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  • Winners of 2018 Maine Student Constitution Essay and Poster Contest

    Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has announced the names of the winners of the 2018 Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest. The annual contest allows Maine students from grades kindergarten through 12 to participate, with older students submitting essays regarding the Maine Constitution, voting and democracy; and younger students creating posters reflecting Maine history or symbols. 

    “The essay and poster contest is a great opportunity for students to reflect on the wide spectrum of Maine’s identity, from our traditional industries to the iconic animals that roam our woods and waters,” said Dunlap. “We congratulate the winners and hope that all of the students gained a deeper appreciation for their state through their participation.”

    The essay contest is for students in middle school and high school. It is divided into two categories:

    The theme for grades 6-8 is “The Maine Constitution.”  Damon Wilson, a seventh-grade student in Helen Beesley’s class at Windsor Elementary School in Windsor, received top honors in this category for his essay entitled “The Right to Bear Arms: The Bond.”

    The theme for grades 9-12 is “The Importance of Voting and Democracy.” Teona Sok, a 12th-grade student at Gorham High School in Gorham, took first place in this category for her essay titled “Why Voting and Democracy is Important.”

    The poster contest, open to students from kindergarten to grade 5, includes two categories, with a theme of “Maine Symbols” for grades K-3 and “Maine History” for grades 4-5.

    Abby Wood, a third-grade student at Belgrade Central School in Belgrade, received top honors for her symbols poster, which depicts a singing chickadee, a moose with textured antlers, pine trees and a “super-fruit” blueberry, complete with a cape.

    Rowan Keller, a fourth-grade student in Susan Hasson’s class at Holy Cross School in South Portland, took first place for his poster depicting two ships engaged in the naval Battle of Machias.

    These students and their classmates are invited to view the state's original 1820 Constitution at the Maine State Archives in Augusta – a special honor, as it is not regularly removed from the storage vault for viewings.

    The posters were judged on April 18 by three members of the Maine Legislature who volunteered their time: Sen. Rebecca J. Millett (D-Cumberland), Rep. Matthew G. Pouliot (R-Augusta), and Rep. Matthew A. Harrington (R-Sanford). To learn more about student programs and view winning entries from this year’s contest and past contests, visit the Secretary of State’s Kids’ Page. 

  • Mainers Call for Removal of Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator

    By Ramona du Houx

    On May 3, 2018 health experts, elected officials, businesspeople, affected citizens, conservation leaders, and others called for the removal of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    Senator Angus King has said, “My fundamental problem with him is that he just doesn’t believe in the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency.”

    The group released a letter signed by more than 1,000 people to President Trump saying that Administrator Pruitt is “unfit to lead this important agency that protects our public health and the air, water, lands, and climate that are vital for our nation’s economy and the quality of life of all American citizens.” Copies of the letter were delivered to Maine’s Congressional delegation. Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingress has called on Pruitt to step down.

    Climate change is wreaking havoc on our Gulf of Maine fisheries. Sea levels are rising faster than predicted. Tick-borne diseases, exacerbated by warming, are on the rise. Extreme weather is battering Maine more frequently and ferociously. Pruitt deneys climate change is happening.

    "This is serious, the Gulf of Maine is warming and lobsters are moving north. This effects Maine's economy. We need someone to protect our assests not destroy them," said Rep. Robert S. Duchesne. "We've fought hard to protect Maine. The fight continues - Pruitt needs to be removed."

    EPA chief Pruitt currently is the subject of 11 federal investigations for violating ethics rules, abusing taxpayer funds, and breaking federal laws. Some examples include the purchase of a $43,000 secure phone booth, a sweet-heart deal condominium rental agreement with an energy lobbyist, extravagant travel costs, and accusations that he demoted, reassigned, or fired EPA employees who questioned his actions. 

    “Administrator Pruitt is flagrantly abusing his position, wasting taxpayer money, breaking federal law, and committing serious ethics violations,” said NRCM Federal Project Director Emmie Theberge. “But his war on ‘Environmental Protection,’ the mission of the EPA, is the primary reason why Scott Pruitt should be removed. Maine needs an EPA Administrator who will work to protect the clean air and clean water that are so vital to our economy, health, and quality of life. Mr. Pruitt is hostile toward EPA’s mission and is determined to weaken the nation’s most important environmental protections.”  

    Mainers breathe polluted air carried here on prevailing winds and air pollution generated here, too. As a result, Maine people suffer with among the highest rates of asthma in the nation. Pruitt is fighting to block standards that would reduce air pollution from cars and from power plants. 

