Robert Long

Robert Long

Senior Editor, Southern Maine


Maine author’s memoir offers behind-the-scenes look at Reagan, how Cold War ended

By Robert Long on Feb. 14, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.
Remember “peace through strength,” former President Ronald Reagan’s strategy to bring down the Iron Curtain? Well, it turns out that — despite the conservative icon’s penchant for Pentagon spending and “evil empire” rhetoric — Reagan put more emphasis on the peace than the strength. In fact, his quest for peace …
State Rep. Kenneth Fredette speaks against overriding Governor Lepage's veto of LD1362, a tar sands study, at the State House Tuesday. The house did not pass the override.

LePage wins most ‘veto rampage’ votes, but loses on cellphone privacy, STEM bills

By Christopher Cousins and Robert Long, BDN Staff on July 09, 2013, at 12:42 p.m.
AUGUSTA | On the last day of its first session, the Democrat-led 126th Maine Legislature voted 29 times Tuesday to sustain vetoes by Republican Gov. Paul LePage and twice to enact laws over the governor’s opposition. The bill that broke LePage’s streak, LD 415, sponsored by assistant Senate Republican …
Rich Cebra

Chairman, vice chairwoman of Maine Republican Party resign

By Robert Long on July 03, 2013, at 4:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine Republican Party Chairman Rich Cebra and Vice Chairwoman Beth O’Connor have resigned, a little more than seven months after being elected to the party’s top two leadership positions. Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine Republican Party, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Cebra resigned “for personal reasons” …

Giffords, Kelly to bring gun-control message to Portland

on June 25, 2013, at 1:47 p.m.
Americans for Responsible Solutions, a political action committee that advocates for stricter gun control measures, announced Tuesday that former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, will visit Portland on July 6 to rally support for legislation to expand federal background check mandates for firearms purchases. The …
Gov. Paul LePage renews his pledge to veto the state budget at an Americans for Prosperity rally at the State House in Augusta Thursday.

LePage vetoes Maine state budget, setting up Wednesday legislative override votes

By Robert Long on June 24, 2013, at 3:57 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage followed through on his vow to veto a compromise $6.3 billion two-year budget sent to him June 13 by the Legislature. The Republican governor issued his veto letter Monday afternoon. Democrats, who hold majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, responded that if the …
Sen. Dawn Hill, D-York

A cast of leading characters from the 126th Legislature’s first session

By Robert Long on June 23, 2013, at 1:48 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Bedraggled and bleary-eyed, members of the 126th Legislature scuttled out of the State House early Thursday morning after the House and Senate recessed. Lawmakers will return this week to tackle the last bits of unfinished business for the session, including a promised budget veto from Gov. Paul …
The State House in Augusta.

Maine House deals final blow to Medicaid expansion

By Matthew Stone and Robert Long on June 19, 2013, at 3:01 p.m.
AUGUSTA | In two votes Wednesday, the Maine House fell short of overriding Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill calling for the state to expand eligibility for Medicaid, the state-federal low-income health insurance program, as allowed by the federal Affordable Care Act. The House voted 97-52 Wednesday afternoon …

Orono’s Emily Cain to seek Maine’s 2nd District congressional seat

on June 14, 2013, at 12:59 p.m.
The expected stampede of candidates to run in Maine’s 2nd U.S. House District triggered by Rep. Mike Michaud’s announcement Thursday that he’s exploring a foray into the 2014 gubernatorial race began Friday, when state Sen. Emily Cain formally declared her intent to seek the congressional seat. One legislator who won’t …
Kenneth Fredette

Maine House and Senate send $6.3 billion budget to LePage

By Christopher Cousins and Robert Long on June 13, 2013, at 6:14 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine House and Senate voted Thursday night to enact a $6.3 billion compromise budget for the two-year cycle that begins July 1. Each chamber voted twice Thursday on the budget, which legislative leaders plan to have on Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s desk Friday morning. The governor, …
The State House in Augusta.

