Politics

This week on Maine's Political Pulse:

— With no federal assistance and soaring cases of COVID-19, Gov. Janet Mills seeks new ways to curb the pandemic.

— How the politics of the coronavirus will dominate the upcoming legislative session.

For the past few weeks, a particular scene has repeated itself several times.

It starts with a protester’s arrival at the governor’s mansion in Augusta in a car festooned with American flags and bumper sticker slogans familiar to those who consume internet-born conspiracies proliferating on social media.

“Mills kills” is scrawled on one of her side windows and across the sign she carries. The words are hard to read from a distance, but easy to hear as she bellows at passersby while pacing the fence line of the Blaine House.

Funding for most of the federal government runs out on Dec. 11. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District says she’s worried that even if the House and Senate reach a budget agreement, the president could refuse to go along.

This week on Maine's Political Pulse:

— One last look at Republican Sen. Susan Collins' decisive win, how she did it and what it might mean for the Biden administration.

— The challenges confronting Gov. Janet Mills and the new Legislature as both gear up for a new session and the construction of the state's next two-year budget.

The U.S. Senate race in Maine is mercifully over, but politics fiends here and across the country just can’t quit it.

Kevin Dietsch / Pool via AP

U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine says President Donald Trump is endangering national security by blocking transition procedures for the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who both serve on their respective appropriations committees, say they’re optimistic that Congress will pass a pandemic relief bill this year.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The 2020 election, by many accounts, was supposed to be a reckoning for Republicans in the U.S. Senate. But it didn’t turn out that way. One reason for that is the victory of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, which might help her party retain its majority and offer her a chance to repair her own image as a centrist.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says she wished President-elect Joe Biden the best when he called her last week to congratulate her on her reelection.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

Celebrating supporters poured into Portland streets Sunday following the announcement that Former Vice President Joe Biden was the new president-elect.

This week on Maine's Political Pulse:

— The historic U.S. Senate race in Maine goes to Republican Sen. Susan Collins. We'll break down how her campaign navigated difficult national headwinds and how Democratic Challenger Sara Gideon's campaign missed the mark.

— Also, a look ahead at what might be in store during Collins' fifth term.

We’ve written — and spoken — tons about Maine’s historic election and the outcomes it produced this week.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Over the next couple of weeks, the members of the new Legislature will elect their House and Senate leaders, and will grapple with some major challenges facing the next session. The first task at hand: how to conduct allow public participation in the midst of a pandemic.

Portland voters on Tuesday decisively put the city at the forefront of progressive urban politics, raising the local minimum wage to one of the highest in the nation, imposing rent control and lifting a cap on recreational marijuana shops.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public file

Democrats have maintained control of the state Legislature, increasing their numbers in the State Senate by a single seat to 22, while losing some seats in the House but still maintaining control.

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