the other Portland

on Aug. 20, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.
Good morning from Portland, where a leading pro-legalization congressman is meeting with lawmakers and the public to preach the gospel of regulated, taxed and legal weed.  U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, has represented the other Portland in Congress for nearly two decades. In Washington, he’s proposed or supported not only legalization, …
VIDEO
Portland City Councilor Nick Mavodones announces his support for Ethan Strimling for mayor on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday. He was joined in his endorsement by (from left) City Councilor Jill Duson, and Portland School Board members Marnie Morionne, John Eder, Holly Seeliger and Chair Sarah Thompson.

Portland elected officials rip mayor, oppose his re-election

By Mario Moretto on Aug. 19, 2015, at 12:12 p.m.
In a targeted shot against Mayor Michael Brennan’s re-election bid, half the City Council and more than half of Portland’s school board have announced their support for challenger Ethan Strimling. The bloc, led by Councilor Nick Mavodones, revealed itself formally during a news conference Wednesday morning in …
VIDEO
Ethan Strimling gets a hug from a supporter after announcing his candidacy for mayor in Portland on Tuesday. Strimling came in second last time around.

Ethan Strimling enters race for Portland mayor

By Mario Moretto on Aug. 18, 2015, at 12:01 p.m.
Ending months of speculation, former Democratic state senator Ethan Strimling announced Tuesday that he’ll once again run to be mayor of Portland. Strimling becomes the ninth candidate to enter the race to lead Maine’s largest city, and is perceived by many to be the most credible threat …
STATE & CAPITOL

Angus King wants to teach Maine businesses about cybersecurity

on Aug. 18, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.
Good Tuesday morning! U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, is in South Portland this morning, joined by officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Maine Chamber of Commerce.  King et. al. are in town to offer a free cybersecurity briefing to members of Maine’s business community, “aimed at …
STATE & CAPITOL

Angus King wants to teach Maine businesses about cybersecurity

on Aug. 18, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.
Good Tuesday morning! U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, is in South Portland this morning, joined by officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Maine Chamber of Commerce.  King et. al. are in town to offer a free cybersecurity briefing to members of Maine’s business community, “aimed at …
STATE & CAPITOL

Arcade bar owner, MECA student join Portland mayoral race

on Aug. 17, 2015, at 4:32 p.m.
As the deadline for ballot qualification nears, three more residents have taken out nomination papers to join Portland’s mayoral contest, bringing the total number of contenders to eight. The latest crop of candidates includes Benjamin Culver, 33, co-owner of Arcadia National Bar, and Brendan Glass, a 21-year-old junior at Maine College …
STATE & CAPITOL

With veto fight over, will strained relationships reset in Augusta?

on Aug. 07, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.
Good Friday morning. The weekend is nearly upon us, but the week that was in politics went out with a bang Thursday evening.  There was the Maine Supreme Judicial Court opining against Gov. Paul LePage in the curious case of disputed laws; Then the 10 top GOP presidential contenders met for a …
POLL QUESTION
Gov. Paul LePage

Supreme court says LePage missed chance to veto bills

By Mario Moretto on Aug. 06, 2015, at 2:20 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage’s end-of-session gambit backfired Thursday, when the Maine Supreme Judicial Court said the governor has missed his chance to veto 65 bills. The unanimous advisory opinion was a blow to LePage and Republican lawmakers in the House, who had argued for a decision that would …
STATE & CAPITOL

Spate of heroin overdoses reignites political debate on fighting addiction

on Aug. 06, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where the question of the day seems to be: How should Maine fight a dangerous, sometimes lethal epidemic? The state’s addiction to heroin has been thrown into sharp relief in recent weeks. There was the heartbreaking story in the Washington Post about how heroin addiction claimed the life …
A study released Wednesday by University of New Hampshire researchers shows that Republican presidential candidates fare better in rural counties dominated by farming while Democrats perform better in counties, where recreation and residential amenities factor more heavily in the economy. In Maine, where no counties are classified as farm-dependent -- despite an increase in farms owned by people in their 30s, such as Terranian Farm in Troy -- Democratic presidential candidates have fared better in counties classified as rural-recreational.

Just how conservative are Maine’s rural voters?

