Articles by Scott Thistle

 
CAMPAIGN 2014
Eliot Cutler

Cutler renews call for election reforms as Maine Democrats and Republicans hold primaries

By Scott Thistle on June 10, 2014, at 3:51 p.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — Eliot Cutler, an independent candidate for governor, marked primary day for Maine’s political parties Tuesday by calling attention to state election laws he says are unfair and do not reflect a true democracy. On Tuesday, he renewed calls to reform Maine’s election system to allow for open …
POLL QUESTION
David Boyer (center), Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, addresses the media and a handful of people gathered in Kennedy Park during a press conference Monday. He and his group are hoping to make legal the possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use and are launching an effort to collect enough voter signatures to put the issue on a citywide ballot in November. To his left is former Rep. Stavros Mendros. At right is Luke Jensen, who is running for Lewiston's House District 58 seat.

‘It’s about just letting people be free’: Pot legalization advocates push for Lewiston vote

By Scott Thistle on June 09, 2014, at 2:58 p.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — Advocates hoping to make legal the possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use have launched an effort to collect enough voter signatures to put the issue on a Lewiston municipal ballot in November. “The petition process will spark a public dialogue about marijuana …
POLL QUESTION
Bruce Poliquin

Maine primary candidates in congressional race span political spectrum

By Scott Thistle on June 08, 2014, at 6:38 a.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — The outcome of Tuesday’s primary to pick the contenders to replace U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud in Congress will be a bellwether for both political parties in the summer and fall political campaigns. Democratic and Republican primary voters in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes the vast majority …

Supporters for recreational marijuana use turn focus to Lewiston

By Scott Thistle on June 07, 2014, at 6:41 a.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — Organizers hoping to make recreational marijuana use legal in Maine’s second-largest city will launch their citywide signature gathering campaign Monday, David Boyer, the state political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said Friday. Lewiston City Clerk Kathy Montejo said the group turned in its initial petition request …

LePage appoints Auburn mayor to serve as Office of Policy and Management director

By Scott Thistle on June 04, 2014, at 4:15 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte will be joining the administration for Republican Gov. Paul LePage. LePage announced Wednesday that he has appointed LaBonte to serve as director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management. The office was created to replace the State Planning Office. LaBonte takes over …
CAMPAIGN 2014
Maine gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler speaks at Gomez Park on the Bangor waterfront in May.

Cutler says he can pay for his education plan

By Scott Thistle on June 03, 2014, at 3:29 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler rolled out his education platform during stops in Bangor and Portland on Tuesday. Cutler, from Cape Elizabeth, is running against incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Maine’s 2nd District U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat from East Millinocket. Michaud is leaving …
David Boulter, executive director of Maine's Legislative Council, looks at the renovation work on the State House dome in Augusta.

New copper dome to provide historic change to State House

By Scott Thistle on June 01, 2014, at 9:05 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — On a staging that reaches 200 feet in the air, carpenters, coppersmiths, engineers and other workers are making historic changes to the exterior of the State House dome. The effort, which involves replacing more than 7,000 square feet of copper sheeting that covers the dome, is expected …

Federal officials to review legality of Alexander Group report

By Scott Thistle on May 28, 2014, at 6:57 p.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — The state of Maine may have a difficult time recovering any of the more than $500,000 it already paid a private consultant to develop a study and analysis of Maine’s welfare system following the revelation that parts of the study contained plagiarized material, a Maine law professor …
Plans for what the Maine Legislature will do with the more than 7,000 square feet of copper being replaced on the State House dome remain up in the air.

Legislators up in the air about what to do with copper that topped State House dome

By Scott Thistle on May 27, 2014, at 7:01 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Like the material itself, plans for what the Maine Legislature will do with the more than 7,000 square feet of copper being replaced on the State House dome remain up in the air. The Legislative Council met Tuesday and set in a motion a plan to get …
House Minority Leader Ken Fredette

Arkansas officials call Maine GOP’s claims about Medicaid expansion in their state ‘misinformation’

By Scott Thistle on May 24, 2014, at 6:10 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Officials in the state of Arkansas are saying “not so fast” to claims being made by leaders in Maine’s Republican Party that an expansion of Arkansas’s Medicaid program has led that state to fiscal crisis and Maine was wise not to expand its low-income health care program. …
CAMPAIGN 2014
Rep. Terry Hayes, D-Buckfield, speaks during a press conference at the Portland Public Library Wednesday, where a group of about 50 women said they would back independent candidate Eliot Cutler in the 2014 Maine Governor's race.

