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At last week's town hall meeting in Presque Isle, Maine Governor Paul LePage closed out the event with a jaw-dropping claim that using "2015 mining technology", aka fracking, doesn't pollute. A link here to a few articles that dispute his statement.

And because you KNOW you want to hear the audio... it is available at Maine Progressives.

Transcript and more below.

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(Originally posted and updated at Maine Progressives Warehouse)

Interesting lil weekly address here today by Maine Governor Paul LePage (emphasis mine):

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Part 2; link here to Part 1 (#ME-GOV LePage Met “Multiple Times” W/ FBI Watched Terrorists Re: Arrest, Execute of Dem Leaders).

UPDATE: Reactions from within the Maine GOP range from overwhelming silence to weak attempts to deflect to now this:

But a Republican strategist, also not active in the gubernatorial race, said the revelations are both demoralizing for the governor’s staffers and could genuinely harm fundraising.

“It’s demoralizing and stressful for their inner circle to fight battles like this because they all know it’s true. So what they are going to be doing is fighting this while they should be putting a field operation together,” he said. “Crazy [stuff] like this is going to take a precarious slush fund and drain it.”

A review of last night's two phone calls by Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage to the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News ("LePage denies he discussed ‘executing’ Maine Democratic leaders"). The first call:
“I was never in the room where ‘execute’ was used,” the governor said in a phone call to the BDN managing editor.

“It never happened,” he said later in the call. “We did not discuss execution, arrest or hanging.”

When told that the audio of the show was included on Tipping’s blog, LePage said he wanted to see the tapes.

“None of this stuff ever happened,” he said again. He said he talked with the group about the U.S. and Maine constitutions. Further, he said, he disagreed with much of what the men said.

“I listened and listened and listened,” LePage said. “Some points they were making were reasonable and some were off-the-wall.”

The second call by LePage:
In a second phone call to the BDN, LePage said he didn’t know about a Freedom of Access Act request that Tipping had filed to secure details of his meetings because “no one told me about it.”

He said he didn’t stop meeting with the Sovereign Citizens after the FOAA request was filed, as Tipping contends, but stopped meeting with them “because they were not listening.”

“They got mad and called me all kinds of names,” he said.

LePage said the group called again Monday to meet with him after Tipping’s blog post, but he said “no way.”

A few reactions to the BDN headline alone:
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NOTE- This is Part 1 of 2 (so far); both can be found with photos, Scribd documents and more here: (UPDATED) Breaking: LePage Met “Multiple Times” With FBI Known Domestic Terrorist Group, Discussed Executing Democratic Leaders and here:“Arrest For Treason/ Execution” Docs Released, Proving LePage Lied To BDN, Re: Sovereign Citizens Talks.

This is a still evolving story and will be updated as necessary on Maine Progressives Warehouse.

(UPDATE) Before even hitting "send" on this draft write-up, there have been new developments of note ("LePage denies he discussed ‘executing’ Maine Democratic leaders"), as LePage has this evening called the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News- twice- and has either claimed:

  • That this all didn't happen/ portions of it happened.
  • There was no five page memo/ well, maybe there was/ well, okay, there WAS a five page memo regarding the legality of arresting and executing members of Democratic leadership.
  • He was going to sue both the BDN and Mike Tipping for the story.
Things definitely heating up quickly in Augusta, as a portion of Mike Tipping's "As Maine Went" was released today implicating Maine Governor Paul R. LePage Sr of meeting multiple times with a known domestic terrorist group and directing his legal staff to investigate the legality of arresting and executing two of his Democratic rivals, Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves.

Yes- you read that right- "Arrest and Execute".

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(Cross posted at Maine Progressives Warehouse)

This past weekend, Maine Democrats held their 2014 Convention at the new Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. It was a great event, with Rep. Mike Michaud, who is running for Governor, addressing those assembled (link to video here), Shenna Bellows who is challenging incumbent Susan Collins (video) and others (Day 1 videos, Day 2 videos).



But the speech that electrified the crowds the most was easily that of Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash, who is in a primary against fellow State Senator Emily Cain for the now open #ME-02 Congressional seat (link here to Troy Jackson for Congress website).

