GOP operative convicted of illegal political coordination has Poliquin connection

Tyler Harber, a 34-year-old GOP campaign operative in the D.C. area who coordinated $325,000 in spending between a super PAC and a Virginia congressional campaign in 2012, became the first person ever convicted of illegal campaign-finance coordination when he pleaded guilty on Feb. 12. That’s a milestone in campaign finance law, for sure, but it’s worth noting Harber’s […]

Daily Brief: Public health advocates headed to Augusta in force

March is coming in a bit like a lion in Augusta, where a public health care practitioners and activists are coming from across Maine to oppose Gov. Paul LePage’s budget proposals around public health and anti-smoking programs.  The Legislature’s Appropriations Committee is now weeks into holding public hearings about the governor’s budget and nearly every […]

Open Internet advocates King, Pingree hail FCC decision on net neutrality

U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, on Thursday hailed the Federal Communications Commission’s 3-2 decision to classify broadband Internet service as a public utility. The FCC is trying to close the debate between two competing visions for what Internet access should look like. On one side, net neutrality advocates say broadband service should be treated like all […]

Daily Brief: Lawmakers to unveil bill that outlaws ‘revenge porn’ in Maine

Good morning from the state capital, where there’s another lengthy schedule of lawmaking on tap.  The Appropriations Committee continues to slog through budget bills related to the attorney general’s office and the Department of Health and Human Services. The committee is expected to take a series of votes today on supplemental spending for the current year, though […]

Daily Brief: Saufley to deliver ‘State of the Judiciary’ speech

Good morning from frigid Augusta, where cold means more than the relationships between political opponents.  There’s a lot on the docket today with the House and Senate returning to session after a week’s vacation and many of the Legislature’s committees plowing through bills. On that latter front, the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee is expected […]

LePage’s A-through-F public school grading system put on hold until fall of 2016

The Maine Department of Education announced Monday that it will not issue A-through-F report cards for schools this year. According to a web bulletin by department spokeswoman Samantha Warren, the state is switching to a new online student assessment system this year, which will make it impossible to compute year-to-year student growth. Data from the […]

Daily Brief: Is large-scale mining right for Maine and how free are we?

Greetings from Augusta, where a busy week for the Legislature is about to launch. The pace in the State House will quicken from here on out as the river of bills swells and budget deliberations intensify.  The Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee will hold hearings and work sessions on a handful of perennial bills […]

LePage cracks down on state employees viewing porn on work computers

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Gov. Paul LePage on Friday issued an executive order to stiffen policies prohibiting state employees from accessing pornographic material on government computers or devices — even when they’re off the clock. According to the governor and his human resources chief, it’s a type of misconduct that persists, albeit infrequently. “Employees of State agencies are compensated for […]