Political news

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Maine voters in next month’s state primary will be the first to use ranked-choice voting for state elections. Election experts say many voters don’t understand how the system works, but they’re hopeful voter education programs now running can help clear up any confusion.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is backing a Republican effort to nominate President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine State Police have arrested a group of people who were protesting outside the governor's mansion in Augusta.
Maine Poor People's Campaign spokeswoman Marie Follayttar Smith says the Monday protest was part of a nationwide campaign against systemic poverty and racism.
State police tell the Bangor Daily News that 18 people were arrested and charged with trespassing and failure to disperse.

When lawmakers abruptly ended the second regular session of the Legislature earlier this month, they left some unfinished business. Among the bills left in limbo or unfunded is one affecting Maine’s county jails, and failure to correct the situation could create some unintended serious consequences.

Like scores of other bills, a measure providing funding for county jails was left unaddressed when lawmakers adjourned. The bill would have provided $3 million to cover budget shortfalls this year and $14.2 million in state aid in the new budget year starting July 1.

Seth Wenig / Associated Press File

It’s being called a landmark Supreme Court decision and a historic day for American sports, as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a federal ban on sports gambling is unconstitutional.

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is going to host a series of informational meetings on the new voting system that will be used for the first time in June primaries.

Dunlap will hold four sessions starting on Monday in Biddeford. Then meetings will follow on May 15 in Bangor, May 21 in Presque Isle and May 29 in Lewiston.

He will also offer a question-and-answer session via Facebook Live on May 24.

The Libertarian Party of Maine is holding its biennial state convention in Bangor.

The party on Saturday is set to hear from Maine House candidates Cody Blackburn and Bonnie Young and New Hampshire U.S. House candidate Justin O'Donnell.

The Libertarian Party of Maine in 2016 submitted enough signatures to become an official political party and have its presidential and vice presidential candidates appear on the November ballot.

The Maine party has had cycles of activity and lulls since its founding in 1975.

AP Photo

President Trump has sent a proposal to cut $15 billion in previously approved spending as a way to control increasing budget deficits. The strategy bypasses the normal appropriations process and is coming under fire from members of Maine's Congressional delegation.

The proposal, which uses a strategy known as the rescission process, uses a little-known section of the budget law that allows a president to propose eliminating funding from programs that have has yet to spend it all. The proposed cuts would go directly to the floor for a vote, bypassing the normal budget process.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

After extensive questioning of President Trump's nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency, Maine's two U.S. senators have come to different conclusions about whether to confirm Gina Haspel for the post.

Nora Flaherty / Maine Public

Scarborough voters decided yesterday, by a wide margin, to recall three school board members, following months of acrimonious dispute over later school start times, a new grading system and the controversial resignation of the high school principal, David Creech.

"There were three main issues in the school system, one being a drastic change in start time, the next being the implementation of an unproven grading system, the third being what is perceived to be the forced resignation of a popular high school principal," says Paul Johnson, one of the leaders of the recall effort.

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

As promised, Maine's two U.S. senators had plenty of questions for Gina Haspel Wednesday morning, as President Trump's nominee to head the CIA appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Haspel was asked about her 33-year career with the agency and about the use of interrogation and torture techniques during that tenure.

President Donald Trump has said he believes torture works, but during questioning from the Committee Wednesday, Haspel says she does not. Still, there was no shortage of questions for the nominee.

Voters in Waterville will decide June 12 whether or not to recall Republican Mayor Nick Isgro. Isgro has come under fire for a history of inflammatory social media posts- but it was an insulting tweet to a Parkland school shooting survivor that triggered critics into launching a recall petition.

Mal Leary / Maine Public/file

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation don't see eye-to-eye on President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King says that while Tuesday’s decision is not surprising, it is disappointing and potentially disastrous to U.S. interests. He says by all accounts, the plan effectively hindered Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons in the near term.

Poliquin To Propose Including Frozen And Canned Foods In Fresh Produce Program

May 9, 2018
Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

PORTLAND, Maine - A Maine congressman says he plans to go forward with a proposal to include frozen and canned foods in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program despite criticism from the program's founder.
The proposal by Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin is part of the federal Farm Bill that's wending its way through approvals. Poliquin cites Maine blueberries as an example of a frozen food that could help the program. The proposal also opens it up to dried and pureed foods.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has reaffirmed a lower court’s decision that invalidated the candidacy of Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Max Linn.

Linn, a financial planner who lives in Bar Harbor, had appealed a ruling by Kennebec Superior Court Judge William Stokes, who found that the secretary of state acted appropriately when he invalidated a number of signature petitions submitted by Linn’s campaign.