Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Click here to listen to today's WGAN interview in which we discuss this week's State House Notebook. Included in the notebook are a bunch of tidbits: The CDC document shredding case (The Sun Journal has a scathing editorial about the controversy), U.S. Senate candidate Erick Bennett's Facebook rants; Rep. Brian Bolduc, D-Auburn, his truckers comment and his failed bid to prevent non-Maine natives from becoming a presiding officer in the Legislature.
The top item delves into some of the polical context to the deepening probe into the failed ballot bid to establish a casino in Lewiston. Roy Lenardson, a longtime conservative political operative in Maine (and recently in Florida), is mentioned in the piece as the head of the firm that helped defeat the 2011 casino expansion, as well as his connection to Dennis Bailey, another operative that filed the complaint generating the Ethics Commission probe. I asked Bailey if Lenardson had provided the document that helped investigators determine the real funders of the 2011 of the Lewiston bid, and recently, that Brent Littlefield, a political ally and advisor to Gov. Paul LePage, was secretly working on the Lewiston campaign through his pop-up company Dome Messaging.
Bailey said he wouldn' couldn't confirm it, didn't know.
There's obvious implications if Lenardson is the source of that document, particularly since his firm was technically working against Littlefield, a political ally, during the 2011 casino referendum.
Lenardson emailed this morning to write that the notebook item was "a little heavy on conspiracy and light on reality," but he added, "it's good for street cred. -- and makes that little group that despises me (Republicans -- by the way) even more agitated. Nothing like living rent free in your enemies' head!"
Finally, here's the link to last week's WGAN interview in which we discuss Medicaid expansion and a few other topics.
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.