Top Democrat fired in 2015 after LePage threat lands new job

Good morning from Augusta, where today it’s mostly all about Donald Trump, again. He’s speaking at Portland’s Merrill Auditorium at 3 p.m., in case you haven’t heard.

The Bangor Daily News will have a team of journalists on the scene. We’ll be rolling out coverage beginning at 11 a.m. through our live blog, which we’ll update throughout the day. Later this afternoon, look for extensive coverage at By the end of the day we’ll have you positively buried in Trump coverage, so no need to belabor the issue now (I’ll do that below, in the reading list).

In fact, let’s cue up some tunes before things become too serious today. A friend and I were reminiscing a couple of days ago about bands we loved in college, which has had me listening to a lot of Groovechild ever since. The band hailed from University of New Hampshire back in the 1990s. You’ve probably never heard them but they were and still are pretty standard fare for my crew. Here’s your soundtrack.

Back to business. Also happening today is the Maine Senate, which convenes at 10 a.m. to consider nine nominations by Gov. Paul LePage to various boards and committees. None of them is expected to generate controversy, so the votes should be quick. Check out the list of nominees by clicking here. — Christopher Cousins

Eves tapped for top post, again

Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves has been named executive director of Woodfords Family Services, a nonprofit organization that serves Mainers with special needs and their families.

Eves, a trained marriage and family therapist, joined Woodfords in 2014 as a development officer. Eves is currently at the end of his fourth term in the House of Representatives and second term as speaker of the House. He is scheduled to take the helm at Woodfords on Oct. 1, succeeding Dr. Paul A. Nau, who is retiring.

“Mark’s professional credentials and career in behavioral health, as well as his statewide policy expertise and demonstrated leadership experience, make him the best person to lead Woodfords in the coming years,” said Woodfords board of trustees President Travis Beaulieu in a written statement.

The last time Eves landed a top job at a nonprofit — Good Will-Hinckley in Fairfield — Gov. Paul LePage objected publicly and forced the organization to fire Eves by threatening to withhold taxpayer funding. A lawsuit brought by Eves against the governor is currently in federal appeals court. Maybe this time it will go better for Eves, who lives in North Berwick with his wife and three children.

Woodfords provides direct services to more than 1,500 children, youth and adults with a range of diagnoses in 11 Maine counties as well as training and other supports to hundreds of professionals, schools and organizations. — Christopher Cousins

Quick hits

  • Trump protests: Registering their opposition to Donald Trump’s candidacy in Portland today will be the Maine Democratic Party, which has scheduled a 2 p.m. press conference. Also beginning at 2 p.m. in Monument Square is a silent protest called Stand Up for Maine Values. They won’t have a soundtrack.
  • Keynote speaker: The Maine Democratic Party has announced its keynote speaker for the Muskie Lobster Bake on Sunday at Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport: U.S. Sen. Christopher Coons of Delaware. Coons is a member of the Senate’s appropriations, judiciary, foreign relations and budget committees. Click here for more information about the event.

Reading list

Best political action committee names

Maybe you’ve seen news about ICE PAC, a new political action committee in Maine that is dedicated to electing fiscally conservative candidates focused on economic development and reducing taxes. Here’s a fresh report from the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, which details the PAC’s links to Gov. Paul LePage, to catch you up.

The PAC is well funded and will have an impact in the November elections, but the coolest think about it is the name, in my opinion. ICE PAC. Get it? “ICE” stands for “Increasing Citizen Engagement,” which isn’t nearly as fun.

This all raises the question: Is it the coolest PAC name ever? No. Here are some better ones from across the country, thanks to an assist from this Politico story.

  • Bears for a Bearable Tomorrow
  • Talkin’ Smack PAC
  • Buck Up to Beef Up America
  • Just Drink the Koolaid
  • Joe Six PAC

Just for you, Daily Brief has scoured the Maine Ethics Commission’s list of active PACs in Maine and using an extensive vetting process and scientifically proven rating metrics, we hereby bestow The Cleverest PAC Name In Maine Award to… (drumroll please)

Oof. Until ICE PAC came along Maine had some very boring PAC names. The winner is ICE PAC. — 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.