By Mario Moretto on Aug. 06, 2015, at 5:32 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Rural voters check the box for Republicans on Election Day. Urban ones vote for Democrats. So goes the conventional political wisdom. But a report released Wednesday by a pair of researchers at the University of New Hampshire indicates that particular demographic chestnut misses the mark. “Rural America …
Mountain View Youth Development Center in Charleston

Falling youth detention rate sealed Mountain View’s fate

By Mario Moretto on Aug. 04, 2015, at 6:34 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Monday’s news that the Mountain View Youth Development Center, a state-run juvenile detention facility, would stop housing the state’s youngest inmates surely came as a surprise to many people. But not to Stan Gerzofsky. The longtime Democratic lawmaker from Brunswick and former chairman of the Legislature’s Criminal …
STATE & CAPITOL

Democrats to deliver ‘report card’ to Poliquin in Bangor

on Aug. 04, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.
Good morning, Daily Brief readers.  Augusta continues to do its best impression of a ghost town, and now the halls of Congress are following suit. Summer vacation for the nation’s lawmakers takes the form of the August recess, with the 50 delegations returning to their home districts for some good, old-fashioned constituent work …
Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci and former Maine Senator Emily Cain of Orono, the announced 2016 Democratic candidates for Maine's 2nd Congressional District.

5 things to watch as a Democratic primary unfolds in Maine’s 2nd District

By Mario Moretto on Aug. 03, 2015, at 7:56 p.m.
With Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci joining the race last week, the Democratic primary for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District has become competitive. Baldacci joins Emily Cain, a former legislator from Orono who ran against Republican Bruce Poliquin when the seat opened last year. Poliquin defeated Cain, who turned her attention …
VIDEO
A court official stands guard Friday morning as the Maine Supreme Judicial Court prepared to hear oral arguments in Portland from four teams of attorneys representing various branches of government in the case of 65 disputed vetoes.

High court justices grill both sides in LePage veto dispute

By Mario Moretto on July 31, 2015, at 1:21 p.m.
PORTLAND | Four teams of attorneys representing various branches and agencies of government had their day in court Friday, when the justices of Maine’s highest court heard oral arguments in the case of 65 disputed vetoes. The courtroom was packed with lawmakers, reporters and others as the justices took …
STATE & CAPITOL

Supreme Court to hear arguments in disputed vetoes case this morning

on July 31, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Portland (not Augusta! Can you believe it?).  Daily Brief is back on its early schedule for one day only, as oral arguments in the case of the disputed vetoes will take place before the Supreme Judicial Court in less than two hours.  Lawyers for Gov. Paul LePage, the presiding …
STATE & CAPITOL

Supreme Court to hear arguments in disputed vetoes case this morning

on July 31, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Portland (not Augusta! Can you believe it?).  Daily Brief is back on its early schedule for one day only, as oral arguments in the case of the disputed vetoes will take place before the Supreme Judicial Court at 9 a.m.  Lawyers for Gov. Paul LePage, the presiding officers of …
VIDEO
House Speaker Mark Eves addresses reporters during a press conference Thursday outside the U.S. District Court in Portland. Eves and his attorney, David Webbert, filed a lawsuit against Gov. Paul LePage accusing him of blackmailing Good Will-Hinckley.

In lawsuit, House Speaker Eves accuses LePage of blackmail

By Mario Moretto on July 30, 2015, at 10:23 a.m.
PORTLAND | House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, filed a civil lawsuit against Gov. Paul LePage in U.S. District Court in Portland on Thursday afternoon. The lawsuit alleges LePage “blackmailed’ Good Will-Hinckley — a Fairfield nonprofit that had recently hired Eves to be its president — by threatening to …
STATE & CAPITOL

LePage: I was ‘completely in the dark’ on budget despite staff involvement

on July 30, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta. In a radio interview this morning on WGAN, Gov. Paul LePage maintained that he was “completely in the dark” about negotiations between lawmakers and the governor’s staff, which ultimately resulted in the $6.7 billion budget deal that the Legislature approved over LePage’s veto in June.  LePage has …
STATE & CAPITOL

LePage: I was ‘completely in the dark’ on budget despite staff involvement

on July 30, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta. In a radio interview this morning on WGAN, Gov. Paul LePage maintained that he was “completely in the dark” about negotiations between lawmakers and the governor’s staff, which ultimately resulted in the $6.7 billion budget deal approved by Lawmakers in June.  LePage has railed against the negotiations, …
Gov. Paul LePage waves as he leaves the House of Representatives chamber after he delivered his 2014 State of the State address at the State House in Augusta.

LePage, lawmakers continue fight over disputed laws in court filings

By Mario Moretto on July 29, 2015, at 1:04 p.m.
AUGUSTA | In a second round of written arguments in the ongoing veto dispute, Gov. Paul LePage and the presiding officers of the Maine House and Senate clashed on two fundamental questions. First, by leaving the State House from June 30 until July 16, did lawmakers prevent the governor …