Below is the video, transcript and some pictures of that moment- of "The Speech".

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UPDATE: A bit of quick background on this post. While Mainers knew that Tea Party Maine Governor Paul LePage, who won election in 2010 with 38% of the vote, was virulently anti-ACA and fought hard against multiple attempts to expand Medicaid in our state (to date, five bills have been vetoed and then sustained by the GOP in the Legislature), many did not know to what extent the LePage Administration worked or what steps lead to where we found ourselves last week as news of the #LePlagiarism scandal first broke. Thus it became necessary to piece together all of the various known elements and create this timeline, illustrating who Gary Alexander is and how he became known to the administration (LePage in 2011 first offered him the DHHS position that eventually went to Mary Mayhew), as well as the various actions taken by the Governor and his staff.

A year ago, most in Maine had no idea never heard of Gary Alexander. That is no longer the case, as now federal authorities are now looking into the matter.

(Cross posted at Maine Progressives Warehouse, Dirigo Blue and The New Maine Times. The Maine Progressives site has many original videos of press conferences and testimony by Gary Alexander presented to Maine's HHS Committee, photos of same and numerous Scribd documents, including both the Arkansas and Maine Alexander Group Reports, emails between LePage administration officials, letters, Maine government documents and more.)

Gary Alexander and associate Erik Randolph exit Maine HHS Committee hearing, 1/14/14.

It is later (2012) used as a cited source in Pacific Research Institute president and CEO's Sally Pipes' e-book, "The Pipes Plan: The Top Ten Ways to Dismantle Obamacare". Pipes, a well known critic of the Affordable Care Act, goes before Congress' House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to denounce ACA and is found by Mother Jones investigative reporting to have much of her and PRI's supposed works to be that of ghost writers:

If Pipes seems supernaturally prolific, there's a good reason. To assist with her written output, PRI employs a DC-based ghostwriting and PR firm with drug and health care industry clients. That firm, Keybridge Communications, researches, drafts, and edits much of Pipes' published work in an arrangement that's unusual for someone at a supposedly independent think tank.

Several former PRI staffers tell Mother Jones it was well known within the organization that Pipes relied heavily on Keybridge, particularly for her books, and did far from all of her own writing.

 
  • 1/5/11- Paul R. LePage, Sr. is sworn in as the 74th Governor of Maine.
  • 1/12/11- Alexanderis namedas Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's pick as that state's Public Welfare Secretary.

Elena Nicolella- the director of RI’s Medicaid program- says there’s very little in Alexander’s report that’s accurate.  In fact, it was published without the permission of the Department of Human Services, even though the state seal appears on every page of the report.  Nicolella says RI asked The Galen Institute to take that seal off, but it hasn’t and she’s considering a call to the state’s attorneys.

... a spokesman in Chafee's Health and Human Services Office said officials there do not know how Alexander came up with that number, and could not give their own.

"The secretary of Health and Human Services is currently reviewing the assumptions, accomplishments and savings projections associated with the global waiver," spokesman David Burnett said in a statement last week. "Without a detailed understanding of the author's assumptions, it is difficult to offer a comment on the veracity of the statements contained in the Galen Institute article."

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(NOTE: The original post put online this morning has now been updated NINE times. This is a huge story and still developing.)

After almost a year of multiple interviews as part of an investigation by federal authorities into allegations that Governor Paul LePage and Maine Department of Labor officials pressured MDOL administrative hearing officers to be more pro-employer in its findings on appeals of unemployment claims, the results of the findings was released this morning and find that the Governor and others did indeed interfere.

The letter can be seen below.

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We are giving Governor LePage a pass on the "Day Count" for Saturday and Sunday, as he was down in DC for the NGA winter meeting... well, until yesterday morning at least.

He inexplicably skipped last night's dinner with President and Mrs. Obama at the White House, as well as multiple meetings todaywith the President and Vice-President Biden.

Feb. 22—Maine Governor Paul LePage and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant at the Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee session, which was about the future of the National Guard

Hey, waitaminute... Anyone else remember when LePage pulled out of NGA?

