Good morning from Augusta, where we’re still digesting the contents of Gov. Paul LePage’s televised town hall meeting in Bangor last night. Check out our quick takes on that event.
But early today, Sen. David Dutremble, D-Biddeford, announced that he’ll resign his seat Thursday to seek treatment for alcohol abuse.
The second-term senator and city firefighter told the Journal Tribune earlier this month that he wouldn’t run for re-election because he wants to spend more time with his wife and five kids.
But in a statement released by the Senate Democratic office on Wednesday, Dutremble said while it’s true that his legislative demands were “not sustainable right now,” he has also been battling alcohol abuse.
He said he “thought this was a demon I could fight alone,” but he “learned the hard way that this is not the case.”
“While this decision has been a painful one, I simply can’t keep living in the same manner,” Dutremble said. “I want to get healthy.”
Many things are more important than politics and we wish him the best of luck in his recovery. But we’ll have more on the implications of this late-breaking story. — Michael Shepherd
It’s official: LePage won’t give a State of the State speech
Gov. Paul LePage said in a Tuesday radio address that he won’t give a State of the State speech this year, instead submitting the address in writing to the Legislature.
This wasn’t a surprise: He has been saying he might do that for the better part of the month.
But it got him attention from liberal MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Monday, when she did a segment on interactions between her show’s employees and LePage’s office.
After the show asked about his State of the State plans via email, LePage spokesman Peter Steele responded to ask why Maddow had an “unnatural obsession” with LePage, saying “her neurotic fixation on him is kind of bizarre.”
But LePage explained it in his radio address, saying he’s delivered the speech for five years “only to have it fall on deaf ears.”
House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, said in a statement that he and Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, sent a Monday letter to LePage inviting him to speak and said he was disappointed that the governor won’t.
“Maine people deserve to hear the governor’s vision for the state and his proposed solutions,” he said.
LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett posted a humorous top 10 list of reasons why he won’t deliver it on her Facebook page.
It’s worth a read, ranging from the non-political (“Mainers can watch what they really want to see in that time slot: ‘Wheel of Fortune’ “) to the snarky (“Attorney General Janet Mills might try to claim his tie is unconstitutional”). — Michael Shepherd
Kids love Trump, I guess
Nine-year-old Ava Lovley of Newport showed up in the Washington Post on Tuesday after a Facebook video posted by her mother showed her excitement when told she’d be going to see one of Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s rallies yesterday in New Hampshire.
After the event, her father, Jason, posted on Facebook that Ava “enjoyed every minute” of the Trump rally and “got his autograph on poster she made.” — Michael Shepherd
- LePage’s legal adviser clears first hurdle to becoming a judge — Christopher Cousins, Bangor Daily News
- Casino signature gatherers demand payment, allege ‘criminal behavior’ — Judy Meyer, Sun Journal
- Jay mill owner Verso files for bankruptcy — Darren Fishell, BDN
- LePage: ‘Bring the guillotine back’ and other radio highlights — Michael Shepherd, BDN
- All but 2 Maine counties have seen average incomes drop since 2000 — Tony Reaves, BDN
- Maine high court rejects claim that smart meters are unsafe — Darren Fishell, BDN
- One killed and protest leaders arrested in rural Oregon — Julie Turkewitz and Kirk Johnson, New York Times
- What Donald Trump understands that Hillary Clinton doesn’t, and vice versa — Ezra Klein, Vox
Best of Maine’s Craigslist
- Laurie is looking for a guy named Rich. She “has not seen him in years,” but “the last I know he was seeing a stripper or former stripper.” But they “hung out” in her 20s and 30s and she calls Rich “a fun and great guy.”
- A person in Standish sold his or her fish tank, but the buyer didn’t want three fish, so the seller is asking Craigslist to “please save them” because the soon-to-be former fish owner would “hate to kill em.” They’re free, but must be gone by Thursday.
- Someone in Oxford wants to trade massages with a woman over 35 years old. The requirements? The masseuse “must come to you” and “you must have strong hands [no sex at all].” I don’t advise this.
- A woman posted “lets Go Pats” on her Facebook page during their playoff game on Sunday. A man is Facebook friends with her and “wanted to respond, but was unsure how you would handle it.” Maybe just like it, dude. It’s not that big of a deal. — Michael Shepherd