Sunday, April 20, 2014
The Maine Aggregate Association, a trade association representing gravel pit and quarry owners, held its annual meeting Wednesday at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland. Gov. Paul LePage was the special guest and his visit was originally posted on his public events calendar.
The event was originally supposed to be open to the media, but that changed earlier this week when the administration sent a corrected release saying the press was no longer allowed. According to Adrienne Bennett, LePage's spokeswoman, the association requested a closed event after the events schedule was released.
"It was their annual meeting, it wasn't our call," Bennett said.
The association and the governor are in lock-step on many issues, including last year's attempt to rollback vernal pool setbacks, this year's east-west highway bill and a host of other regulatory reform proposals. Lobbying disclosure data shows that the association lobbied close to 30 bills this session.
The group generally supports paving and road projects, so members may have had a lot to say Wednesday about a bond proposal being drafted by lawmakers.
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.