Steve Mistler

Chief Political Correspondent and State House Bureau Chief

Steve has been a journalist for nearly two decades, specializing in the coverage of politics and state government. His work has been recognized by the Maine Press Association and the New England Newspaper and Press Association for investigative projects and accountability journalism. He was named the MPA’s Journalist of the Year in 2011 for his coverage of municipal government for The Forecaster in Falmouth and, later, for his coverage of state government for the Sun Journal in Lewiston.

Steve became the state house bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram in 2012. After four years with Maine’s largest daily newspaper, Steve made the leap to radio journalism, joining Maine Public in May 2016.

Steve is married with one child and has two crazy dogs. His family lives in Brunswick.

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Gov. Paul LePage's nominee to lead the Maine State Housing Authority has failed to clear the Maine Senate.

George Gervais is the governor's economic development commissioner. He was tapped by LePage to lead the housing agency that provides low interest loans to first time homebuyers and which also administers heating assistance programs.

But Democrats on the Legislature's labor committee voted to block Gervais, citing his lack of credentials and lack of cooperation with the committee as a member of the governor's cabinet.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

An array of progressive groups and two of Maine's Native American tribes are criticizing Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills for joining a Washington State lawsuit over tribal water rights.

The lawsuit is scheduled to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court next month, and its outcome could affect a long standing legal battle in maine over water quality standards in the Penobscot River.

This new criticism coming from progressive activists comes just as Mills is attempting to convince Democrats to support her run for governor.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

The investigative arm of the Legislature will review a child protection system that failed to prevent the deaths of two young girls despite previous reports of abuse. 

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public/file

On Friday, the Maine Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee will decide whether or not to further investigate the Department of Health and Human Services' response to complaints after the killing in Stockton Springs of 10-year-old Marissa  Kennedy. Maine Public Radio's Steve Mistler joins Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz to take a look at that potential investigation.


The Maine Legislature Wednesday moved closer to passing a sweeping overhaul of the state's medical marijuana program. The Health and Human Services Committee (HHS) voted to advance a bill that makes it easier for Mainers to qualify as medical marijuana patients, and allows caregivers to expand while accepting tighter regulations.

Joel Page / Associated Press/file

A Republican candidate for Maine governor is catching heat for his unique solution for deadly school shootings.

Shawn Moody of Gorham was asked on WVOM Monday about gun control measures. Instead of floating more conventional proposals such as beefing up school security, he offered what he described as a common-sense solution.

Tom Porter / Maine Public File

The people's veto campaign to overturn a law that would eventually repeal Maine's landmark ranked-choice voting system has qualified for the June ballot.

Democrats on the Legislature's labor committee have voted to block Gov. Paul LePage's nominee to lead the Maine State Housing Authority.

All seven Democrats voted to reject the appointment of George Gervais to an agency that provides low interest loans to first-time homebuyers and administers heating assistance programs.

Jay Field / Maine Public

Lawmakers scrutinizing a biomass generator’s track record of unpaid bills are now questioning whether the firm even qualified for a slice of a $13.4 million taxpayer bailout that benefited the firm two years ago.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

A special legislative committee has approved its second bill to create rules for the recreational marijuana market in Maine. The bill contains several concessions designed to win the support of Gov. Paul LePage and other Republicans, who scuttled the initial effort last year.

Reps agree that the bill isn’t perfect. Critics of the measure passed in committee worry that it falls short of creating a viable regulated marijuana market that can compete with, and eventually diminish, a thriving underground cannabis trade.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

The Maine Ethics Commission voted not to investigate whether the Maine Republican Party violated campaign finance laws for an attack website operated in secret by its executive director.

The vote was in response to a complaint by the Maine Democratic Party, which asked the commission to explore whether Savage was operating as an agent of the party, a determination that could trigger a violation of campaign finance and disclosure laws, while operating the Maine Examiner website.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

The Maine Ethics Commission voted not to investigate whether the Maine Republican Party violated campaign finance laws for an attack website operated in secret by its executive director.


A special legislative committee is closer to creating a new bill to regulate recreational marijuana for adults. Lawmakers on the panel hope the proposal will garner enough support to become law, but there's already grumbling that it concedes too much to Gov. Paul LePage, an opponent of legalization.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public File

Maine’s recreational marijuana law allows adults to grow up to six flowering plants for personal and recreational use — but the legislative committee that’s overhauling the law is trying to cut that allotment by half.

Supporters of the proposal under consideration say it would give municipalities more flexibility to craft their own home-grow rules. They also say that the larger limit of six plants creates extra supply, which could potentially find its way onto the black market, especially if out-of-state traffickers pay Maine landowners to cultivate on their property.

Maine Public/file

The Maine Republican Party's executive director has admitted that he ran an anonymous website that attacked liberal politicians and candidates. 

The admission by Jason Savage came less than a week before the Maine Ethics Commission will review a complaint by the Maine Democratic Party.

Democrats say the GOP and Savage may have broken campaign finance laws by not disclosing that the pieces were intended to hobble liberal candidate Ben Chin during last year's Lewiston mayoral race.

But the GOP says it neither authorized nor paid for the Maine Examiner website.