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

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.

PORTLAND, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage today used his weekly appearance on a Bangor radio station to strike back at the CEO of the state's largest construction company. 

Peter Vigue, CEO of Cianbro, recently expressed frustration with the governor's repeated criticism of the state's energy prices.

The tit-for-tat further demonstrates that LePage and businesses sometimes have divergent views of energy policy, and specifically, the role of renewable power.