Trump, Sanders and Clinton still owe Portland money for rallies

Good morning from Augusta, where the Fourth of July lull means a much quieter political week than last week’s day of Donald Trump in Bangor.

But we’re learning some new things about the presumptive Republican nominee’s March trip to Portland, along with other trips to Maine by Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton and her main primary rival, Bernie Sanders.

The three candidates have been billed a combined $2,618.01 by the Portland Police Department for overtime labor costs connected to rallies in Portland.

That’s led by Trump, who was billed $1,583.81. Sanders was billed $771.61 and Clinton $262.59. Trump and Sanders appeared there in March ahead of the state’s caucuses, while Clinton held a rally there in September.

Portland spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said those bills were sent in late March and early April and haven’t been paid yet. It’s a small amount of money, but it illustrates the difficult arrangement between cities and campaigns. Many cities have been incurring heavy costs from Trump rallies, according to a Bloomberg review.

An April rally in Costa Mesa, California, cost the city $30,000, for example, but campaigns aren’t under any obligation to defray municipal costs for their visits. Trump’s campaign told Bloomberg it pays for security costs inside events, but that the Secret Service and local police coordinate on security outside.

That appears to be what happened in Bangor, where City Manager Cathy Conlow said Trump’s campaign paid $20,000 up-front for the use of the Cross Insurance Arena and hired Securitas, a private security company.

She said his campaign also paid $1,893 in landing fees at the Bangor International Airport, which the airport wouldn’t have gotten if a public plane — like Air Force One — landed there.

But that doesn’t include $1,452.19 in police expenses and $1,017.98 in fire expenses. Conlow said the city can’t bill that to the campaign because it’s “considered mutual aid with the federal government.”

Again, this is normal and it’s not a lot of money. But now you know what happens when candidates come to town. — Michael Shepherd

More questions than answers in LePage ‘veto’ document trove

Yesterday, WMTW published a report on a trove of 2,500 documents related to Gov. Paul LePage’s failed attempt to veto 65 bills last year that became law because he delivered the vetoes too late.

The station requested the documents last year. That was before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled against LePage in the controversy, which allowed a number of bills the Republican governor opposed to pass into law, including one ensuring asylum seekers and other immigrants will be eligible for General Assistance.

The documents show something important — that top LePage advisers knew the correct veto deadlines before the administration began to wrongly argue that because the Legislature adjourned, vetoes could be delivered in January 2016.

What they don’t show is how the administration eventually arrived at that position after advisers rightly raised flags.

LePage’s press secretary, Adrienne Bennett, told WMTW that’s what the administration “ultimately” decided and that the records request didn’t reflect all internal communications on the matter, including conversations and phone calls.

So, the trove is interesting and illuminating, but that light only goes so far. — Michael Shepherd 

Quick hits

  • The conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center will release a report on direct primary care at a Wednesday news conference in Augusta. The model, where doctors don’t take insurance and patients instead pay monthly fees, has been practiced somewhat increasingly in Maine and nationwide in recent years.
  • Some lawmakers will return to Augusta later this month for confirmation hearings for LePage’s nominees to several state boards and commissions. The Legislature’s committees on the environment, judiciary, veterans and legal affairs and labor will meet between July 15 and July 26 to handle nominees for the Maine Ethics Commission, the Maine Human Rights Commission and other panels. — Michael Shepherd

Reading list

Best of Maine’s Craigslist

  • Magic shoes: In Portland, a man was cut off in the gas line. The other man got out of his “hillbilly rustbucket pickup truck” to reveal “KILLER SHOELACES” that our protagonist — whose shoelaces “don’t even come close” — is very excited about. Here’s his soundtrack.
  • Ode to a booty: “I’d stop all my playing to be your man,” a Portland guy says to a “big booty girl.” I guess that could be interpreted by someone as a charming thing to say. — Michael Shepherd
Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.