    “While EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been plagued by ethics scandals, he has also tried to dismantle protections for our air, water, and climate that harm the health of all Mainers,” said Dr. Noah Nesin, MD, a family doctor. “We rely on the EPA to protect Maine people and communities from toxic chemicals, air pollution, and water pollution.For the health of my paitents, my children and all Mainers Scott needs to be replaced with someone who can and will.”

    Speakers at a news conference focused on six areas in which Administrator Pruitt is violating the public trust and undermining the role of the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the group:

    •  Pruitt favors polluters over people
    •  Pruitt is dismantling environmental protections
    •  Pruitt cuts deals with industry cronies
    •  Pruitt wastes taxpayer money
    •  Pruitt operates in secrecy
    •  Pruitt has declared war on science

    Based on these concerns, the group believes that Scott Pruitt cannot be trusted to protect our air, water, and health from polluters and that he should be removed from the EPA.

    “Maine’s clean environment is the top attraction for the visitors who support Maine’s tourism industry. Our environment fuels tourism jobs like mine and thousands of others,” said Jim Glavine, a Tour Guide for Oli’s Trolleys in Acadia National Park. “Scott Pruitt’s actions undermine our clean air, clean water, and healthy wildlife and people, too. It is time for him to step down and for Maine’s elected leaders to ensure he does so.”

    The letter was signed by many Maine scientists and includes their concern about Administrator Pruitt’s disregard for climate science and apparent belief that climate change may be good.

    As stated in the letter:

    “We are particularly alarmed by Mr. Pruitt’s recent suggestion that climate change may be good for humanity. No reading of the scientific literature can possibly lead one to this conclusion. The consensus view presented in the National Climate Assessment, prepared by our nation’s top climate scientists, paints ominous trends for humans and our planet…. We fundamentally dispute Mr. Pruitt’s notion that such impacts could be good.”

    In recent weeks, 170 members of Congress have called on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to be removed from office. Senator Susan Collins also has said, “On policy grounds alone I think Scott Pruitt is the wrong person to head the EPA.”

    “Scott Pruitt has failed to protect our environment and the health of the American people, which is his number one job,” said Theberge. “Instead, he has continued his long history of letting polluters off the hook and has packed the EPA with industry lobbyists to push his damaging agenda. Pruitt has failed to live up to the EPA’s mission to protect our health and environment, and instead has put us all in danger. It’s time for Scott Pruitt to go.”

  • Maine's Reps. Berry and Riley issue statements on successfully overriding veto of bill to help with electric bill debt

     by Ramon  du Houx

    Rep. Seth Berry, House chair of the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, and Rep. Tiny Riley were sucessful with their bill to extend a program that helps those behind on their electric bills. The House and Senate over rode LePage's veto. The bill became law on May 2, 2018.

     “For some Central Mane Power or Emera Maine customers struggling to pay skyrocketing and questionable electric bills, this bipartisan law will make a world of difference,” said Rep. Berry. “I’m grateful for the work of my entire committee and in particular the work of Reps Riley and Beth O’Connor, as well as Maine Public Advocate, Barry Hobbins.”

    “The final version of this law pulls together resources that will help low-income Mainers get control of their electric bills, which ultimately helps keep rates lower for all electricity customers,” said Riley, a member of the Energy Committee who played a major role drafting the final version of the bill. “That’s a win for all of us.”   

    Lawmakers in the House overrode the veto of LD 1848, An Act To Extend Arrearage Management Programs, by a vote of 147-0. The Senate then overrode the veto 34-0.

    Berry represents House District 55: Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Swan Island, and most of Richmond. He previously served from 2006-2014, the final two years as House Majority Leader.   

    Riley is serving her first term in the Maine House. She represents Jay, Livermore Falls and part of Livermore.

  • Maine DEP Issues Air Quality Alert for Wednesday, May 2, 2018

     

    AUGUSTA, May 01, 2018 

    Ground-level ozone concentrations will be climbing in Maine on Wednesday and are expected to reach unhealthy levels according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  Much of the state is expected to reach higher ozone levels due to a combination of transport, extremely warm temperatures along with little vegetation growth to absorb ozone.  Ozone levels were climbing in Pennsylvania, New York & New Jersey on Tuesday.  This regional load of ozone and its precursors is headed to Maine for Wednesday.  Two regions are expected to only reach the Moderate range: Northern Maine is expecting clouds & showers and winds are less conducive for the Downeast Coastal region.  Particle pollution levels are expected to be in the GOOD range statewide.  High levels of ozone could continue into Thursdayespecially in southern regions of Maine.  That forecast will be finalized by 3 PM on Wednesday.