Maine House rejects bills to tighten abortion rules, create fetal rights after passionate debates

By Robert Long on June 12, 2013, at 7:53 p.m.
AUGUSTA | On the same day the U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted to outlaw nearly all abortions after the 22nd week of pregnancy, Maine lawmakers spent more than two hours sharing personal stories and delivering impassioned speeches about reproductive and fetal rights Wednesday evening in the Maine House. After …

Maine House supports longer terms for legislators

By Robert Long on June 10, 2013, at 7:16 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A bill that would ask voters to amend the Maine Constitution to extend the length of legislators’ terms from two years to four years moves to the Senate after winning initial passage Monday in the House. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Schneck, a first-term Bangor Democrat, touted …

Maine House chews through bills as end of session looms

on June 10, 2013, at 3:38 p.m.
Nine days before the Maine Legislature’s scheduled adjournment date, June 19, the House and Senate settled in Monday for morning, afternoon and evening sessions. It’s not as grueling as sweat-boiling double sessions at National Football League training camps — or the Appropriations Committee’s budget-balancing stretch run — but lawmakers, legislative …

Bill to schedule statewide vote on marijuana legalization falls by 4 votes in Maine House

By Robert Long on June 07, 2013, at 4:19 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine House fell four votes short Friday of endorsing a measure that would move Maine closer to a statewide vote on legalizing recreational use of marijuana. After a swirling debate that touched on personal experiences, addiction, the status of the national “war on drugs” and the …
Eliot Cutler

Eliot Cutler tells Portland radio show hosts that he’s running for governor in 2014

By Robert Long on June 06, 2013, at 9:20 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Eliot Cutler, an independent who finished a close second to Republican Gov. Paul LePage in 2010, confirmed Thursday morning that he plans to run for governor in 2014. When asked by WGAN radio morning show host Mike Violette if he’s running for governor in 2014, Cutler replied, …

Redrawn Maine legislative districts easily win House, Senate endorsements

By Robert Long on June 05, 2013, at 6 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Redrawn maps of Maine House and Senate districts are on their way to Gov. Paul LePage after gaining overwhelming support in both chambers Wednesday. Maine must redraw House, Senate and county commission district boundaries every 10 years to account for population changes reflected by the U.S. Census. …
The State House in Augusta

Maine House votes to override LePage veto of bill to offer CPR training in schools

By Robert Long on June 05, 2013, at 2:06 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A majority of Republicans joined Democrats in the Maine House on Wednesday in voting to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that would require school districts to offer students instruction on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator. The 125-18 House vote …
The State House in Augusta.

Maine House passes bill to allow uniformed military recruiters in schools after fiery debate

By Robert Long on June 04, 2013, at 4:55 p.m.
AUGUSTA | After a long, often fiery debate and two roll-call votes, the Maine House on Tuesday advanced a bill designed to ensure that military recruiters can wear their uniforms while visiting public high schools and charter schools. The House vote on LD 1503, An Act to Ensure Student …

Legislators kill bill to allow statewide elections of constitutional officers

By Robert Long on June 04, 2013, at 12:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The latest attempt to change the way Maine’s attorney general, treasurer and secretary of state are elected failed Tuesday in the House of Representatives. The House voted 79-59 against LD 1279, which proposed a statewide referendum to amend the Maine Constitution to allow direct elections of the …

LePage’s perfect veto record this session remains intact

By Robert Long on June 03, 2013, at 5:10 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The House on Monday afternoon sustained Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a legislative resolve that sought to have the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board launch a study of the psychological and physical harm employees experience as a result of workplace bullying. Monday’s vote makes LePage a perfect …

Maine high court rejects appeal to shield names of donors in 2009 campaign against gay marriage

By Robert Long on May 30, 2013, at 1:05 p.m.
PORTLAND | The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday told a national organization opposed to gay marriage that it must turn over the names of donors from the 2009 people’s veto campaign that repealed a law allowing same-sex couples to wed. The justices unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling …