Robert Long

Robert Long

Senior Editor, Southern Maine


If LePage is ‘The Boss,’ who would Baldacci be in Red Sox-Yankees rivalry?

By Robert Long on March 31, 2013, at 9:57 a.m.
AUGUSTA | The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees open their 2013 seasons Monday with a game at Yankee Stadium. As Opening Day approaches, it’s hard not to view everything through the prism of the Bronx-Beantown baseball rivalry. Even politics. So let’s make up a new game based …

Rural Mainers turn out in force to back bills that would change wind energy law

By Robert Long on March 28, 2013, at 7:27 p.m.
AUGUSTA | People who live near wind farms and other opponents of expedited permitting for wind energy projects packed a legislative hearing room Thursday to testify in favor of three bills that aim to change parts of the Wind Energy Act of 2008. The act, which won unanimous support …

Bill to legalize, tax marijuana in Maine gains 35 co-sponsors

By Robert Long on March 27, 2013, at 3:30 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A bill to legalize recreational use of marijuana and regulate it like alcohol in Maine has garnered 35 co-sponsors and now heads to a legislative committee hearing. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, would make major changes in Maine’s drug law, ranging from making possession …

Maine’s government transparency improves by full letter grade, according to national report

By Robert Long on March 26, 2013, at 11:33 a.m.
“Maine still has a long way to go,” says analyst

Opponents square off in alewife debate

By Robert Long on March 25, 2013, at 3:34 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The contentious issue of whether to open the St. Croix River watershed to sea-run alewives drew more than six hours of impassioned testimony Monday during a public hearing before the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee. The hearing centered on two pieces of proposed legislation related to alewife restoration …
Mark Eves

Legislative panel holds hearing on LePage budget in Brewer

By Robert Long on March 25, 2013, at 11:20 a.m.
AUGUSTA | The Legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee will travel to Brewer on Monday to hold a public hearing on Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed $6.3 billion budget for the two-year cycle that begins July 1. The hearing is scheduled to run from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday at Jeff’s Catering, …
Maine Assistant Majority Floor Leader Jeff M. McCabe, D-Skowhegan, speaks during a press conference delivering the Democratic response to Gov. Paul LePage's State of the State address Tuesday Feb. 5, 2013.

Bill seeks to lift confidentiality from east-west highway partnership, but MDOT says no partnership exists

By Robert Long on March 22, 2013, at 8:37 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Lingering suspicions about plans to build a 220-mile east-west highway through central and rural Maine drew a large crowd to a legislative hearing Friday on a bill to make documents related to projects like it public. Sponsored by Assistant House Democratic Leader Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan, the …
John Baldacci

Baldacci tells Politico that he’s still open to run for governor — if Pingree or Michaud don’t

By Robert Long on March 20, 2013, at 3:03 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Former Gov. John Baldacci would rather see one of Maine’s two U.S. representatives, Democrats Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud, challenge Republican Gov. Paul LePage in 2014. But if they don’t, he probably will, according to a story posted Wednesday by Politico. Late last year, Baldacci’s name surfaced …
Maine Senate Assistant Majority Leader Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, speaks during a press conference delivering the Democratic response to Gov. Paul LePage's State of the State address Tuesday Feb. 5, 2013.

Lawmaker seeks to take pension away from LePage if he doesn’t win second term

By Robert Long on March 18, 2013, at 6:22 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Assistant Democratic Senate Leader Troy Jackson wants Gov. Paul LePage to be the first governor to have to be elected to a second term to collect a state pension. The Aroostook County lawmaker says such a change is needed because the governor has cut back on pensions …
Sen. Angus King

Angus King votes with Democrats as Senate panel passes first budget in three years

By Robert Long on March 15, 2013, at 8:04 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Sen. Angus King joined 10 Democrats and the Senate’s other independent member, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, in voting Thursday evening to pass a budget resolution for the federal fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. All 10 of the committee’s Republican members opposed the budget resolution, which was crafted …
Maine Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland.

Workforce training panel to unveil 12-part focus list Monday

By Robert Long on March 13, 2013, at 7:22 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future, which Democratic legislative leaders created this session to address the “skills gap” that inhibits Maine employers’ efforts to recruit properly trained workers, will make public its work to date on Monday. Democrats identified closing the “skills gap” as a …
Angus King

Angus King won seat raising less than $3 million — least in 2012 U.S. Senate race

By Robert Long on March 13, 2013, at 10:15 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Angus King raised less than any other candidate who won a U.S. Senate race in 2012. The independent former governor raised less than 30 percent of the average cost of a 2012 Senate race. The 33 senators who won elections in November raised, on average, $10.5 million, …
Janet Mills

Maine to share in Google settlement

By Robert Long on March 12, 2013, at 4:23 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Google will pay a $7 million legal settlement to Maine, 37 other states and the District of Columbia, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills announced Tuesday. The settlement derives from a suit challenging Google’s collection of data from unsecured wireless networks around the nation while taking photographs for …
Long-time bartender at the Brian Boru Publick House in Portland, Jeff Dalbec, pours multiple pints of Guinness at one Saturday morning St. Patrick's Day on March 17, 2012.

St. Patrick’s Day bill to allow earlier Sunday drink sales stalls in Maine House

By Robert Long on March 12, 2013, at 2:24 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A bill that would allow bars and restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages three hours earlier on Sundays when St. Patrick’s Day fall on that day, as is the case this year, stalled Tuesday in the Maine House of Representatives. The bill, LD 216, sponsored by Rep. Barry …
Gov. Paul LePage comments on the Legislature's delay in approving his plan to repay Maine hospitals millions of dollars in back debt on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at the Blaine House in Augusta.

LePage isn’t only one with anger management concerns in Maine politics

By Robert Long on March 10, 2013, at 5:31 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Outrage is all the rage these days in the State House. Indignation has become a form of political capital as, for the first time in more than two decades, a Legislature controlled by Democrats shares state government with a Republican governor. During his Feb. 5 State of …
Gov. Paul LePage comments on the Legislature's delay in approving his plan to repay Maine hospitals millions of dollars in back debt on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at the Blaine House in Augusta.

Bills stacking up on LePage’s desk after he said ‘nothing’ will get done until hospital debt paid

By Robert Long on March 08, 2013, at 12:57 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Earlier this week, Gov. Paul LePage reiterated his pledge not to sign any bills until lawmakers vote to pay Maine hospitals past debt they are owed. Now, bills are beginning to pile up on his desk. The Legislature took final action on six pieces of legislation Thursday …
Nichi Farnham

Former state Sen. Nichi Farnham wins unanimous backing for State Board of Education seat

By Robert Long on March 06, 2013, at 4:04 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Legislature’s Education Committee unanimously endorsed Bangor resident Nichi Farnham’s nomination to the State Board of Education on Wednesday. Gov. Paul LePage nominated Farnham, a Republican who represented Bangor and Hermon in the state Senate before she lost a highly publicized and expensive re-election bid to Democrat …
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins speaks during the opening ceremony of the new hangar at the 101st Air Refueling Wing base in Bangor in October.

Susan Collins joins bipartisan effort to stop illegal gun trafficking

By Robert Long on March 04, 2013, at 6:05 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, is one of five senators — three Democrats and two Republicans — who introduced legislation Monday designed to control illegal trafficking in firearms. Collins joins Democrats Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, as …
US. Rep. Mike Michaud answers questions during the Bangor Region  Chamber of Commerce debate in Bangor on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012.

Michaud ‘looking at’ run for governor

By Robert Long on March 04, 2013, at 5:37 p.m.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat who represents Maine’s 2nd District, is “looking at” a 2014 run for governor. Michaud, who has yet to file as a candidate, told Politico on Monday that he hasn’t set a timeline for making the decision about whether to run in a …
U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree

King, Pingree and Michaud want courts to strike federal ban on same-sex marriage

By Robert Long on March 01, 2013, at 5:32 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Three members of Maine’s congressional delegation have added their voices to those urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act. U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, and the state’s two U.S. House members, Democrats Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud, announced Friday in a joint …
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