    At elevated ozone levels, children, healthy adults who exert themselves, and individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis or COPD can experience reduced lung function and irritation.  When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest.

    Some actions you can take to protect your health during periods of unhealthy air quality include:

     

    For more information contact Maine DEP or visit the agency's air quality web site:http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/ .

  • Maine Joins Coalition of 17 States to Defend National Clean Car Rules

    Photo and article by Ramona du Houx
    During the first week in April, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills joined a coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia in suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to preserve the greenhouse gas emission standards currently in place for model year 2022-2025 vehicles. 
    This 17 state coalition represents approximately 44 percent of the U.S. population and 43 percent of the new car sales market nationally.
    The standards save drivers money at the pump, reduce oil consumption, and curb greenhouse gases.
    "We will not stand quietly by and watch the Trump Administration unwind important federal environmental protections, and these greenhouse gas emission standards for vehicles are critical to curbing the impacts of climate change. Our suit today will ensure EPA does not get away with scrapping these rules when it has no factual or legal basis to do so," said Mills.

    Beginning in 2010, the EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and California Air Resources Board established a single national program of greenhouse gas emissions standards for model year 2012-2025 vehicles. This program allows automakers to design and manufacture to a single target. The federal standards the states are suing to protect, for model year 2022-2025 vehicles, are estimated to reduce carbon pollution equivalent to 134 coal power plants burning for a year and to save drivers $1,650 per vehicle.
    At present, the car industry is on track to meet or exceed these standards. Last year, the EPA affirmed these standards were appropriate based on an extensive record of data. On April 13, 2018, however, the EPA, without evidence to support the decision, arbitrarily reversed course and claimed that the greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2022-2025 vehicles should be scrapped.
    The Administration offered no evidence to support this decision and deferred any analysis to a forthcoming rulemaking designed to try to weaken the existing 2022-2025 standards. 
    Today's lawsuit was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The lawsuit is based on the fact that the EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously, failed to follow its own Clean Car regulations, and violated the Clean Air Act.
    Joining Maine in today's lawsuit filing were the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania (also filed by and through its Department of Environmental Protection), Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Minnesota filed by and through its Pollution Control Agency and Department of Transportation.
  • Flower pots and xylophones create computer science fun at Maine Libraries sparking interest

    Photo: Mohegan Library in the Maine summertime 

    By Ramona du Houx

    Brightly painted clay, splashing water, and beeping Beethoven are part of computer science and electronics projects that will be coming to public libraries across Maine due to a new partnership between the Maine State Library and Gizmo Garden LLC. 

    "One of the core goals of the Maine State Library is to ensure that Maine's underserved populations get access to high-quality programs, and the new partnership fills that role in two ways," said James Ritter, the Maine State Librarian. "First, it will address Maine's gender gap in computer science, which is markedly worse than the national average, using programming that's proven to be enjoyed as much by girls as by boys. Second, it will allow us to take this programming anywhere in Maine, including to small rural libraries where students may have no other exposure to computer science."
    The groups are joining forces to address Maine's growing need for more computer professionals by sparking the interest of the state's youth. MSL will contribute personnel, experience and a library network, while Gizmo Garden will contribute curriculum, supplies, and what's intended to be over $100,000 in funding.
    Explaining the content of the programs, Gizmo Garden Technical Director Bill Silver says, "Gizmo Garden programs combine some element of artistic expression with electronic circuitry, robotics, and computer programming," said Gizmo Garden Technical Director Bill Silver.
    "For example, in the new "Invisible Xylophone" program we'll be testing out at Skidompha in May, students will mount a gyroscope and accelerometer on the tip of a drumstick, and wire that input to a microcontroller, which will then send output to a speaker. Students will write code for the microcontroller so that the pitch of a tone beeped out by the speaker depends on the angle at which you're holding the drumstick when you stroke it downward as if you were playing an invisible xylophone. Students can use their musical instruments to compose songs or to play old favorites like Beethoven's Ode to Joy."

