Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins

State House Bureau Chief

A sample photo EBT card released in 2014.

Poor, elderly Mainers owe $2.7 million because of DHHS errors

By Christopher Cousins on May 26, 2016, at 1 a.m.
Some Mainers face reductions of up to 10 percent of their food stamp benefits, seizure of their income tax returns or garnishment of up to 15 percent of their Social Security benefits.
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage joins Texas lawsuit against Obama’s decree on transgender rights

By Christopher Cousins on May 25, 2016, at 6:14 p.m.
The governor’s spokesman Peter Steele said Wednesday afternoon that Maine is not a plaintiff in the suit but that the governor has signed on to it “pro se,” which means on his own personal behalf.

Poliquin blasts VA chief for comparing veteran care wait times to Disney World

on May 25, 2016, at 9:58 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where the Maine Ethics Commission is meeting to rule on campaign finance issues. This marks the beginning of the commission’s busy season, when there will be dozens of complaints to adjudicate between now and the November election. Some will be frivolous and some will be serious, but …

LePage says Deering student overdose story ‘was not fabricated’

on May 23, 2016, at 3:13 p.m.
“It was not fabricated,” Gov. Paul LePage said. “This was an actual conversation.”

UMaine professors protest merger plan as tuition frozen for sixth straight year

on May 23, 2016, at 9:36 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where some eyes are cast north to Bangor. That’s where the University of Maine System Board of Trustees are meeting to consider, among other things, a budget that freezes tuition at the university for a sixth year in a row. That means tuition costs at the system’s seven …

CDC says Maine uninsured rate has hit an all-time low, but at what cost?

on May 18, 2016, at 8:47 a.m.
Good morning from Maine, where according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of people who don’t have health insurance has fallen to an historic low. Maine’s uninsured rate of 8.8 percent in 2015, which was culled from the centers’ National Health Interview Survey, is below …

LePage spokeswoman says governor was left out of national monument hearings

on May 17, 2016, at 9:58 a.m.
Adrienne Bennett, LePage’s press secretary, said during a radio appearance on WVOM this morning that despite LePage disagreeing with independent Sen. Angus King over hosting the meetings with National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, that the governor wanted to be invited.

Here’s what Maine’s 5 ballot questions will look like

on May 13, 2016, at 3:30 p.m.
Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s office has released the wording of five citizen-initiated referendums that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. The release of the questions starts a 30-day public comment period, after which the questions will be finalized. The questions are as follows: An Act to Establish Ranked-choice …
Dr. Ira Mandel holds up a poster during a Feb. 5 community forum in Rockland on the heroin crisis that urged Pen Bay Medical Center physicians to treat opiate addicts.

Maine politicians talk tough on drugs, but what have they accomplished?

By Christopher Cousins on May 13, 2016, at 6:57 a.m.
Demand for action in response to Maine’s deadly opiate abuse epidemic has spread from rural Maine towns all the way to the halls of Congress.

New poll shows 55 percent support for pot legalization in Maine

on May 12, 2016, at 8:37 p.m.
A new Critical Insights tracking poll has found that more than half of Mainers support legalizing recreational marijuana.

New poll: LePage remains among least popular governors

on May 12, 2016, at 9:59 a.m.
Good morning from Augusta, where there is a gap between Gov. Paul LePage’s performance in the 2014 election and his approval rating in a new poll released by the Morning Consult. The online poll, which claims a margin of error of 5 percent, pegged LePage’s approval rating at 38 percent, with …

Whose ‘dark money’ flows from offshore accounts into Maine campaigns?

on May 11, 2016, at 9:58 a.m.
Republicans are raising red flags about a leak of information that implicates Donald Sussman, a Democratic mega donor and former husband of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat who represents Maine’s 1st District, for directing a shell company in the British Virgin Islands that is used to shield his assets.

LePage takes credit for canceling ‘North Woods Law’

on May 10, 2016, at 9:54 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage said this morning that he played a role in the cancellation of “North Woods Law.”
Former state Sen. Troy Jackson of Allagash speaks on behalf of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Saturday at the Democratic State Convention in Portland. Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank spoke for Hillary Clinton.

Maine Democrats torn between Sanders, Clinton at state convention

By Christopher Cousins on May 07, 2016, at 7:39 p.m.
Former state Sen. Troy Jackson of Allagash, who has been the face of the Sanders campaign in Maine, electrified the Sanders-leaning gathering.

By Christopher Cousins on May 07, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.
Pingree, a superdelegate, has indicated support for Clinton, faced "change your vote" chant as she took the stage. #mepolitics — Chris Cousins (@Storytiller) May 7, 2016

By Christopher Cousins on May 07, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.
.@chelliepingree: Superdelegates "are not good for our party, not good for democracy." Says she'll decide who to support in July #mepolitics — Chris Cousins (@Storytiller) May 7, 2016

By Christopher Cousins on May 07, 2016, at 5:59 p.m.
Emily Cain taking the stage with the "Rocky" theme song. #mepolitics — Chris Cousins (@Storytiller) May 7, 2016

By Christopher Cousins on May 07, 2016, at 5:53 p.m.
The Cain parade is ready. #mepolitics — Chris Cousins (@Storytiller) May 7, 2016

By Christopher Cousins on May 07, 2016, at 5:41 p.m.
The Democratic Convention has reconvened following county caucuses. Speeches by Chellie Pingree and Emily Cain upcoming. #mepolitics — Chris Cousins (@Storytiller) May 7, 2016

A lull in the action

By Christopher Cousins on May 07, 2016, at 1:57 p.m.
There will be a lull in the action for a couple of hours as delegates break into county-level meetings. Stay tuned for more coverage.