Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto

State House Reporter

 
Topsham poll worker Anette Philippon collects ballots in this August 2013 file photo.

Should Maine’s roughly 368,000 independents be allowed to vote in primaries?

By Mario Moretto on April 01, 2015, at 5:32 p.m.
AUGUSTA | With nearly four of every 10 registered Maine voters choosing not to join a political party, unenrolled voters or “independents” make up the largest electoral bloc in the state. But those voters are disenfranchised from choosing which candidates will appear in the general election, according to state …
Former Brig. Gen. James Campbell welcomed back the Maine Army National Guard’s 133rd Engineer Battalion.

In battle over Maine National Guard, history favors Pentagon, not LePage

By Mario Moretto on March 31, 2015, at 6:52 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The National Guard is a servant of two masters. So what happens if the two masters disagree about fundamental plans for the service’s future? As it turns out, it’s messy — really messy. National Guard units, descended from the state militias you read about in high school …
Gov. Paul LePage blasted lawmakers who oppose his plans to beef up the state's law enforcement capabilities in the War on Drugs on Tuesday in Augusta.

LePage blasts opponents of his drug enforcement plan as being ‘weak on drugs’

By Mario Moretto on March 31, 2015, at 2:32 p.m.
AUGUSTA | While the initiative has not yet been subjected to a single vote in the Legislature, Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday came out swinging against lawmakers who have criticized his plan to beef up Maine’s efforts to arrest and prosecute drug offenders. “They are weak on drugs,” LePage …

Daily Brief: More education makes GOP more skeptical about climate change

on March 31, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where Gov. Paul LePage will make a renewed push for his plan to beef up the apprehension and prosecution of drug criminals. The Republican governor has proposed funding for an additional four District Court judges, seven additional Maine Drug Enforcement agents and four assistant attorneys general, …

Daily Brief: More education makes GOP more skeptical about climate change

on March 31, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where Gov. Paul LePage will make a renewed push for his plan to beef up the apprehension and prosecution of drug criminals. The Republican governor has proposed funding for an additional four District Court judges, seven additional Maine Drug Enforcement agents and four assistant attorneys general, …

Pro-choice activists worry new bills would restrict abortion access

By Mario Moretto on March 30, 2015, at 8:28 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Two bills brought by Republican lawmakers seeking to amend Maine abortion laws have garnered scrutiny from pro-choice activists, who fear the legislation, if enacted, would restrict access to abortions. The first bill — LD 83, sponsored by Sen. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville — would allow only the written …

GOP leader: Dems want it both ways with DHHS budget

By Mario Moretto on March 30, 2015, at 7:26 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The ranking Republican on the state’s health committee says her Democratic colleagues want it both ways after approving Gov. Paul LePage’s new spending proposals for the Department of Health and Human Services, but not cuts he wanted to pay for them. The Legislature’s Health and Human Services …
Brig. Gen. Gerard Bolduc, interim adjutant general of the Maine National Guard, speaks with reporters Friday in a conference room at Camp Keyes.

New Maine Guard chief pledges transparency, answers on controversial troop plan

By Mario Moretto on March 27, 2015, at 6:11 p.m.
AUGUSTA | It’s been a whirlwind four days for Brig. Gen. Gerard Bolduc. The man who was named interim chief of the Maine National Guard on Tuesday has been thrust into the center of a controversial plan to reshape the guard, which cost his predecessor his job on Tuesday …

LePage offers Stephen King a deal: ‘Make me the villain of your next book’

on March 27, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, legislative committees are continuing to plow through the thousands of bills on docket this session. Normally we outline some bills to watch, but we’ve got so much stuff for you in the Daily Brief today that I’m going to leave you to your own devices with …
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (left) joined Gov. Paul LePage to push for a constitutional convention so that state could push a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Thursday at the State House in Augusta.

