Politics

U.S. Senate Candidate Sues, Saying Maine Virus Restrictions Keeping Her Off Ballot

Jun 20, 2020
Gabor Degre / Bangor Daily News

An unenrolled U.S. Senate candidate filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday saying that the restrictions imposed by Maine Gov. Janet Mills during the coronavirus pandemic should make the signature collection requirement for candidates unconstitutional.

Maulian Dana / Twitter

A new, independent commission on race equity has sent a letter to Gov. Janet Mills advising her on initial steps to address systemic racism in Maine. Among other things, commission members want to direct state agencies to collect data that illustrate the scope of social, economic and health disparities by race, ethnicity and tribal status. They also support a "Truth and Reconciliation" process to hear personal stories about racial harm and privilege.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Maine's Political Pulse, with Maine Public’s Irwin Gratz and political correspondents Steve Mistler and Mal Leary, is back from hiatus.

Politics have been overshadowed since the coronavirus pandemic reached Maine. The legislature folded up shop early and Gov. Janet Mills exercised her powers to shut down much economic activity, forcing Mainers to stay separated. That appears to have had the desired effect, easing the increased pressure hospitals here were under.

But as the crisis atmosphere has waned, state politics is starting to sink its claws into the situation. Steve Mistler says that’s caused in part by the Federal approach to the pandemic.

LEWISTON, Maine - The Lewiston City Council has passed a resolution opposing excessive use of force by police and calling for equal treatment under the law.

PORTLAND, Maine - The state ethics commission says the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically decreased the number of publicly funded campaigns.

ANDREW HARNIK / AP File

U.S. Sen. Angus King Thursday questioned top defense nominees about “project warp speed,” the Trump Administration’s national program for quickly developing and distributing a vaccine for COVID-19. King says speed should not get in the way of assuring that the vaccine is effective and affordable.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP File

Brunswick attorney and former Democratic Speaker of the House John Richardson is being remembered as a skilled and thoughtful politician and advocate for workers, who wasn't afraid to reach across the aisle during a contentious time at the State House. Richardson died of an apparent heart attack Tuesday at the age of 62.

Requests for absentee ballots in Maine’s July primary are already over 71,000. That’s double the number from two years ago, when both major parties had primary elections in the race for governor.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A law designed to hold opioid manufacturers accountable for their role in Maine's drug overdose epidemic is now in effect.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

Portland city councilors voted Monday to delay a decision on consolidating the city's 11 voting sites, and to instead launch a last-minute recruiting effort to bring in more poll workers.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

The Maine Republican Party on Monday submitted more than 68,000 petition signatures to overturn a new law that expands ranked-choice voting to presidential elections.

The Senate Armed Services Committee has given bipartisan support for legislation that sets the blueprint for defense spending in the new budget year. And Sen. Angus King says that's good news for Maine.

Maine's Libertarians have failed to convince a judge to grant an injunction requiring the state to re-enroll more than 6,000 previous members.

Libertarians sued Secretary of State Matt Dunlap late last year, arguing the state's enrollment thresholds were impossible to maintain for small parties. The Libertarians argued the requirements create an unfair burden and stymie the creation of new parties in Maine.

Maine has three officially recognized political parties: Democrats, Republicans and Greens.

Susan Collins Criticizes Trump's Reversal On Transgender Healthcare Protections

Jun 14, 2020
Al Drago / AP

Two members of Maine's congressional delegation criticized a decision Friday by President Donald Trump to eliminate protections for transgender patients.

One of two black members of the Maine Legislature sharply criticized the state’s response to COVID-19 in black and African American Mainers, who have contracted the disease at ten times the rate of whites. Democratic state Rep. Rachael Talbot Ross of Portland says the Department of Health and Human Services needs to do more.

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