    Programs will be led by Christina Dorman, the library's STEM Liaison.
    "I've already led Gizmo Garden programs at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta, and it is such a blast to see kids light up when their creations come to life. I can't wait to get on the road and bring the fun to more students," said Dorman. "The first program we'll present is RoboPots, during which students craft a plant pot and then rig the electronics to make it automatically self-watering. It's a great to have such fun introductory projects that may lead kids to discover an interest in the field without the stress of competitions."

    Judy Silver, Program Director of Nobleboro-based Gizmo Garden explains, "We've been working with local students and teachers for five years now, starting off at Skidompha where director Pam Gormley had the vision to kick off creative electronics programming. Since then, we've developed a number of projects and have helped leaders to conduct them at Skidompha, at Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, at Bristol Consolidated School, and at the Upward Bound program at Bowdoin College."
    "We've learned a lot and have refined our programs and practices to maximize the fun that diverse students have being introduced to engineering. Now we're ready to take our curricula to a broader audience, and Chris Dorman is the perfect person for that, backed by the Maine State Library which is a great organization."

    Mainers who are interested in having their students attend Gizmo Garden programs should reach out to their local library, which should contact Chris Dorman, christina.dorman@maine.gov. 
  • Health Care advocates sue Gov. LePage to force compliance with Medicaid Expansion Law

    By Ramona du Houx

    Maine Equal Justice Partners, Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Maine Primary Care Association and Penobscot Community Health Care filed suit along with five individuals against the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to compel the agency to begin implementing Medicaid expansion as required by state law.

    The lawsuit lays out the facts about the Medicaid expansion law, which was overwhelmingly passed by voters in November 2017.

     “There are no excuses to deny health care to more than 70,000 Mainers,” said Kathy Phelps, a member of the leadership team for Mainers for Health Care, which advocated for Medicaid expansion at the ballot box. “Some of the individual plaintiffs wanted to be here today but could not because they are in poor health. They are home, waiting to see a doctor, waiting to be well. Lives are on the line. It’s time to respect the vote and implement the law.” 

    The law passed by voters last November required Maine DHHS to submit a plan for implementation to the federal government by April 3, 2018. Because that deadline passed, the plaintiffs say it is clear that DHHS commissioner Ricker Hamilton either failed or refused to take the steps necessary to extend affordable health care to Mainers who earn roughly 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or $16,753. 

    “The LePage administration is breaking the law,” said Jack Comart, an attorney with Maine Equal Justice Partners. “People have a right to coverage starting in July, and the Department of Health and Human Services cannot ignore the law. We are asking the court to order the department to simply follow the law and take immediate action to begin implementing Medicaid expansion.”

     Comart noted that the five individuals in the suit, “come from all over Maine, and they’re struggling to overcome poor health and disabilities. Some of them are working, others are caring for disabled children. They all will be eligible for Medicaid, according to Maine’s new law, on July 2.”

    “The governor’s inaction and the Department of Health and Human Services’ failure to follow the law will directly harm these families and thousands more in every part of Maine.” 

    • The Medicaid expansion law required Maine DHHS to submit a State Plan Amendment to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by April 3, 90 days after the Jan. 3 effective date.
    • The Medicaid Expansion Act sets no conditions for the submission of the State Plan Amendment.
    • The commissioner of DHHS has failed or refused to submit the State Plan Amendment as required by law.

    “Gov. Paul LePage has claimed that he could not submit a State Plan Amendment without funding from the Legislature,” said James Kilbreth, the lead attorney on the lawsuit and a partner at Drummond Woodsum. “Submitting a State Plan Amendment does not require funding from the Legislature. The administration has a responsibility and obligation to take the necessary steps to implement the law the voters passed.”

    The Legislature does not need to appropriate additional funds for Medicaid Expansion, at this time. There is enough funding already budgeted for the program until at least next May or June of 2019 – this is true whether you use the cost estimates from the administration, the non-partisan state fiscal office or a recent independent study factoring in the experience of the 31 other states that have already expanded. 

    Maine has a revenue surplus of $140.5 million to cover any necessary costs for administration and services through SFY 2019.

    Maine Equal Justice Partners is a civil legal aid organization that represents Maine people with low income in areas of economic security, including access to healthcare.

     

     

     

  • UMaine research examines abrupt climate change impacts in maritime Europe

     

    Irish World and Siliconrepublic.com reported on a recent study by a team of researchers from NUI Galway and the University of Maine, which suggests the physical impact of abrupt climate change in Ireland, Britain and maritime Europe may be markedly different to what was once thought.

