Gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler at a Portland press conference.

Put Cutler, Michaud, LePage on a stage, and what does it show?

on June 17, 2014, at 11:58 a.m.
In January, independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler issued a challenge to his two opponents in Maine’s 2014 gubernatorial contest: Agree to a debate in each of Maine’s 16 counties. “There are only three of us in this race, and in light of how important this election is for Maine’s future, …
Gary Alexander presents his Medicaid expansion study on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at the Department of Health and Human Services office building in Augusta.

LePage has canceled Alexander contract, but the damage is done

on June 16, 2014, at 12:27 p.m.
Gov. Paul LePage’s administration has finally given into reality. On Thursday, the state Department of Health and Human Services finally canceled its $925,000, no-bid contract with the Alexander Group, the discredited consultancy that produced two ideology-driven documents opposing an expansion of Medicaid and promoting LePage’s favored welfare “reforms.” Five months …
Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew

Power grab by DHHS oversteps the law, basic integrity

on June 14, 2014, at 7:30 a.m.
If you don’t get your way by following the legal channels, try the illegal channels. That’s the message the Maine Department of Health and Human Services is sending with what is supposedly a new rule to prevent state dollars from funding general assistance for undocumented immigrants. The department says it …
Committee ranking member Rep. Michael Michaud (left), D-Maine, and Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Florida, convene a House Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on the Phoenix VA Health Care System wait list in May.

Blame for Michaud in VA scandal inflates his role

on June 13, 2014, at 9:17 a.m.
Blame is top of mind in political circles when it comes to the scandal surrounding appointment scheduling, hidden waitlists and delayed patient care at Department of Veterans Affairs health care facilities. In Maine, that blame game has reached a fever pitch among some Republicans as they try to accuse U.S. …
Richard Borgman, professor of finance at UMaine, teaches a class in Orono in November 2013.

Don’t let mistrust derail potential consolidation of USM, UMaine business schools

on June 12, 2014, at 1:37 p.m.
If you become a lawyer, it’s likely you will also need some business acumen. You might start your own business, run a law firm, work as in-house counsel for a business or simply have business clients. The reverse is true if you get a degree in business. You will likely …
Emily Cain hugs a supporter after delivering her victory speech for the Democratic 2nd Congressional District seat Tuesday evening at the Holiday Inn in Bangor.

Fight between Cain, Poliquin will test influence of centrist vote

on June 11, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.
After Tuesday’s primaries, the general election in November will pit rising progressive Emily Cain against arch-conservative Bruce Poliquin in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud in Congress. It will be a race to watch. The 2nd District, encompassing Lewiston, much of the Waterville area, Bangor and points east, …
People use computers at the state Department of Labor's Career Center in Bangor in this January 2010 file photo.

Maine is making job skills program stronger. Everyone stands to gain from it

on June 10, 2014, at 12:45 p.m.
How can low-income Maine residents living at or near the poverty line escape the trap that limits them to low-skill, low-wage jobs? Education — and the resulting degree or professional credential — is an indispensable part of the answer. That’s why we welcome news that an opportunity for low-income residents …
Gov. Paul LePage offers opening remarks at the Maine Tourism Conference at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on March 19.

LePage can’t call himself a fiscal conservative

on June 09, 2014, at 3:33 p.m.
Imagine you run a hospital, nursing home, community charity or college, and you need to borrow money to replace an aging wing or construct a new building. As a nonprofit in Maine, your facility would apply for a loan for the capital project through the Maine Health and Higher Educational …
Steam rises from the stacks of the coal-fired Jim Bridger Power Plant outside Point of the Rocks, Wyoming, in this March 2014 file photo.

The EPA sidestepped Congress with carbon emissions rule? What hot air

on June 08, 2014, at 10:14 a.m.
When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules June 2 to curb greenhouse gas emissions, some Republicans denounced the measure by saying the EPA was sidestepping Congress. The criticism fell flat. Yes, Congress absolutely should have crafted a way to reduce emissions. But it has repeatedly failed to do …
Congress Square Park in Portland

Say no to unwieldy oversight of Portland parks. Question 1 goes too far

on June 06, 2014, at 11:22 a.m.
Proponents of Question 1 on Portland’s municipal ballot Tuesday have created an impression that the city’s public spaces are under perpetual threat. To blunt it, they want to set a high threshold of support when it comes to transactions involving the city’s public spaces. But they would set the bar …
Rhode Island welfare consultant Gary Alexander (left) presents his Medicaid expansion feasibility study to lawmakers on the Health and Human Services Committee in this January 2014 file photo.

