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.

Ways to Connect

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The ballot campaign to expand Medicaid is over. But making sure roughly 70,000 low-income Mainers actually receive that health coverage? Far from it.

Andrew Catalina / Maine Public

For nearly two years, the York county casino campaign and international casino developer Shawn Scott have been undeterred by neither cost nor controversy. But on Tuesday, Scott, who has been roundly criticized for commercializing Maine’s citizen initiative process, ran into the one thing that could stop him: Maine voters.

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

The Maine Ethics Commission took a series of votes Friday to fine campaign committees controlled by the sister of casino developer Shawn Scott a total of $500,000 for obscuring the source of millions of dollars pumped into the York County casino campaign.

The total fine is against four campaign committees controlled by Lisa Scott and another co-operated by Augusta lobbyist Cheryl Timberlake.

The commission held Scott and Timberlake jointly liable for the $130,000 penalty against the Horseracing Jobs Fairness Committee.

Andrew Catalina / Maine Public

In early December of 2015, casino developer Shawn Scott and his sister Lisa Scott were ready to launch the ballot initiative that will appear as Question 1 on ballot on Tuesday. But first, they needed a name for the campaign committee.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Republican Gov. Paul LePage is expected to head to Washington, D.C., again Thursday, this time to testify on a bill sponsored by Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District that’s designed to strengthen working waterfronts.

It’s not clear what LePage has to say about the proposal, which is co-sponsored by Virginia Republican Rob Wittman. However, the governor appears on a witness list published by the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

The Maine Ethics Commission has delayed by a few days a decision on whether to penalize the campaign behind a casino proposed for York County.  The commission is investigating whether the campaign hid the source of over $4 million in funding for more than a year.

Maine's governor and the Legislature - actually legislatures - have battled for years over expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Next week Maine voters can get into the act. Referendum Question 2 would approve the Medicaid expansion. Maine Public’s State House Bureau Chief Steve Mistler has written a story for Maine Public.org about the history of Medicaid expansion and talks about it with Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.

The Maine Ethics Commission has unanimously rejected a request to postpone a hearing about its investigation into the Question 1 casino campaign's funding sources.

 

The commission is expected to review and potentially rule on some of the findings from its probe Tuesday. But on Sunday night, the commission received a request from several of the attorneys representing the various entities funding the casino initiative to delay the meeting.

 

Patty Wight / Maine Public/file

When Maine Democrats passed their first Medicaid expansion bill four years ago, they wanted to make sure reporters and television cameras were there to see it. Republican Gov. Paul LePage wanted a similar audience - to witness the bill’s inevitable failure.  

Maine Public/file

The campaign to convince Mainers to authorize a casino at an undisclosed location York County has spent close to $2.3 million over a 23-day period.

Late Monday night, the Legislature passed a bill that will delay and potentially repeal Maine’s landmark ranked-choice voting law, which voters passed last year. Supporters of ranked-choice voting are angry, and now they’re vowing to launch a people’s veto to overturn the Legislature’s delay-and-repeal bill.

Haven Daley / Associated Press/file

Republican Gov. Paul LePage and House Minority Leader Ken Fredette say they want to extend Maine’s moratorium on retail marijuana sales and cultivation until 2019.

The proposal further jeopardizes passage of a bipartisan bill designed to overhaul and implement the voter-approved marijuana law passed nearly a year ago.

Fredette says the 9-month process to draft the marijuana implementation bill was rushed. And he says it excluded a key stakeholder — the LePage administration.

In what is believed to be his first public appearance in Maine in several years, controversial casino developer Shawn Scott appeared on a local radio station on Wednesday to urge voters to authorize a York County casino.

Scott’s advocacy for Question 1 came on the same day that he and some of HIS associates were a no-show at a legislative hearing called to shed light on a heavily scrutinized campaign that’s under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission.

Maine Public/file

Republican Senate President Michael Thibodeau announced Tuesday that he's running for governor. Thibodeau announced his candidacy in a video ad highlighting his family business.

Thibodeau says the experience has helped him understand what is needed for Maine to have a robust economy.

"Not only that, but I understand how to get things done at the State House," he said. "I know how to work with people and have accomplishments to show for it."

Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage is urging voters to oppose a ballot initiative to build a casino in York County, using his weekly radio address to launch his most extensive critique of Question 1 yet.

Earlier this year, LePage said the initiative was all about greed. But the governor’s address released Tuesday went further, taking direct aim at what he described as Yes on 1’s deceptive ad campaign.

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