John Christie and Naomi Schalit

John Christie and Naomi Schalit


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LePage ordered an approved $100K payment to charter school stopped when Eves named head of school

LePage ordered an approved $100K payment to charter school stopped when Eves named head of school

Gov. Paul LePage reversed a routine and state-approved payment to a Fairfield non-profit that operates a charter school the day it was announced that Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves was named president of the organization, according to a source inside state government.

A confidential source in the state Department of Education (DOE) said that, the day Eves’ appointment became public, a top official of the state DOE was called to the governor’s office “for an impromptu meeting.”

Memo: LePage inserted himself in religious  discrimination case against Moody’s Diner

Memo: LePage inserted himself in religious discrimination case against Moody’s Diner

Gov. Paul LePage inserted himself into a state law enforcement proceeding about a religious discrimination case and threatened to go to court if the legal process was not postponed, according to an internal memo.

The governor, however, said he was not interfering, but only trying to make sure there was no “ethical breach” in the case involving an audio recording he had been told was edited.

The Watchdog Index: What you can do with $42 million

The Watchdog Index: What you can do with $42 million

The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting unveils its second annual Watchdog Index, modeled after the Harper’s Index. We have been performing high level math — ok, mostly grade school arithmetic — to come up with how money was spent on the Maine election this year and finding other ways it could have been spent.

Such as helping Mainers stay warm, sending kids to baseball games or buying thousands and thousands of people Bean boots.

Sen. Jackson’s bill designed to help local man avoid fines for lake development

Sen. Jackson’s bill designed to help local man avoid fines for lake development

State Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, a candidate for Congress, tried to get a billed passed in the current legislative session to reverse a state fine and settlement against a constituent who had bulldozed 200 feet of vegetation along a shoreline where he had built a three-bedroom home. The bill was killed in committee when the state attorney general’s office questioned its constitutionality.

Feds want to take Penobscots’ side in suit over river rights

Feds want to take Penobscots’ side in suit over river rights

The federal government, saying “intervention … is not a step the United States takes lightly,” has asked a court to allow it to join the Penobscot Indian Nation in their lawsuit against the state over fishing and hunting rights on their ancestral river.

“As a part of its trust obligations to the Nation, the United States has a legal interest in protecting the Nation’s reservation borders and in ensuring that the Nation can fully exercise its sovereign powers … without improper interference from the State and others,” wrote Justice Department lawyers in the Aug. 16 filing with the U.S. District Court for Maine.

LePage, lawmakers try to get Maine a passing ethics grade

LePage, lawmakers try to get Maine a passing ethics grade

AUGUSTA — Maine’s “F” grade in government integrity issued last year by a national group has led to a number of reforms in the state’s ethics rules this year, including a bipartisan transparency bill proposed by Gov. Paul LePage that he signed into law last week.

The reforms also include two bills signed by the governor to stop the so-called “revolving door” at the statehouse, where lawmakers and executive branch officials leave government service and go directly to work as lobbyists.

Rural citizens lose battle to have say in wind tower rezoning

Rural citizens lose battle to have say in wind tower rezoning

“I feel like a citizen who is seen to be of less value than my neighbors,” said Karen Bessey Pease, after Maine Senate Democrats Wednesday sidelined an effort to give her and other residents of the state’s most rural areas a say in whether wind towers are built in their communities.

“We just asked to have the same rights to determination of zoning issues in our community as our next-door neighbors have,” said Pease, of Lexington Township. “It’s very unfortunate that the Senate voted the way they did.”

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