politics

Congress is due to recess next week for the national party conventions, and won’t be back at work until early September. Members of Maine’s delegation say that with a new federal budget year starting October 1st, that won’t leave much time to act on the appropriations bills that will keep the government operating.

Senator Susan Collins, who first joined the us senate in 1997, says she has never seen Congress take just a long summer break.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/henkimaa/

We discuss the role of the independent – both the independent voter and the potential for an independent presidential candidate – in the race for the White House with Colby College Political Science Professor Sandy Maisel and the Wall Street Journal's Dante Chinni.  We’ll also discuss how a contested convention might work, and what the possibilities are of the Congress determining who is elected president.   

Across the Aisle is a weekly round-table discussion on Maine Politics. This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney with the Portland firm of Troubh Heisler and former Democratic State senator, Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising and Marketing, a former republican lawmaker.

Maine voters could be asked to decide a half dozen or more questions on the statewide ballot next November if all the groups circulating petitions are successful.

In what may be the opening skirmish in a long battle over the three-year budget for Efficiency Maine, the Natural Resources Council of Maine is accusing the LePage Administration of seeking to reduce funding for weatherization and for home heating system improvements.

Ethan Strimling, candidate for Portland mayor.
Ethan for Mayor campaign

PORTLAND, Maine _ A candidate in Portland's three-way mayoral race is calling out one of his opponents for accepting thousands of dollars from what he describes as "luxury development firms" at a time when residents are struggling to find affordable housing.

Tom MacMillan says Ethan Strimling has far outstripped both his and incumbent Michael Brennan's fundraising, in large part by accepting donations from wealthy development firms.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/vox_efx/

Analysis of yesterday's vote in Maine and from around the country.

Guests:  Steve Mistler, State House Bureau Chief for Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
 Rebekah Metzler, political writer for U.S. News & World Report
 Mal Leary, Managing Editor and Director of the Maine Capitol Connection

http://us.macmillan.com/books/9781137464460

The author of "The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have and Doesn’t Want Another Great President" talks about his thesis.  

AUGUSTA, Maine — State revenues were above budget in September, and after the first three months of the budget year, they are overall nearly $10 million above projections. Finance Commissioner Richard Rosen said he is pleased to be ahead of projections but cautions some sources of revenues are doing better than others.

“Within that there are certainly elements that we have to continue to look at with some care," he said in an interview with MPBN News. “One is the withholding number in the individual income tax.”

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

A different kind of political ad has appeared on YouTube. Produced by the Shenna Bellows for Senate campaign, it describes two votes it says Collins made last year in support of a government shutdown. There are no voices on the ad, only music behind images and text. Irwin Gratz discussed the 95-second video with advertising executives Sam Surprise and Bob Cott Wednesday, after the video had been released, but before a news conference yesterday about it.

http://bellowsforsenate.com/walk-with-me-map#

A Your Vote twenty-fourteen interview with U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows.  Join host Jennifer Rooks and the former Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union for a conversation about why she's running for the Senate and learn about the issues she believes are most important to Maine and the nation. 

Guest: Shenna Bellows - Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate

PORTLAND, Maine — Former President Bill Clinton says Democrat Mike Michaud is what Maine needs in a governor to bring people together, contrasting the Democratic hopeful's style with that of incumbent Gov. Paul LePage.

"Ideology gets in your way and makes you do dumb things," Clinton said of LePage.

Before a Portland crowd of about 1,600 last night, Clinton painted Republican LePage as a divisive figure who has chosen conflict over cooperation.

Mark Vogelzang / MPBN

When President Bill Clinton campaigns on behalf of Democrat Mike Michaud in Portland tonight, he may need to be reminded about the correct pronunciation of Michaud's last name. It's a subject that comes up most often among politicians and reporters, sticklers for accuracy who are often thrown by the candidate's Franco-American heritage. Here at MPBN we've also had inquiries from listeners and staff, so let's set the record straight.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage says he doesn't think the three-person gubernatorial race is going to be a close one.

On the George Hale-Ric Tyler show on WVOM-FM on Thursday, LePage said that he's "going to be blown out by a landslide" or he's "going to win by a landslide."

Most pre-election polls have shown LePage and Democrat U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud nearly tied, with independent Eliot Cutler trailing by roughly 20 percentage points.

For the first time since January, Gov. LePage met with the top leaders of the Legislature. In a closed door meeting he told them he won't seek a full refund from the consultant who produced a plagiarized report on Maine's Medicaid system. The meeting was described as businesslike — with some heat.

Pages