Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto

State House Reporter


Michaud, LePage stockpile cash as governor’s race ramps up

By Mario Moretto on July 23, 2014, at 10:54 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Mike Michaud continues to outpace his two gubernatorial opponents in the money race as the campaigns heat up leading into August. According to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the state Tuesday night, the Democrat’s total fundraising has netted more than $1.9 million for the …

LePage hit with $5,000 fine for late campaign finance filing

on July 23, 2014, at 10:02 a.m.
In a letter dated Monday, the Maine Ethics Commission alerted Gov. Paul LePage that his re-election campaign would be fined $5,000 for failing to file a campaign finance report on time.
Gov. Paul LePage at a Republican rally at Husson University in June

LePage says 8 ‘unaccompanied alien children’ put in Maine without his knowledge

By Mario Moretto on July 22, 2014, at 5:54 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage learned Monday that eight unaccompanied children who entered the country illegally have been placed in Maine without his knowledge. In a statement from the governor’s office, LePage said he learned about the children’s placement during a conference call with White House staff and …

Bellows removes stock footage from ad touting support for Maine workers

on July 22, 2014, at 3:46 p.m.
A spokeswoman for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows says the campaign made “a mistake” when it included stock footage in an online advertisement about the candidate’s support for working class people. The ad has since been taken down, and replaced with a new one featuring workers from Maine. (The …
Scaffolding around the State House Dome, seen here Tuesday, will be a regular sight through October, as contractors work to replace the more than 100-year-old weather-damaged and oxidized copper patina with a shiny new one.

Old copper from State House dome may be available for Maine artists

By Mario Moretto on July 22, 2014, at 2:48 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine artists may have a chance to get their hands on a bona fide piece of state history if a proposal pending before a legislative leadership panel wins approval Thursday. As work continues to replace 7,000 square feet of more than 100-year-old copper on the Maine State …
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud strolls out of Portland's Cumberland Club Monday afternoon trailed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Vermont Gov. Peter Schumlin. The New England governors were in town to help raise money for Michaud's gubernatorial bid.

Democratic Govs. Deval Patrick, Peter Shumlin stump for Michaud in southern Maine

By Mario Moretto on July 21, 2014, at 5:17 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud got a fundraising and rallying boost Monday from two New England governors who said the state needs a leader who’s willing to work with other regional leaders to improve the lives of Mainers. Democratic Govs. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and Peter Shumlin …

Americans want business pros in government, plus 7 stories you need to read

on July 21, 2014, at 9:27 a.m.
Gallup, who's reporting that roughly four out of five Americans say business professionals are best-suited for governance.
Cianbro Corp. chairman and CEO Peter Vigue with a map backdrop of the proposed east-west highway.

Gubernatorial candidates see eye to eye — mostly — on Maine’s proposed east-west highway

By Mario Moretto on July 20, 2014, at 5:47 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Areas for agreement between the three major candidates for governor will likely be few and far between, but here is one: Neither Republican Gov. Paul LePage, Democrat Mike Michaud or independent Eliot Cutler is sold on the proposal to build a private east-west highway. There’s just not …
Gov. Paul LePage unveiled Thursday a plan to add $13.1 million to state spending on nursing homes, which have been underfunded for years.

LePage announces extra $13.1 million for nursing homes — no Legislature required

By Mario Moretto on July 17, 2014, at 4:01 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage announced Thursday his administration will use $4.6 million in Medicaid savings to make additional payments to Maine’s 106 nursing homes — and he’ll do it without involving the Legislature. The extra money will draw down federal matching funds of $8.5 million. Combined with state …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage to unveil plan to give more money to Maine’s nursing homes

By Mario Moretto on July 17, 2014, at 11:49 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage will announce a plan on Thursday afternoon to give additional state funding to Maine’s struggling nursing homes. It’s unclear exactly how much funding will be announced, or its source, but it appears that LePage and Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew may have …
Gov. Paul LePage and Senate President Justin Alfond.

Top Democrats to LePage: Show us your plan to aid Maine nursing homes

By Mario Moretto on July 16, 2014, at 6:06 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The top two Democrats in the Legislature are calling Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s bluff on his repeated requests that lawmakers order a special session to provide more funds for Maine’s nursing homes. In a July 14 letter to Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, and House Speaker Mark …

Bellows and Collins clash on vote to overturn Hobby Lobby ruling

on July 16, 2014, at 5:09 p.m.
If you needed any evidence of how strange politics can turn during an election, look no further. Today, the U.S. Senate held a vote on a bill by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington. The bill would have overturned the controversial Hobby Lobby decision, but it failed to gain the …
Sen. Edward Youngblood listens to Penobscot residents' concerns about a proposed state budget along with fellow state legislators during a town hall meeting at the Brewer auditorium in March 2013.

Sen. Ed Youngblood drops re-election bid, joining one-third of Maine legislators who will not return

By Mario Moretto on July 14, 2014, at 6:13 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — State Sen. Ed Youngblood announced Monday that he will not seek re-election this year. Youngblood, a Republican from Brewer, was elected most recently in 2012, but had served two previous terms in the Senate, from 2000 through 2004. He said Monday that his decision to leave results …

Poliquin to report $291,000 in spring fundraising, plus 7 stories you need to read

on July 14, 2014, at 11:39 a.m.
Bruce Poliquin, the GOP candidate for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, will report raising more than $281,000 in the 20 days following the June 10 primary election. None of that money came from the candidates’ own pockets, according to a press release from his campaign. Poliquin will also report having more than $291,000 …

LePage dings Michaud for highway fund shortfall; Obama’s problem with Christians

on July 11, 2014, at 2:52 p.m.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday sent a letter to U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, chastising the congressman for not ushering a solution to the federal Highway Trust Fund shortfall through Congress.
Gov. Paul LePage speaks during the second day of the 2014 Maine Republican Convention at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

The 38-point governor: How one month in 2010 changed decades of Maine political reality

By Mario Moretto on July 10, 2014, at 2:09 p.m.
Part 1 of 2 AUGUSTA, Maine — For the roughly 62 percent of voters who chose someone other than Republican Paul LePage for governor on Election Day in 2010, the result was a shock. They remember a campaign full of controversy over property tax payments, threats to punch reporters and …

Collins releases latest fundraising totals, carries $4 millions into summer months

on July 09, 2014, at 11:03 a.m.
Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins on Wednesday released her latest campaign fundraising figures, illustrating the senator's strong position heading into the summer months.
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage echoes Raye’s 12-year-old Social Security attack on Michaud

on July 09, 2014, at 9:16 a.m.
Social Security may be the third rail of American politics, but this particular attack line wasn't enough to take down Michaud in 2002, when Republican opponent Kevin Raye tried it.
Maine gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler

Does Maine’s campaign contributions cap hurt independent candidates?

By Mario Moretto on July 09, 2014, at 9:11 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Supporters of independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Monday, alleging that Maine’s current election laws unfairly prevent them from giving as much money to Cutler as backers of party candidates can donate to their preferred nominee. If the court rules …

Evangelos vs. AG Mills; Cutler’s property tax tour; 7 stories you need to read

on July 07, 2014, at 11:19 a.m.
Independent Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos is not too happy about the Attorney General's decision not to look into the meetings Gov. Paul LePage had with a group of anti-government extremists last year.
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