    In a paper published in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, the team wanted to investigate how abrupt climate changes, such as high-magnitude shifts in average climate, have impacted maritime Europe at the close of the last ice age, Siliconrepublic.com reported.

    By analyzing ancient shells found in Scotland, the team’s data challenges the idea that the “Younger Dryas” period was an abrupt return to an ice age climate in the North Atlantic, by showing that the last glaciers there were actually decaying rapidly during that period, the article states.

    “This finding is controversial and, if we are correct, it helps rewrite our understanding of how abrupt climate change impacts our maritime region, both in the past and potentially into the future,” said the study’s lead author, Gordon Bromley of NUI Galway’s School of Geography and Archaeology and UMaine’s Climate Change Institute.

  • Local author Esther Pasztory featured on PBS Civilizations series

     

    By Ramona du Houx

    Local author Esther Pasztory is featured on PBS Civilizations series during an interview in the second episode to be aired on April 24, 2018. Episode 2 explores how we look at the human body in art.

     Esther Pasztory is an author and Professor emeritus of pre-Columbian Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. She’s a specialist in her field. Her most recent books are “Aliens and Fakes: Popular Theories about the Origins of Ancient Americans,” “Conversations with Quetzalcoatl and Other Stories” and “Jean-Frederic Waldeck: Artist of Exotic Mexico.”

    Esther lived in Deer Isle and Kennebunk, Maine, with her husband, the artist Richard Eaton. Late in 2017 they moved to San Francisco, but often reture to family in Maine.

    CIVILIZATIONS is a nine-part series that tells the story of art from the dawn of human history to the present day —for the first time on a global scale. Inspired by Civilisation, Kenneth Clark’s acclaimed landmark 1969 series about Western art, this new series broadens the canvas to reveal the role art and the creative imagination have played across multiple cultures and civilizations. http://www.pbs.org/civilizations/home/

     More about Pasztory:

    Esther Pasztory is Lisa and Bernard Selz Professor emeritus of pre-Columbian Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. She has published extensively in the field of pre-Columbian art, including the first art historical manuscripts on Teotihuacan and the Aztecs.

    Born in Hungary, she emigrated to the United States in 1956, after the anti-Communist revolution. She attended Vassar College and Barnard Collage where she received a BA in art history.

    With her dissertation at Columbia, entitled The Murals of Tepantitla, Teotihuacan, she received her PhD in 1971. 

    Books by Esther Pasztory:

    1. Aliens and Fakes: Popular Theories about the Origins of Ancient Americans
    2. Conversations with Quetzalcoatl and Other Stories
    3. Jean-Frederic Waldeck: Artist of Exotic Mexico
    4. Inka Cubism: Reflections on Andean Art
    5. Remove Trouble from Your Heart
    6. Thinking with Things: Toward a New Vision of Art
    7. Daughter of the Pyramids: Colonial Tales
    8. Pre-Columbian Art
    9. Teotihuacan: An Experiment in Living
    10. Aztec Art
  • Gov. Baldacci’s answer to ‘what have you done for the people today?

    Photo by Ramona du Houx of Gov. Baldacci signing legislation in 2017.

    Editorial by David Farmer, former jounalist and communications director for 4 years for Gov. Baldacci.


    Former Gov. John Baldacci is being honored this week by the University of Maine with the Alumni Career Award.

    He’s earned it – and a lot more – for a lifetime of public service all dedicated to fighting for the people of Maine.

    Partially due to the time in which he served and partially due to his own personality, Baldacci does not often get the credit he deserves as both a politician and an innovative, boundary pushing political leader.


    Former Gov. John Baldacci got oil from Citgo during a crisis to help those in need. Photo by Ramona du Houx

    Baldacci, now retired from politics, has won a lot of elections. He’s served on the Bangor City Council, in the State Senate, eight years as the congressman from Maine’s 2ndCongressional District and eight years as governor of the state.

    That alone would be enough to cement his legacy in Maine politics. It’s a tremendous track record of achievement. But to remember just his electoral success doesn’t do justice to his many accomplishments.

    Let’s start with Baldacci personality and attitude: In the four years I worked for him, I never saw him say a nasty or mean word aimed at either friend or political foe. His favorite expression when Republicans would savage him, which they did often, was to say: “They should aim before they shoot.”

    Sure, he got angry and frustrated at times. But he never let it become personal. He tried to let the insults and political theater aimed in his direction simply roll off. Better to be the adult, better to match the barbs with a smile and an extended hand.

