Gabor Degre | BDN
By Alex Acquisto, BDN Employees •
December 14, 2018 eight:32 am
Up to date: December 14, 2018 9:20 am
Good morning from Augusta. Lauren LePage, daughter of Gov. Paul LePage, has been employed by the Nationwide Rifle Affiliation as its new state director for Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
The transfer is the newest step up the profession ladder for a lady who at 22 turned considered one of the LePage administration’s first hires. In December 2010, she was employed to a roughly $41,000 place as assistant to her father’s chief of employees. She spent years as a political adviser in her father’s administration, incrementally gaining extra authority. She attended the College of Maine Faculty of Regulation and labored on President Donald Trump’s marketing campaign in Maine earlier than managing Republican Shawn Moody’s 2018 unsuccessful run for governor. She additionally previously led Maine Individuals Earlier than Politics, a group that labored in live performance with the Republican governor.
She is going to oversee “all legislative and political activities for the NRA” throughout the three states, NRA media liaison Lars Dalseide stated Thursday. LePage has not responded to a number of requests to touch upon her new place, however she posted to Fb final week that she is “very excited about this new challenge.”
Her new place highlights the respect Lauren LePage has earned amongst conservatives. The NRA originated as a corporation for searching lovers, however in current many years, as its membership has ballooned to five million, it has reworked into a megaphone for the political proper whose leaders are outspoken and sometimes controversial of their protection of gun rights.
The group final yr employed conservative pundit Dana Loesch as its spokeswoman. In February, after a shooter at a highschool in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 individuals, Loesch made waves throughout a city corridor occasion with surviving college students for showing unsympathetic. NRA Chief Government Wayne LaPierre additionally criticized gun-control advocates and media protection of Parkland as a ploy to “make all of us less free.”
After Parkland, the NRA voiced opposition to a proposed “red flag” regulation that gained preliminary help final yr in the Maine Legislature. It will have briefly restricted entry to or allowed regulation enforcement officers to confiscate sure individuals’s firearms in the event that they have been seen as posing a menace to themselves and others. The governor vetoed the invoice, LD 1884, in July.
When to swear, when to bop
Gov.-elect Janet Mills will probably be sworn in throughout a Jan. 2 ceremony at the Augusta Civic Middle and her inaugural celebration will happen on Friday, Jan. four.
First comes the oath, then comes the celebration. The Maine Structure dictates that the swearing-in happen on the “first Wednesday after the first Tuesday in January.” Open to the public by way of a ticketing course of and together with a ceremonial joint session of the Legislature, it’s scheduled to start at 6 p.m., which is later than the beginning time for each of LePage’s inaugurations. Additional particulars can be launched quickly, based on Mills’ transition group.
An inaugural ball is slated to start at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. four, additionally at the Augusta Civic Middle. Black ties are elective, based on a transition workforce launch. A $20 admission payment will assist cowl the value of the occasion, which may also be underwritten by donations to the Mills Inaugural Committee.
The tone of inaugural galas has different, largely depending on the state’s fiscal state of affairs and Maine’s basic temper. In 1994, the swearing-in of Angus King included a festive celebration at Brunswick Naval Air Station, that includes a specifically brewed InaugurAle. In 2002, amid deteriorating financial circumstances, John Baldacci’s supporters took a frugal strategy to celebrating his inauguration. Likewise, LePage’s arrival as governor was marked by a mild inaugural schedule designed to emphasise his fiscal constraint.
In the meantime, Mills is poised to disclose her first main Cupboard choice. The governor-elect has scheduled a 1 p.m. information convention at present to introduce her nominee as commissioner of the Division of Well being and Human Providers. That individual — and all different nominees to be commissioners in Mills’ administration — can be topic to interviews by legislative committees earlier than going to a affirmation vote in the Maine Senate. Legislative leaders have stated they hope to announce committee assignments subsequent week, and committees will start assembly quickly after lawmakers start holding common periods the first full week of January.
The recount of 2nd Congressional District ballots was greater than midway full Friday morning, as volunteers from the campaigns of U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and presumptive U.S. Rep.-elect Jared Golden entered their seventh day of counting.
Almost 165,000 ballots had been counted by the finish of the day Thursday, leaving roughly 131,000 ballots remaining, Kristen Muszysnki, spokeswoman for Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s workplace stated Thursday.
The recount is predicted to wrap up earlier than the finish of the month “if we stay on the track we’re on,” Dunlap stated, which is counting about 25,000 ballots a day. All of the bigger cities and cities in the 2nd District have been counted, leaving municipalities with fewer than four,000 ballots.
