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

The legislative committee that oversees the Maine Warden Service has scheduled a meeting next week about a poaching sting in Allagash that triggered complaints from residents and raised questions about the conduct of an undercover agent.

According to a notice from the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, the committee will meet Wednesday, June 1, and interview Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Chandler Woodcock; Col. Joel Wilkinson of the Maine Warden Service; and Maine Public Access Ombudsman Brenda Kielty.

Mal Leary / MPBN

The office of Gov. Paul LePage has issued what it calls some “clarifications” of statements LePage made about the state’s Medicaid program while taking part as a guest on Monday’s radio call-in program Maine Calling.

Maine Governor Paul LePage
www.dallasvoice.com/File

Gov. Paul LePage has doubled down on his claim that a Deering High School student was revived from a heroin overdose three times in a week.

MPBN

Gov. Paul LePage has held more than 30 town hall meetings since winning reelection in 2014. The governor touts the forums as his chance to take his message to the Maine people.

The legislative committee that oversees the Maine Warden Service will hold a hearing about a poaching sting in Allagash that triggered complaints from residents and raised questions about the conduct of an undercover agent.

Republican Senate President Michael Thibodeau said Inland Fisheries and Wildlife chief Chandler Woodcock and Col. Joel Wilkinson, head of the warden service, are expected to attend.

U.S. Sen. Angus King is questioning whether Donald Trump has the right temperament to be in the charge of unleashing the country’s nuclear arsenal.

King appeared on the PBS television talk show “Charlie Rose” Wednesday night, where he said the assumed Republican presidential nominee seems “hot and impulsive.”

During an interview with host Al Hunt, King was asked about Trump’s statements on foreign policy. He went on to describe an epiphany he had aboard the so-called doomsday plane. The plane is a souped-up Boeing 747 that coordinates the deployment of nuclear weapons.

State election officials have released the proposed language for the five ballot initiatives that will appear before voters in November.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says that the public now has 30 days to comment on the questions and potentially shape how they are worded on on the ballot.

The production company behind the reality TV show “North Woods Law” is set to start filming in New Hampshire after forming a partnership with that state’s warden service.

The new filming location follows a decision by the Maine Warden Service last year to end its four-year relationship with the company. It’s not entirely clear whether a controversial poaching raid staged two years ago — or Gov. Paul LePage’s objections to the program — played a role in ending the show in Maine.

State officials are telling legislative candidates they’re cautiously optimistic that the public campaign finance system will have enough money to get through Election Day. They’ve known for months the program could run out of money, but an effort to keep the Clean Elections fund whole fell short during the legislative session.

PORTLAND, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage says he’s disturbed by allegations raised in a newspaper report that an undercover agent in the Maine Warden Service provided alcohol to targets and illegally shot a deer during a 2014 anti-poaching operation.

At the same time, the governor is dismissive of the paper's suggestion that the warden service may have been playing to the cameras for a reality TV show being filmed in Maine.

Several thousand Maine Democrats rallied in Portland Saturday at a state convention that party officials billed as a unity event. The party faithful overwhelmingly agreed that the time has come to change how so-called superdelegates pick presidential candidates. But a rift between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders persisted throughout the event.

Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts took the stage at the Cross Insurance Arena to a mix of boos and applause. He was also greeted by a heckler.

Maine Democrats have approved a change that could alter how the party selects presidential candidates in future elections. Activists overwhelming adopted the rule to ensure that state delegates vote proportionally to party caucus results in the next presidential election.

The party approved the change during the party’s convention in Portland on Saturday and after a vigorous debate.

Portland state Sen. Justin Alfond, who presided over the convention, called for the vote.

Officials at Deering High School are refuting Gov. Paul LePage’s recent assertion — made during a town hall meeting in Lewiston — that a student overdosed and was revived with an opioid rescue drug several times in one week.

The governor told his story while attempting to defend his decision to veto a bill that would expand access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone, also known as Narcan. LePage has been a frequent critic of the drug, arguing that it enables addicts and normalizes their dependency by giving them a safety net.

The Maine Democratic Party’s state convention won’t feature a keynote speaker this weekend, but the event will feature well-known surrogates speaking on behalf of presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Party officials confirmed Thursday that former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts will speak on Clinton’s behalf Saturday morning. Former state Sen. Troy Jackson and Phish drummer Jon Fishman will represent Sanders.

Maine Democrats will vote on a rule change at this weekend’s state convention that could reshape future presidential contests.

The change has widespread support, according to its leading proponent, Portland state Rep. Diane Russell. But she’s also hoping it doesn’t provoke a nasty floor fight.

Russell says she prefers “quiet demolition” of what she considers un-democratic rules. That’s why she is proposing to regulate — and potentially eliminate — superdelegates at this weekend’s Democratic state convention.

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