Robert Long

Robert Long

Senior Editor, Southern Maine

Steve Woods has filed to run for governor in 2014.

Steve Woods is tired of waiting to find out if Michaud is running for governor

on May 28, 2013, at 5:35 p.m.
Steve Woods, the only Democrat to declare formally for the 2014 gubernatorial race, wants Maine Democratic Party leaders to urge U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, the party’s most talked-about potential candidate, to make up his mind by June 10. Woods, who filed with the Maine Ethics Commission as a candidate for …

New poll highlights Mainers’ strong feelings about LePage

on May 22, 2013, at 5:35 p.m.
The latest fix for Maine political junkies fixated on the 2014 governor’s race came Wednesday when Critical Insights, a Portland-based polling firm, released its semi-annual trend-tracking survey. Polls this far before an election offer little more than conversation starters, but the Critical Insights results highlighted the magnitude of Republican Gov. …
The State House in Augusta.

House sustains sixth LePage veto, 2 more await override votes

By Robert Long on May 22, 2013, at 2:31 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage’s sixth veto withstood a House override vote Wednesday and will stand. After minimal discussion, the House voted 88-55 in favor of overriding LePage’s veto of LD 387. That tally fell short of the two-thirds majority necessary for an override, thereby sustaining the veto. All …

LePage veto: Ban tobacco in Maine entirely, or not at all

By Robert Long on May 20, 2013, at 6:50 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A bill to “simply outlaw tobacco altogether” would make more sense than piecemeal bans on smoking, Gov. Paul LePage said Monday as he vetoed a bill to outlaw smoking on public college campuses. “I firmly believe Maine people are responsible enough to make their own decisions concerning …
Maine Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall, D-Richmond.

Maine Senate approves bill that links Medicaid expansion to hospital debt repayment

By Robert Long on May 20, 2013, at 2:53 p.m.
AUGUSTA | For the third time in a week, Democrats in the Legislature prevailed Monday on a vote to link an expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Maine to a plan to repay the state’s Medicaid debt to its 39 hospitals. After lengthy debate, the Senate voted 20-15 in favor …
Rep. Mike Michaud

National GOP group tries to link Mike Michaud to IRS scandal

on May 17, 2013, at 4:39 p.m.
A national Republican campaign organization took steps Friday to capitalize in Maine on the controversy surrounding revelations that the Internal Revenue Service placed greater scrutiny on conservative groups seeking nonprofit status. The National Republican Congressional Committee announced Friday that it would begin running online ads urging U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud …

Lawmakers snuff out plan for raising tobacco taxes

on May 15, 2013, at 2:47 p.m.
The Legislature’s Taxation Committee voted unanimously Tuesday against two bills that called for tax increases on  tobacco products. One bill, LD 1406, proposed hiking the state cigarette tax from $2 to $3.50 per pack. A second bill, LD 1326, aimed to increase the tax on all tobacco products, including cigars, …
Craig Hickman

Maine House votes against creating food sovereignty act

By Robert Long on May 15, 2013, at 12:40 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine House of Representatives dealt a blow to local food sovereignty advocates Wednesday, voting 93-49 against a bill that would have established the Maine Food Sovereignty Act of 2013. Nine Maine towns have passed local ordinances that claim home rule rights that contradict state food licensing …
Maine Gov. Paul LePage delivers his State of the State address in in the house chambers in Augusta Tuesday Feb. 5, 2013.

