Articles by Scott Thistle

 
Gov. Paul LePage

Maine Democratic Party files records request to learn what LePage knew about document shredding

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 27, 2014, at 2:17 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine —The Maine Democratic Party on Monday announced it had filed a public records request of Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s office asking for information about a change in funding for Healthy Maine Partnerships in 2011. The funding change orchestrated by the Maine Center for Disease Control has come under …
House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick

Democrats trying to grow ‘bipartisan coalition’ to expand MaineCare

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 23, 2014, at 6:18 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A key committee of the Legislature tabled a bill Wednesday that would vastly expand the state’s Medicaid program, as Democratic lawmakers worked to build a bipartisan coalition to support the expansion. The measure, LD 1578, is similar to two others vetoed by Republican Gov. Paul LePage in …
Gov. Paul LePage speaks with reporters from his office in the State House on Thursday, Dec. 19 2013.

As Maine lawmakers consider solar energy goals, LePage takes new swipe at wind power

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 21, 2014, at 1:51 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine is lagging behind the rest of New England when it comes to generating electricity with solar power, and the state’s position has little to do with the climate. Lawmakers heard Tuesday that Maine gets 30 percent more sunlight each year than Germany, a European leader in …
Rhode Island welfare consultant Gary Alexander (left) and Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew prepare to answer questions from the Health and Human Services Committee at the Cross Office Building in Augusta on Jan. 14, 2014.

State worked with consultant to edit Medicaid report before releasing it to public

By Mario Moretto and Scott Thistle on Jan. 20, 2014, at 5:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine – A state-funded study on the impact of Medicaid expansion was modified from its first to final draft, according to a Bangor Daily News and Sun Journal review of multiple revised documents. Late on Friday, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services released three earlier versions of …
ANALYSIS
Rep. Corey Wilson, R-Augusta

Handful of Republican lawmakers may hold key to expanding Medicaid in Maine

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 18, 2014, at 6:16 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A handful of Republican state lawmakers, if they haven’t already, are about to become the most popular — or depending on how you look at it —- among the most wanted people at the Legislature in the weeks ahead. “There is a fair amount of pressure coming …
Gary Alexander

Democrats do about-face, will let controversial welfare consultant address legislative committee

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 13, 2014, at 8:57 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — He was on the agenda and then he was off the agenda. Now he’s back on, and it appears lawmakers on the Maine Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee will get to hear, in person, from Gary Alexander. Alexander, CEO of the Alexander Group — a Rhode …
Eliot Cutler

Eliot Cutler and Mike Michaud say LePage should release taxpayer-funded welfare study

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 08, 2014, at 7:22 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine —The two top candidates seeking to replace Republican Gov. Paul LePage expressed dismay and concern Wednesday over LePage’s refusal to release a study on Maine’s welfare programs that is being paid for with taxpayer dollars. Democratic candidate and Maine’s 2nd District U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud said LePage’s refusal …
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills

Federal judge denies DHHS appeal on 50 percent funding cut at Riverview hospital

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 07, 2014, at 9:47 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A state appeal of a federal government decision to cut about $20 million in funding from the state-run Riverview Psychiatric Center has been denied by a federal judge. That means state lawmakers will now have to wrestle with filling the gap as they head into the second …
Gov. Paul LePage speaks with reporters from his office in the State House on Thursday, Dec. 19. LePage's administration has continued to bar public access to a report on Maine's welfare system, saying officials still need time to "finalize" the report so they are able to answer any questions the press might have.

Release of welfare report denied by LePage administration

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 07, 2014, at 7:02 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — State officials are continuing to deny access to a publicly funded study examining Maine’s welfare system and the possible impacts of a Medicaid expansion here. The study, commissioned on a no-bid contract for $925,200 by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, is being completed by …
Maine State House, May 8, 2013.

