Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
(This post was clarified at 9:40 a.m. on March 30 to note that the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine lobbys against legalization of marijuana and for caregivers, not dispensaries. - S.M.)
No official confirmation from the LePage administration yet, but it appears the governor has a dinner date with medical marijuana advocates.
Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, the group lobbying for the state's marijuana caregivers and against legalization legislation, submitted the winning bid for dinner with the governor during Thursday's annual Legislative Memorial Auction.
Auction attendees say the winning bid was $1,000, apparently higher than the one submitted by legislative Democrats.
If Gov. Paul LePage isn't careful he just may go viral.
LePage is currently on vacation in Jamaica, but on Wednesday, just a few hours after it was made public that the Maine Hospital Association will support Medicaid expansion, the governor (or one of his staffers) fired off tweet from a much warmer clime:
Been awhile . . .
Sun-n-fun: All eyes will be on the Legislature this week. That's because Gov. Paul LePage is off to Jamaica for his annual vacation.
So far, no Democratic leader has submitted a bill to bar the governor from taking a vacation, but there are at least two proposals that will be reviewed Monday that would take his pension.
The first, sponsored by Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, the assistant Senate leader could be voted out by the State and Local Government Committee Monday morning. Jackson's bill has enountered a rough reception, even from Democrats.
Below is the 3.21.13 press conference held by Gov. Paul LePage and his transportation commissioner David Bernhardt.
The governor begins speaking at 4:06 and later at 18:53.
In addition to heaping heavy praise on Bernhardt (LePage has frequently said the commissioner knows "how to stretch a dollar."), the governor answered his Democratic critics who say he's holding $105 million in voter-approved bonds "hostage" until the Legislature approves his proposal to repay Maine hospitals $484 million in backlogged Medicaid reimbursement.
At 19:31, LePage acknowledges that he's leveraging the bonds to force legislators to repay the hospitals, saying that "the people upstairs" (the Legislature is located a floor above the governor's office), wouldn't do so unless he forced the issue.
Guest posted by Micheal Shepherd
The media spotlight shone on Maine’s 2014 gubernatorial race Wednesday, with two big-name potential candidates teasing assumed runs in strong terms.
Democrat John Baldacci, Maine’s governor from 2003 to early 2011, told Politico on Wednesday that he’ll run if U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud don’t, echoing what he and those close to him have been telling Maine media since January.
But he also said he considers April to be when Democrats should start assembling “the apparatus for a campaign.”