    He also taught me two of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned about politics: Be gracious and share credit, it doesn’t cost you anything; and try to remember who’s married to whom.

    Baldacci racked up a list of accomplishments that demonstrate that he was far ahead of the national curve, an innovative and often courageous political leader who broke ground that would take other, more well-known politicians years to follow.

    Baldacci and his team lead the nation with health care reform, passing Dirigo Health, a program that became a model for the Affordable Care Act. He passed the law, which mixed expansion of public health care with private subsidies and a commitment to better health, with a two-thirds majority.

    While the law became controversial later, it started out with strong, negotiated support from Republicans, Democrats and independents. The law made Maine a national leader in reducing the number of uninsured and literally saved lives.

    In 2009, Baldacci became the first governor in the country to sign a law allowing same-sex couples to marry, and then he became a champion of the fight to defend it against a people’s veto.

    He conserved more than a million acres in the state preserving access for generations to come and completed the deal that brought Katahdin Lake into Baxter State Park, completing Gov. Percival Baxter’s vision.

    He raised the minimum wage multiple times and campaigned for the most recent citizen’s initiative to keep the work alive in a gridlocked Legislature.

    Baldacci and his chief of staff, Jane Lincoln, helped to shatter glass ceilings throughout state government by appointing smart, powerful and tenacious women to the biggest leadership positions in the executive branch, including naming the first female commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

    In Congress, he was brave enough, and forward looking enough, to vote against the Iraq War. It seems like common sense in hindsight, but at the time, almost everyone – Democrat and Republican alike – was beating the drums of war. He never bought the Bush administration’s rationale.

    He fought to clean up toxic waste sites and helped negotiate the groundbreaking Regional Green House Gas Initiative to reduce pollution and bring new energy efficiency dollars into the state.

    He went to Cuba and met with Fidel Castro. He knew it would create a political firestorm, but because Maine farmers convinced him it would make a huge difference for their farms and business, he went. He took the heat.

    And when the global economy collapsed and the fate of the US economy was on the line, the White House and governors from all over the country turned to Baldacci to help close the deal on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

    With trust in DC at a low, Baldacci was able to help bridge the gap between the two sides because they all trusted him. He was neither looking for credit or headlines. He was simply trying to do what he thought was best for Maine and the country.

    From land conservation and the environment to civil rights to economic justice to global financial collapse to war and the H1N1 flu epidemic, Baldacci guided our state at a time of great distress and consequence. He broke new ground – over and over and over again.

    And he always lived up to the question his father asked him early on in his political career: “What have you done for the people today?”

    Very few can answer that question the way Baldacci can.

  • Linn not to be on Maine ballot decides Secretary of State Dunlap

     

     

    Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, upon reviewing new evidence regarding the candidate petitions of U.S. Senate candidate Max Patrick Linn, has found that Linn has not met the threshold to be eligible for the June 12, 2018 Primary Election ballot.

    Earlier today, Secretary Dunlap re-opened the hearing on a challenge to Linn’s candidate petitions, per order of the Kennebec County Superior Court, to consider new evidence presented by the challenger, David Boyer and the Eric Brakey for Senate campaign, as well as any relevant evidence presented by the candidate.

    After hearing all the evidence presented at the first hearing on Thursday, March 29, as well as the second hearing on Tuesday, April 24, Secretary Dunlap has invalidated 258 of Linn’s original total of 2,248 petition signatures that were initially counted as valid, leaving the candidate with a total of 1,990 valid signatures, which is 10 fewer than the minimum required to qualify for the primary election ballot.

    Due to the ballot printing schedule, the deadline for a candidate to have his or her name removed from the ballot was April 3. Thus, Linn’s name will appear on the ballot, but voters will be provided with notice at the polls informing them that he is no longer a candidate.

    This decision modifies Secretary Dunlap’s previous decision of April 5, when Dunlap found the challenger had presented sufficient evidence to invalidate the signatures of 230 voters but concluded that the petition and consent form still met the legal requirements to allow Linn to appear on the ballot. The Brakey campaign appealed that decision to the Kennebec County Superior Court and subsequently filed a motion to take additional evidence relevant to the challenge. On Friday, April 20, Justice William R. Stokes granted the challenger’s motion and ordered Secretary Dunlap to reopen the challenge hearing to consider new evidence. 

    Justice Stokes is expected to hear oral argument on Wednesday, April 25 at 11 a.m. regarding Secretary Dunlap’s decision.