Articles by Scott Thistle

Gov. Paul LePage

Municipal association files suit over LePage plan to stop reimbursing cities that aid undocumented immigrants

By Scott Thistle on July 10, 2014, at 5:10 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — In a suit filed Thursday, a statewide association that represents Maine cities and towns is asking a judge to rule on the legality of a new policy from the administration of Gov. Paul LePage that would cut funding to communities that provide welfare benefits to undocumented immigrants …
Governor Paul LePage

Maine Democratic legislative leaders call LePage ‘irresponsible’ for meeting with ‘delusional’ group that accused them of treason

By Scott Thistle on June 30, 2014, at 12:19 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A new book by progressive blogger and columnist Mike Tipping asserts that Gov. Paul LePage met regularly with a group that believed it could arrest both Maine Speaker of the House Mark Eves and state Senate President Justin Alfond and put the pair on trial for high …
U.S. Sen. Angus King

Angus King joins sponsors of bill to limit ‘dark money’ in campaigns; Bellows prods Collins to back measure

By Scott Thistle on June 26, 2014, at 8:43 a.m.
Reiterating his concern that undisclosed campaign funding is undermining American democracy, U.S. Sen. Angus King , I-Maine, said he is joining members of the Senate’s Democratic Caucus to reintroduce a bill that would “shine a light on so-called dark money.” Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows on Tuesday called on …
Ben Grant, chairman of the Maine Democratic Party

Federal report on economic growth spurs partisan attacks in Maine

By Scott Thistle on June 25, 2014, at 9:51 p.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — A new federal report on economic growth — or lack thereof — is providing fertile ground for criticism from Democrats and Republicans running for office in Maine. The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis on Tuesday released the latest data on economic growth in the U.S., including a …
Rep. Mike Michaud

National bipartisan group Cutler helped create praises Michaud for work in Congress

By Scott Thistle on June 23, 2014, at 6:38 p.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — In an odd twist Monday, a national group that aims to temper the partisan divide in American politics, gave U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, its “problem solver seal of approval.” The seal is not an endorsement of Michaud’s 2014 bid for the governor’s office in Maine …
Shenna Bellows, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, announces her 350-mile "Walk with Maine for Jobs and the Economy" at Lamey-Wellehan Shoes in Augusta.

‘The Walk’ has long history in Maine politics, starting with William Cohen

By Scott Thistle on June 23, 2014, at 5:32 a.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — When Shenna Bellows walks into Lewiston on Aug. 4, if all goes as planned, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate will be at least figuratively following in the footsteps of some mighty Maine Republicans. Bellows, the former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of …
Patrick Fallon of Brigid Farms stands in front of a cannabis plant Saturday morning during the Home Grown Maine Medical Marijuana Trade Show at the Spectacular Events Center in Bangor on April 19, 2014.

Advocates for legalizing pot in Maine tout study showing no spike in teen use in states with medical marijuana

By Scott Thistle on June 19, 2014, at 9:07 a.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — Supporters of legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Maine said Wednesday that recent reports show teen pot-smoking wouldn’t increase with legalization. A study in the Journal of Adolescent Health looked at the impact of marijuana use by teenagers in states that had enacted medical marijuana laws and …
Senator Susan Collins speaks to a packed room of high school seniors and principals during the MPA Honors Luncheon and Awards held at Spectacular Events Center in Bangor on Saturday.

High-profile crash pits trucking safety advocates against Collins

By Scott Thistle on June 18, 2014, at 11:34 a.m.
A high-profile fatal accident on the New Jersey Turnpike has Sen. Susan Collins, Maine, and several of the state’s top advocates for trucking safety squaring off in the national spotlight. The crash on June 7 killed comic James McNair, who goes by the stage name Jimmy Mack. Seriously injured in …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage says he’s decided against meeting with Alexander Group CEO but state is negotiating fix for flawed welfare study

By Scott Thistle on June 12, 2014, at 1:11 p.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage said during a visit to Lewiston on Thursday that he hoped the problems around a controversial welfare study his administration commissioned on a $925,200 no-bid contract could be used as an “education moment.” He also told reporters he now no longer plans …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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. …
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, …
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