If Gary Alexander doesn’t give Maine’s money back, LePage should make him

on June 05, 2014, at 10:32 a.m.
“This is truly a case of egregious fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars,” Senate President Justin Alfond and House Speaker Mark Eves said in a May 28 letter to Gov. Paul LePage. They were referring to the reports on Maine general assistance programs produced by the Alexander Group, which …
Former Maine Senate President Kevin Raye, R-Perry

Kevin Raye is most deserving of GOP votes in 2nd District

on June 04, 2014, at 11:22 a.m.
The race for the Republican nomination pits a former state senator and small-business owner, who often invokes the legacy of former Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, against a former state treasurer and pension fund manager fond of saying he wants to clean up problems left behind by career politicians. Both candidates, …
State Sen. Emily Cain

On June 10, Democrats’ best choice for 2nd District is Emily Cain

on June 03, 2014, at 1:31 p.m.
The race for the Democratic nod to run for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District seat in November comes down largely to questions of legislative style and approach. Emily Cain of Orono and Troy Jackson of Allagash are both Democratic state senators who agree in broad strokes on most major policy issues. …
Small bouquets in mason jars line a table, each with the name of someone who lost his or her life due to domestic violence in Maine, at Spruce Run's annual Walk to End Abuse at West Market Square in Bangor last year.

Why people often think a violent perpetrator is ‘such a nice guy’

on June 02, 2014, at 3:24 p.m.
It is understandable for Maine residents to be shocked by the shooting death of 31-year-old Amy Theriault, which the state medical examiner’s office on Monday labeled a homicide. There are not accurate-enough words to describe the anger and sadness people experience when a loved one, friend or neighbor dies horrifically. Theriault …
Groupon employee Joel Hadley (back), 29, uses a standing desk during his work hours at the office in Chicago, Illinois, in this July 2012 file photo.

How doing your job could cut your life expectancy. Keep moving

on June 01, 2014, at 9:45 a.m.
It seems the scariest thing to do these days is sit. It makes sense that being sedentary for prolonged periods would harm health, but look at the specific ways it hurts: increased risk of death, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes, slowed brain function, a bad back, flabby …
Gen. Joshua Chamberlain

Look to the past for Maine universities of the future

on May 30, 2014, at 9:20 a.m.
Grappling with the goals and future of a university is nothing new, as former Maine Gov. Joshua Chamberlain made clear in his 1871 inaugural address as the new president of Bowdoin College in Brunswick. As the University of Maine System finds itself in a continual struggle to attract students and …
Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew (center) listens as Shawn Yardley (right), director of community services for Penobscot Community Health Care, makes his case for why Maine should expand Medicaid during a Feb. 26 Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce Breakfast. Harrison Clark (left), a small-business owner, also advocated for expansion, while Mayhew was strongly opposed.

DHHS wants flexibility to run MaineCare? Prove the need first

on May 29, 2014, at 9:33 a.m.
Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew has spoken often of her desire for a “global waiver” from the federal government that allows her department substantial flexibility in administering a Medicaid program governed by legions of complicated federal rules. Gary Alexander, the discredited welfare consultant hired by the LePage administration …

It’s hard to see the real Common Core through all the lies

on May 28, 2014, at 11:48 a.m.
For years, the Common Core State Standards, which identify the literacy and math skills public school students should know at each grade level, were mainly discussed among education experts and state and local leaders. Developed by the National Governors Association and an association of state school superintendents (not the federal …
Gov. Paul LePage (right) speaks during the second day of the 2014 Maine Republican Convention at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor Friday, April 26.  Also pictured are (from left) former Maine House speaker Robert Nutting and Ann LePage.

Want public confidence in your public policy? Don’t look to LePage for guidance

on May 27, 2014, at 11:12 a.m.
In more ways than one, the $925,000, no-bid contract Gov. Paul LePage’s administration signed with the Alexander Group offered a lesson in vetting and process. Long before it was found that the consulting firm had plagiarized much of its work, there was a lack of public confidence that was destined …

Maine’s battle with National Organization for Marriage is worth it

on May 26, 2014, at 3:43 p.m.
If it were only a matter of a fine, the National Organization for Marriage likely would have paid up a long time ago. But the Maine Ethics Commission, an independent state agency that administers Maine’s campaign finance laws, isn’t really fighting for NOM’s money. It’s after light. Maine ethics investigators …
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