Cutler campaign gains support from prominent Maine women, but Michaud claims they distort his record

By Scott Thistle on May 21, 2014, at 6:01 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — A group of prominent Maine women, both Democrats and Republicans, said Wednesday they were supporting Eliot Cutler, an independent candidate in Maine’s 2014 gubernatorial race. Among those offering support is a former U.S. attorney, current and former members of the Maine Legislature, successful businesswomen and philanthropists. Cutler, …
CAMPAIGN 2014
Maine gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler

As Cutler touts pro-choice record on abortion, LePage and Michaud campaigns reaffirm their stated positions

By Scott Thistle on May 20, 2014, at 1:59 p.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — The candidates running for governor in Maine are staking out their positions on the hot-button abortion issue this week. On Tuesday, Eliot Cutler, an independent from Cape Elizabeth, released his answers to a questionnaire from Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund — a political action committee — noting …
Gerry Reid, the former head of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations in Maine.

Panel to decide if appeal of Maine liquor marketing contract should go forward

By Scott Thistle on May 18, 2014, at 6:36 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The question of whether a contract to market Maine’s wholesale liquor business was awarded fairly and within the bounds of a new state law that was passed in part to recapture alcohol sales lost to New Hampshire is in the hands of a three-person administrative review panel. …
CAMPAIGN 2014
Eliot Cutler

In governor’s race, candidates’ economic plans differ on minimum wage

By Scott Thistle on May 14, 2014, at 8:34 a.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — Everybody knows the saying, “It’s the economy, stupid.” That infamous phrase, coined by political strategist James Carville as he helped Bill Clinton become president in 1992, is as pertinent as ever. The candidates running for governor certainly know it’s true, but how they would go about fixing …
Rhode Island welfare consultant Gary Alexander (left) and Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew prepare Tuesday, Jan. 14, to answer questions from the Health and Human Services Committee at the Cross Office Building in Augusta.

Despite paying welfare consultant more than $500,000, Maine has received only one section of 5-part study

By Scott Thistle on May 13, 2014, at 2:20 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The final portion of a controversial five-part study of the state’s welfare system that’s costing Maine taxpayers $925,200 is due Thursday but, according to state officials, only the first part of the study — due Dec. 1 — has been turned in. Maine has paid the Rhode …

DHHS official leaves department, former conservative think tank official promoted to job

By Scott Thistle on May 05, 2014, at 5:53 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The chief operating officer for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services is leaving his post to return to the private sector, according a spokesman for the agency According to DHHS spokesman John Martins, William Boeschenstein Jr. of Cape Elizabeth, who served with DHHS since March …
Rep. Peggy Rotundo

In last-minute twist, lawmakers vote to kill late bills by LePage

By Scott Thistle on May 02, 2014, at 6:36 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee voted unanimously late Thursday to kill a pair of bills that Republican Gov. Paul LePage proposed in the final days of the 126th Legislature’s second session. The decision came after the committee received word from LePage, just as it was preparing …
House Majority Leader Seth Berry

Lawmakers disagree about procedure, sustain LePage veto of family planning bill

By Scott Thistle on May 01, 2014, at 7:49 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — After four Republicans changed their votes to support Gov. Paul LePage, the Maine House on Thursday sustained the governor’s veto of a bill that would have expanded access to birth control and cervical cancer screenings for up to 13,700 low-income women. The reason? Republicans said they were …
POLL QUESTION
Gov. Paul LePage

With last-minute bill, LePage renews war on drugs with plan to boost enforcement, fund more treatment

By Scott Thistle on April 30, 2014, at 3:29 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — In a last-minute move, Gov. Paul LePage is offering up two bills he wants the Legislature to consider when it reconvenes Thursday to take up a long list of veto override votes. One of the bills offered by LePage would fund a proposed expansion of the state’s …
CAMPAIGN 2014
Rep. Mike Michaud

Michaud, Cutler raise more than $1 million for governor’s race, LePage anticipates doing more with less

By Scott Thistle on April 29, 2014, at 7:44 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Campaign war chests of two of the top three candidates for governor in Maine have broken the $1 million mark. The campaign for Democrat Mike Michaud, Maine’s 2nd District representative, said its candidate had collected $1.4 million as of the April 29 deadline, while independent candidate Eliot …
 
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