Mal Leary

Maine Public Political Correspondent

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.

A lifelong journalist and Maine native, Mal has worked as both a reporter and editor in broadcast and in print, in both Washington, D.C. and in Maine. He has won numerous awards for his reporting on state government issues and politics.

For several years he owned and operated Capitol News Service, which was located in the State House complex providing news coverage to radio stations as well as newspapers.

Mal is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters & Editors and has long been an advocate for open government. He is the SPJ Sunshine Chair in Maine and is currently the president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition based at the University of Missouri Journalism School and is a Vice President of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition.

Mal is married with three grown children, several grandchildren and lives in Augusta, within sight of the Capitol dome.

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J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King has been named chair of the subcommittee on National Parks, which also oversees national monuments like the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in northern Maine.

The U.S. House is expected to take up sweeping election reform legislation, HR 1, later this week. Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine’s 2nd District is joining election reform advocates in calling for its passage.

A coalition of low-income advocates and service providers is calling for an increase in taxes on wealthy Mainers and large corporations to fund what they say are needed investments in the social services.

After nearly a decade of trying, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District has succeeded in getting the U.S. House to agree to add the York River to the National Park Service’s Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press file

Republican state Sen. Marianne Moore of Calais is calling for a legislative probe of how the Maine Wild Blueberry Commission is spending its marketing money.

Greg Nash / Pool via AP

Defense Department officials went before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday to answer questions about the status of COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the nation. Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine focused his inquiry on the cause of bottlenecks in the system.

Joshua Roberts / Pool via AP

The U.S. Senate has started the long process of investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol with a joint hearing by two Senate committees.

Jae C. Hong / Associated Press file

Two years ago, Maine became one of the first states in the country to ban single-use plastic bags. Considered a victory for the environment, the law was supposed to take effect Jan. 1, but was delayed until July 1 because of the pandemic. Now, some lawmakers want to repeal it.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

The House is scheduled to vote this week on nearly $2 trillion in pandemic relief, but Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine’s 2nd District says there are urgent needs that can’t wait the weeks it will take to finalize the package.

Jeff Chiu / Associated Press file

In Maine, smoking costs more than $800 million a year in health care costs and contributes to nearly 30% of cancer deaths. Health advocates say it’s a serious problem, and they say Gov. Janet Mills is making a mistake by cutting $5 million a year from state smoking cessation programs.

Two years ago, lawmakers provided $5 million for distribution to organizations that work with victims of domestic violence. The proposed state budget this year does not include a similar appropriation, and that omission came under fire at a budget hearing before the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee.

Brandon Bell / New York Times via AP/Pool

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine says it’s looking increasingly unlikely a major compromise on pandemic relief will happen.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

The new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Virginia Democrat Mark Warner, says he wants the panel to investigate the intelligence failures leading up to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who serves on the committee, says she supports that effort.

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she has not decided how she will vote on the impeachment case against former President Donald Trump, but says the videos of the Jan. 6 insurrection shown at the trial have been haunting.

Brandon Bell / The New York Times via AP, Pool

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King says reliving the Jan, 6 insurrection through the impeachment trial of Donald Trump is difficult for all senators, but he says he’s not sure some are listening to the arguments.