LePage said he will attend the winter meeting, held in Washington, D.C., because of its sessions with President Barack Obama and cabinet members. But he said he has no use for the other meetings held by the group.

“I get no value out of those meetings,” he said. “They are too politically correct and everybody is lovey-dovey and no decisions are ever made. There are some tough decisions that need to be made in this country and we need to start making them.”

(If anyone can make sense of his thought processes, oh do please- let the rest of Maine in on the trick...)

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(Following up on last night's news: "BREAKING: Governor LePage Reneges On $100M Jobs Bonds; Bounces $59M State Of Maine Check")

To review, here is the email shared last night:

Neria,

I will not approve going to market until there is $60 MM in the Rainy Day Fund. I will not subject the state to further credit reduction. In the past the Treasurer would keep the Governor updated on cash expenditures, you have chosen not to.

Governor Paul R. LePage

A reminder: LePage accused Douglass last year in June of holding up issuance of the bonds, which was proven false and refused to sign them until the hospital debt was paid.

On July 3, the governor shifted the blame for the bond issuance delay onto Democrats and in August, he applaudedthe Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee for approving the bonds package that included $35M to higher education improvements such as Maine Maritime Academy in Castine and Maine Community College System.

In September, Maine Maritime Academy first broke ground on the ABS Center for Engineering, Science and Research- the first classroom facility built on campus in thirty years.

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Via Maine Senate and House Democrats came the following press release late Thursday night:

LEPAGE RENEGES ON STATEWIDE JOBS BOND CONTRACTS
Seven months after authorization, Governor changes mind

Augusta – In an email to State Treasurer Neria Douglass, Governor Paul LePage reneged and cancelled his authorization of nearly $100 million in bond monies for projects across Maine.

Douglass shared the message with the state’s budget writing committee on Thursday afternoon during a previously scheduled briefing on the state’s debt service or interest for the bonds.

“Governor LePage has broken a $59 million contract with businesses and workers across Maine. The line has been crossed when the governor’s emotional volatility starts hurting Maine’s economy and Maine’s workers,” said Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash. “I am concerned for the businesses and projects that have started their work and now hear that the governor has changed his mind.”

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UPDATED: Nationally acclaimed Washington DC based newspaper The Hill has picked up on this endorsement and run a story on it. Locally, mid-coast Maine's The Times Record ran an editorial, Collins Vs. Bellows. It's A Race.

The Bellows campaign issued this statement upon hearing about the endorsement:

“I will be a champion of civil liberties, and I am honored to receive the endorsement of a group that helped propel Elizabeth Warren to victory.  Today’s endorsement builds on the grassroots momentum that we are seeing on the ground here in Maine,” said Shenna Bellows, Democratic candidate for the United States Senate.  “Like the PCCC, our campaign is supported by thousands of real Mainers who think it’s time for change in Washington. We are building a movement for positive change to restore constitutional freedoms, advance economic fairness, and protect the environment.”

Big news this morning of an important national endorsement for Maine Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows, as Progressive Change Campaign Committee has now come out in strong support of her campaign. This news comes on the heels of last week's stunning revelation that Bellows outraised incumbent Susan Collins in 4Q donations. (more below)
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(Originally posted on Dirigo Blue and Maine Progressives Warehouse, 11/26/13)

Weigh the evidence for yourself and decide if the image at right going around online is accurate or not.

First there is this "Questionnaires" page on his campaign website, in which Cutler attempts to make his case with Maine voters after failing to garner endorsements from three groups by sharing the actual submitted documents as Scribd documents: The Sierra Club (doc), MSEA/SEIU (doc) and Maine AFL/CIO (doc).

Side note: This comment by Cutler to MSEA-SEIU is especially priceless!

"I am under no illusions that I will receive your endorsement, though I would welcome the opportunity to participate in any Maine MSEA-SEIU- sponsored debates or forums over the course of the next coming year."

Side-side note: What does Eliot Cutler think the "M" in MSEA stands for, anyways- Minions? Mutton? Millionaires?

Nah- THAT endorsement he would expect to get!

Anyhoo...

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