Maine woman used as a pawn in Hillary Clinton email controversy

Good morning, folks. It’s Tuesday in Augusta and Charlie Webster is back in elected office. 

According to the Sun Journal, Webster has been appointed to the Franklin County Board of Commissioners to represent Chesterville, Farmington and New Sharon. Webster was sworn in Monday to finish the term of Fred Hardy, who died July 4. 

Webster served in the Legislature in the 1980s and ’90s and was later chairman of the Maine Republican Party from 2008 to 2012. Webster was pushed out of that position in 2012 and announced he wouldn’t seek reelection just days after that year’s election, which saw Democrat retake majorities in the Maine House and Senate after two years of Republican rule. 

One of the best things about Webster, as far as this son of an oil burner technician is concerned, is that he’s an oil burner technician and owner of Webster Heating Co. in Farmington. — Christopher Cousins 

Sen. Cyrway recovering

Sen. Scott Cyrway, a first-term Republican from Benton, continues to undergo tests at Maine Medical Center today after he suffered a heart attack on Friday, according to Jamie Carter, a spokeswoman for Senate Republicans.

“He called in yesterday and he was up and around and walking,” said Carter this morning. “They’re doing some more tests that will determine whether he has to have surgery later in the month.”

Cyrway, 60, had the heart attack late Friday while returning to Maine from a conference in Louisiana.

Cyrway, a retired law enforcement officer who is the Drug Abuse and Resistance Education Training Coordinator for the state, was elected to his first term in the Senate in 2014. He has three children and six grandchildren.

Here’s to a speedy recovery, Sen. Cyrway. — Christopher Cousins

Bigwigs visit Bath Iron Works

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King brought an important guest to Bath Iron Works Monday in an ongoing effort to illustrate BIW’s importance to national defense.

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi, is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Cochran toured the Bath shipyard and received a high-level briefing from BIW administrators.

“We are proud to share a strong commitment to our United States Navy with Sen. Thad Cochran,” said King and Collins in a joint statement. “We are honored to welcome him to Maine and to have the opportunity to show him both the dedicated workforce and the superior quality ships that have been designed and built at Bath Iron Works for more than 130 years.”

Cochran is the latest in a long string of dignitaries who have been brought to BIW, which is currently involved in contracts for several copies of two versions of Navy destroyers. — Christopher Cousins

Maine woman a pawn in Hillary Clinton email controversy

Denise O’Toole, a former Cony High School teacher, is one of the 20 foreign service office staff members whose appointments are threatened as part the spat over the release of emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

According to a blog called Diplopundit, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa has put a hold on the 20 nominees because he said the State Department isn’t responding to letters he’s been sending with concerns about a range of issues, including Clinton’s use of a private email servers.

“My decision is not intended to question the credentials of the individuals up for appointment,” said Grassley in a statement to the U.S. Senate. “However, the department must recognize that it has an obligation to respond to congressional inquiries in a timely and reasonable manner.” — Christopher Cousins

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Hitting Roger Daltry didn’t help

Today in rock history: In 1964, a band called The High Numbers started a concert at The Railway Hotel in Harrow, England. Just before the music started, the singer’s father-in-law dragged him out of the venue and hit him.

If I had a daughter and she had a husband and he was in a band called The High Numbers, I’d probably want to hit him, too.

That singer? Roger Daltry. That band? It became The Who. At least mad daddy-in-law spurred a name change.

All this, just so I can link to this live recording of The Who in 1965. — Christopher Cousins


Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.