LePage to Maine mayors: I made tough choices, so can you

By Robert Long on May 14, 2013, at 5:31 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday dismissed three suggestions by a group representing mayors of 12 Maine cities that they say improve upon his plan to balance the next state budget by suspending municipal revenue sharing for two years. In a letter Tuesday to LePage, the Mayors’ Coalition …

Public, professors to rub elbows at Augusta summit, discuss role of humanities in Maine

By Robert Long on May 14, 2013, at 5:27 p.m.
Understanding the ethical implications of science is an art. That’s one of the messages representatives of the University of Maine Humanities Initiative hope to convey during a free summit Friday at the Governor Hill Mansion in Augusta. The goal of the summit is to bring together scholars, …

Cutler: ‘So far, everything suggests that I can’ win in a 3-way race

on May 09, 2013, at 1:23 p.m.
Independent Eliot Cutler, who lost a close race to Republican Gov. Paul LePage in 2010, is “considerably closer to making a formal announcement later this year” that he will run for governor again in 2014, according to an email issued Thursday by his campaign organization. The email states that Cutler …
Independent Sen. Angus King

Despite siding with Democrats on 90 percent of votes, King says, ‘I’m making my own decisions’

By Robert Long on May 08, 2013, at 3:56 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Independent Sen. Angus King’s early penchant for voting with Democrats seems to be surprising no one in Washington, including Republicans in the Senate. And the trend isn’t likely to hold, the senator says. In April, the National Journal posted an article titled “Independent in name only.” Based …
Cianbro Corp. chairman and CEO Peter Vigue with a map backdrop of the proposed east-west highway.

Transportation Committee votes to kill east-west highway feasibility study

By Robert Long on May 07, 2013, at 4:54 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Legislature’s Transportation Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend repealing the requirement that the Maine Department of Transportation complete a feasibility study for a proposed private east-west highway from Calais to Coburn Gore. With three pieces of legislation proposing essentially to kill the study, the committee agreed …

Maine House fails to override LePage veto of optional vehicle registration fee hike

By Robert Long on May 07, 2013, at 11:49 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage’s third veto of the current legislative session will stand after House Democrats failed Tuesday to achieve the two-thirds majority vote required for an override. House members voted 88-55 Tuesday to override LePage’s veto of LD 405, which would have allowed municipalities to increase their …

Plans to hike tobacco taxes could cause shoppers to go elsewhere, storeowners say

By Robert Long on May 06, 2013, at 9:11 p.m.
AUGUSTA | An 18-year-old high school junior joined doctors, educators and anti-smoking advocates Monday in renewing the call to raise state taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products. Levi Smith, a student from Mount Vernon who attends Maranacook Community School, teamed up with representatives of the American Lung Association, …

Hearing on bill to legalize marijuana for recreational use set for Friday

By Robert Long on May 02, 2013, at 6:55 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, taxing and regulating it like alcohol, will receive a public hearing at 10 a.m. Friday before the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Diane Russell of Portland, would revamp Maine’s marijuana …

Women legislators urge rejection of bills they label ‘anti-choice’

By Robert Long on May 02, 2013, at 4:21 p.m.
AUGUSTA | More than 20 female lawmakers got a late start to floor sessions Thursday in the Maine House and Senate because they participated in a news conference expressing opposition to three proposed bills that they say would erode reproductive rights and limit women’s access to health care. Republicans …

Maine House resoundingly votes down proposal to shrink size of Legislature

By Robert Long on April 30, 2013, at 3:50 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine House of Representatives voted 113-30 Tuesday to reject a proposal by independent Rep. Joe Brooks of Winterport to shrink the size of the Legislature. Maine legislators have considered calls to reduce the number of state senators and representatives for decades. In his proposed legislation, LD …

East-west highway foes say project would hurt businesses, environment

By Robert Long on April 30, 2013, at 2:58 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A proposed 220-mile east-highway across Maine will hurt local businesses and destroy wildlife habitat, opponents of the project said at a State House event Tuesday. Patrick McGowan, a former Route 2 business owner, Maine conservation commissioner, legislator and Democratic candidate for governor, said Tuesday that “people in …

Call for constitutional amendment to end ‘corporate personhood’ on way to Maine Senate

By Robert Long on April 29, 2013, at 5:37 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine could become the 13th state to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn the controversial Citizens United ruling. Sen. Richard Woodbury, I-Yarmouth, plans to introduce a resolution Tuesday in the Maine Senate that directs the state’s congressional delegation to support a constitutional amendment that …
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