Ohio Gov. Kasich, LePage team up to push US balanced budget amendment

By Mario Moretto on March 26, 2015, at 1:23 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine should join a national movement for a constitutional convention in support of a federal balanced budget amendment, said Gov. Paul LePage on Thursday. LePage was buoyed by a visit Thursday from fellow Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, one of the loudest proponents of the convention, …

At LePage’s request, lawmakers will vote on Article V balanced budget convention

on March 26, 2015, at 11:14 a.m.
Maine could become the 28th state to join the call for a constitutional convention with the hopes of amending the U.S. Constitution to require balanced budgets at the federal level. Jim Cyr, a spokesman for Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Winterport, confirmed Thursday that Thibodeau would introduce a joint resolution in …

Daily Brief: Will Maine throw its support behind balanced budget amendment?

By Mario Moretto on March 26, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where the fallout from the sudden firing of Brig. Gen. James Campbell, who until Tuesday was the head of the Maine National Guard, is still reverberating. In an interview with the BDN, Campbell categorically denied that he lied to the public about plans to transform the …

Daily Brief: Will Maine throw its support behind balanced budget amendment?

on March 26, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where the fallout from the sudden firing of Brig. Gen. James Campbell, who until Tuesday was the head of the Maine National Guard, is still reverberating. In an interview with the BDN, Campbell categorically denied that he lied to the public about plans to transform the …

Daily Brief: Will Maine throw its support behind balanced budget amendment?

on March 26, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where the fallout from the sudden firing of Brig. Gen. James Campbell, who until Tuesday was the head of the Maine National Guard, is still reverberating. In an interview with the BDN, Campbell categorically denied that he lied to the public about plans to transform the …
Brig. Gen. James Campbell

LePage fires Maine National Guard chief James Campbell

By Christopher Cousins, Mario Moretto and Nok-Noi Ricker on March 24, 2015, at 11:16 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine National Guard Adjutant Gen. James D. Campbell, who was scheduled to address the House and Senate on Tuesday morning, was relieved of duty by Gov. Paul LePage shortly before the scheduled start time of the speech. “Based on an internal review of Gen. Campbell, I have …

Cyber attack knocks out maine.gov again — hacker group claims responsibility

on March 24, 2015, at 9:33 a.m.
For the second time in as many days, Maine’s official government website, maine.gov, was the subject of a denial-of-service cyber attack on Tuesday. The effect of such attacks is to make the targeted website inaccessible to all users. In other words, maine.gov was knocked offline. The site was first attacked …

Daily Brief: Murderous Frank Underwood more popular than Obama

on March 24, 2015, at 7:33 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where Gov. Paul LePage is hoping to gain support for his budget proposals related to fighting the rampant substance abuse that plagues many Maine communities. The governor has asked reporters and TV crews to meet with him in the Cabinet room to stump for the plan, …

Daily Brief: Murderous Frank Underwood more popular than Obama

By Mario Moretto on March 24, 2015, at 7:33 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where Gov. Paul LePage is hoping to gain support for his budget proposals related to fighting the rampant substance abuse that plagues many Maine communities. The governor has asked reporters and TV crews to meet with him in the Cabinet room to stump for the plan, …

Daily Brief: Murderous Frank Underwood more popular than Obama

on March 24, 2015, at 7:33 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where Gov. Paul LePage is hoping to gain support for his budget proposals related to fighting the rampant substance abuse that plagues many Maine communities. The governor has asked reporters and TV crews to meet with him in the Cabinet room to stump for the plan, …
Members of the Maine Human Rights Commission listen to testimony during a hearing about religious discrimination accusations filed against Moody's Diner by an employee in Augusta in this November 2014 file photo. On Monday, the rights panel denied a request from Gov. Paul LePage to reconsider its ruling.

Maine rights panel denies LePage plea to reopen Moody’s Diner case

By Mario Moretto on March 23, 2015, at 5:47 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Human Rights Commission on Monday denied a request from Gov. Paul LePage to reconsider its ruling that Moody’s Diner, a destination restaurant in Waldoboro, discriminated against a former employee for religious reasons. The commission ruled in November 2014 that “reasonable grounds” exist to believe discrimination …
 
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