Political news

Ringelstein Campaign

U.S. Senate candidate Zak Ringelstein was arrested outside of a U.S. Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas Friday, after blocking access to a detention facility.

According to Ringelstein, the facility was holding immigrant children separated from their parents.

Ringelstein's campaign promoted his visit to Texas on social media, which said he would travel there to deliver blankets, food and toys to children detained at the border and to request access to a holding facility in the city of McAllen.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

President Trump may have signed an executive order to stop the forcible separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border, but Maine Congressperson Chellie Pingree says that's not the end of the issue. For one thing, there are caveats to the order itself, and Pingree says they raise red flags.

Maine’s 1st District U.S. House Rep. Pingree and more than 20 other Democrats will visit federal detention facilities in Texas this weekend to investigate conditions for immigrant families separated at the border.

It is Thursday, and time for Across the Aisle, our foray into Maine Politics.

This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney and former Democratic legislator; Meredith Strang-Burgess of Burgess Advertizing and Marketing who served in Augusta as a Republican; and economist Dick Woodbury, who served in the legislature as an independent spoke with Keith Shortall.

Maine Public

A number of high-profile bills remain unresolved as the Maine Legislature is approaching the end of its three day special session.

Lawmakers sent several proposals to Gov. Paul LePage, including a $41 million spending bill to provide funding to help the elderly and disabled, as well as people suffering from opioid use disorders.

A $35 million bill to fund the implementation of Medicaid expansion has also passed, but it faces a likely veto by LePage.

AUGUSTA, Maine - One gubernatorial hopeful and 220 legislative candidates who are counting on public campaign funds are in limbo as Maine lawmakers argue over fixing a mistake preventing the release of the money.
Lawmakers on Thursday continued trying to hash out a deal that could satisfy House Republicans ideologically opposed to public campaign funding.  Such a fix could return some of the money to Maine's general fund.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Maine Democrats rallied at the State House Thursday to show support for their nominee for governor, Attorney General Janet Mills.

The event was held roughly 10 hours after Mills' victory in a seven-way primary was confirmed, after a runoff vote in the nation's first statewide ranked-choice voting primary.

Mills will now face Republican candidate Shawn Moody, the founder of a chain of auto body repair shops who is touting his business experience. Moody has vowed to continue LePage's policy agenda.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Jared Golden has won the Democratic nomination for Maine's Second Congressional District Race. The Maine Secretary of State's office made the announcement Wednesday evening after the results from ranked-choice voting catapulted Golden into a clear majority, which he fell just short of on election night.

Golden garnered 49 percent of the the vote on election night, giving him a strong lead over runner-up Lucas St. Clair's 41 percent. After the ranked-choice voting count, Golden sealed his victory, with 54 percent of the vote compared to St. Clair's 45 percent.

Maine Town Declares Itself Food Sovereign, Then Outlaws Urban Farming

Jun 21, 2018
Courtesy Lloyd Cowan / via Bangor Daily News

Lloyd Cowan is not sure what he’s going to do with his small flock of chickens, two ducks and three goats.

He lives in the small town of Madison, population 4,700, where urban farming was permitted until the town abruptly passed an ordinance banning it at the June 11 annual town meeting. The new law didn’t grandfather residents like Cowan, who’ve raised animals in their backyard for decades.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Senate has unanimously voted to create a program designed to make sure drinking water in schools is safe.
The Senate voted Wednesday in favor of amended legislation offered by Sen. Rebecca Millett, a Democrat from Cape Elizabeth. The bill directs the Maine Department of Education to develop a grant program so schools can test water that is used for drinking or cooking for lead contamination.
Millett says the grant program is important because lead poisoning can cause cognitive impairment and other health problems in children.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Attorney General Janet Mills is the Democratic nominee for governor, according to official results from Maine’s first ranked-choice voting election announced by the Maine Secretary of State Wednesday.

Marty Grohman

Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage has come out in support of a candidate in the 1st Congressional District race, and it's not the GOP candidate.

LePage said Tuesday that Democrat-turned-independent Marty Grohman "is what Maine needs." He called him a "good man" who's in politics "for the right reasons."

Grohman, a state lawmaker and businessman from Biddeford, hopes to unseat Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree. Also in the race is GOP candidate Mark Holbrook, of Brunswick.

Democrats wasted no time in responding to the governor's comment.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

Gov. Paul LePage said he'd “absolutely” send members of Maine's national guard to the U.S.-Mexico Border if asked by President Trump's administration.

After an Eggs and Issues breakfast put on by Portland's Chamber of Commerce, he implied people crossing the border illegally hinder other non-U.S. residents from gaining legal immigration status.

“I'm all for fixing it,” Lepage said. “I'm all for all of them coming in. But lets do it legal. File the application. Stand in line and wait like everybody else.”

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Gov. Paul LePage's administration is refusing to identify members of a public commission charged with reviewing the impact of wind farms on tourism.
The Republican governor, a critic of wind power, created the Maine Wind Energy Commission in January via executive order. The Portland Press Herald reports the administration says it will only reveal the membership of the commission after public comments have been gathered.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine election officials are ready to announce election results in the nation's biggest test of ranked-choice voting.

A lawsuit that seeks to force Maine's health commissioner to implement Medicaid expansion is now before the state Supreme Judicial Court.

The LePage administration has appealed a lower court's order to start the process. But consumer advocacy groups have filed arguments against further delays for the law that's supposed to take effect in less than two weeks.