State lawmakers to address rides program, revenue sharing in upcoming session

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 07, 2014, at 6:11 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine —Bills addressing issues ranging from slot machines to renewable energy to revamping a state-sponsored health care rides program await lawmakers Wednesday at the State House. The first week of the “short session,” which is set to end in April, starts this week. But topping the list is what …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage continues effort to lower energy costs for Maine ratepayers

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 05, 2014, at 6:17 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — For the fourth year in a row, Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration is pushing to roll back or significantly change portions of Maine law aimed at boosting in-state renewable energy production. LePage says he wants to level the state’s energy-production playing field and open the door to …
Sen. Troy Jackson

Clown noses? Vaseline? Man brains? What came out of lawmakers’ mouths in 2013 left many Mainers scratching their heads

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 02, 2014, at 3:15 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — They put on clown noses in committee, lambasted each other with crude insults on television and spent time thinking with or about their “man brains.” Maine politicians, both Democratic and Republican, were anything but boring in the things they did or said in 2013. And it wasn’t …

Documents show LePage staff approved $1 million no-bid contract for welfare report

By Scott Thistle on Dec. 13, 2013, at 6:17 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Despite telling a television reporter earlier this week he didn’t hire a private company to produce an analysis and recommendations on Maine’s welfare and health care programs, a document obtained from Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s office shows members of his staff in fact authorized the expense. LePage …
Stavros Mendros, left, reviews documents with his attorney Mark Walker during a hearing before the state's ethics commission Dec. 5.

Maine campaign ethics panel expands scope of Lewiston casino campaign inquest

By Scott Thistle on Dec. 13, 2013, at 7:22 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s panel on campaign finance and ethics unanimously voted Thursday to expand its investigation into a failed 2011 campaign to bring a casino to downtown Lewiston. The Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices decided a trio of out-of-state businessmen who funded the campaign and hired …
Mary Mayhew, commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Republicans fight back against criticism of $1 million no-bid contract for welfare study

By Scott Thistle on Dec. 12, 2013, at 7:01 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Republicans on the Legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee on Thursday defended a controversial no-bid $1 million contract with a Rhode Island company to study Maine’s welfare programs. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services signed the $925,000 contract with the Alexander Group in September, but did not …
Former Maine Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Daniel Wathen

Former chief justice tells Maine lawmakers that bill to fix psychiatric hospital failed

By Scott Thistle on Dec. 11, 2013, at 1:50 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The former chief justice for Maine’s high court told lawmakers Tuesday a bill they passed to resolve safety and funding problems at the state-run Riverview Psychiatric Center did not work. The bill, LD 1515, passed during an emergency session in August and signed by Republican Gov. Paul …

Democrats, Republicans on Maine Legislature’s health panel spar over welfare consultant’s $925,000 no-bid contract

By Scott Thistle on Dec. 10, 2013, at 6:58 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Lawmakers on the Legislature’s Health and Human Service Committee on Tuesday reviewed a $925,000 contract awarded to a Rhode Island-based consulting firm to study the state’s welfare system. The no-bid contract, awarded to the Alexander Group by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, has come …
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale

Pa. auditor general on consultant who received $925,000 Maine contract: ‘What kind of background check was done on this?’

By Scott Thistle on Dec. 09, 2013, at 7:03 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Pennsylvania’s auditor general said Monday that he doubts how well the Maine Department of Health and Human Services vetted a company that it awarded a nearly $1 million no-bid contract to in September. Meanwhile, two committees of the Maine Legislature are expected to discuss the contract this …
Stavros Mendros (left) reviews documents with his attorney Mark Walker during a hearing before the state's ethics commission on Thursday.

Action delayed in alleged web of misdeeds in Lewiston casino campaign

By Scott Thistle on Dec. 05, 2013, at 7:25 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine —Two Lewiston men who helped organize a statewide campaign aimed at bringing a casino to downtown Lewiston endured a barrage of questions Thursday during a five-hour hearing before the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. The commission tabled action on the case, however, because it was …
VolturnUS, the wind turbine designed and built at the University of Maine, became the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine in the Americas to provide electricity to the power grid in June.

Power from UM wind pilot project still expected to cost much more than current rates

By Scott Thistle on Dec. 04, 2013, at 5:24 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — An offshore wind power pilot project for the Gulf of Maine could still cost the state’s electric ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of a 20-year power purchase agreement now on the table before the state’s Public Utilities Commission. The project, headed by the …
 
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