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Vote on Williamson's Nomination to PUC is Delayed

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage's nominee to fill a post on the Maine Public Utilities Commission drew no opposition Thursday.

But, on a party line vote, Democrats tabled a vote on Bruce Williamson's nomination, saying they need more time to consider the six-year appointment of the University of Tennessee economics professor to the post.

Republicans on the panel say the delay is purely politics, and politics at its worst.  "When petty politics interferes with our ability as legislators to serve our constituents, to me that's just fundamentally wrong," says Rep. Larry Dunphy, of Embden, the lead House Republican on the committee

But it's a charge Portland Rep. Mark Dion, the Democratic co-chair of the Energy, Utilities and Technology committee, dismisses.

"We are all politicians, this is a political place," Dion said. "Why do we all sling that charge at - when somebody makes a decision we don't agree with?"

The panel has until June 8 to vote on Williamson's nomination, which then goes to the state Senate. Dion expects the vote to occur sooner than that, but has not set a time.