After U.S. District Courtroom Decide Lance Walker rejected Poliquin’s problem to ranked-choice voting earlier Thursday in a 30-page opinion, the recount or additional authorized appeals look like the solely remaining avenues for the Republican congressman to say victory in the contest that Golden gained via the first use of ranked-choice voting in congressional elections.
Dunlap, who oversaw the election and was focused in Poliquin’s lawsuit, stated Walker’s determination “provides some relief” that his group is on the proper monitor. “It really reaffirms everything we’ve been saying all along about the conduct of elections.”
It’s unclear whether or not Poliquin will select to problem Walker’s opinion in the U.S. First Circuit Courtroom of Appeals. Brendan Conley, Poliquin’s spokesman, didn’t return requests for remark Thursday.
A serious overhaul of Maine’s medical marijuana regulation took impact Thursday. Business specialists largely praised it for giving sufferers broader entry to hashish, making the drug safer and making the legal guidelines simpler to implement. The regulation, LD 1539, was handed in July by the Legislature over a LePage veto. Amongst different issues, it removes the cap on how a lot hashish could be bought in medical marijuana dispensaries and authorizes municipal management over the business.
Regardless of new considerations from a former chief justice, the governor plans to maneuver forward with plans to pay a contractor to run a new state psychiatric facility in Bangor. The Maine Division of Well being and Human Providers will proceed with plans to redirect about $5.four million in state cash that was earmarked for native psychological well being providers to pay a contractor to run the 16-bed facility that’s being constructed on the campus of the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Middle. That plan spurred Daniel Wathen, a former chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Courtroom who has been the courtmaster overseeing the state’s compliance with phrases of consent decree created to deal with issues recognized in class-action go well with towards the state for its remedy of individuals with psychological sickness, to lodge objections in a courtroom doc filed Tuesday. Julie Rabinowitz, LePage’s press secretary, stated “we value and appreciate [Wathen’s] recommendation and will take it under advisement,” however added that the administration continues to maneuver ahead with the plan.
The account that pays for Medicaid protection in Maine has a surplus. MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program, had an additional $37.7 million available at the shut of the final fiscal yr, which ended June 30, in response to expenditures tracked by the Maine Legislature’s nonpartisan Workplace of Fiscal and Program Evaluate. MaineCare budgeted $804.four million for the fiscal yr however spent $766.7 million. The excess will possible proceed to develop into 2019, stated Luke Lazure, a legislative analyst for the Workplace of Fiscal and Program Evaluate who focuses on well being and human providers, probably offering sufficient cash to pay for the Medicaid enlargement regulation Maine voters endorsed in 2017.
Maine’s senior senator forged the deciding vote to repeal a rule that shields donors to many nonprofit teams from disclosure to IRS officers. CQ-Roll Name studies that the vote was tied at 49-49 with 49 Democrats voting in favor and 49 Republicans towards, when Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, forged the deciding vote to repeal the rule. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, was absent. The measure nonetheless wants Home approval, which is unlikely to return this Congress. The Home has 60 legislative days to repeal new guidelines beneath the CRA, so relying on how lengthy this lame-duck session goes, a Democratic-controlled Home might probably be capable of vote on the difficulty early subsequent yr.
A slugger in the White Home
The president is having a exhausting time discovering a new chief of employees. A minimum of certainly one of his most popular candidates stated no and he has dominated out different potential candidates. As of Thursday afternoon, his son-in-law appeared to have risen to the head of the pack.
However a new volunteer has thrown his hat — truly, a inexperienced and gold baseball cap with an A on the entrance — into the ring. On Wednesday, former Oakland A’s slugger and poster youngster for steroid use Jose Canseco tweeted that he’s open to taking the job.
“Hey little buddy @realDonaldTrump u want a bash brother for Chief if Employees. Received a secret reorg plan already. Additionally frightened about you wanting extra like a Twinkie on a regular basis. I’ll buff you up day by day exercises. DM me. #yeswecanseco
Canseco and Trump can be good for one another. Each have huge personalities. Each polished their fame throughout the glitzy, me-first 1980s. Each understand themselves to be self-made males regardless of robust proof of performance-enhancing outdoors help. The one drawback is perhaps that a lot of Canseco’s notoriety got here from launching issues over partitions — principally residence runs but in addition a fly ball that bounced off his head — which could not sit properly with Trump’s wall-loving base.
It’s late in the recreation, Mr. President. You want somebody who can clear the bases. And Canseco wants one other shot at glory, one that doesn’t contain blasting off a part of his finger. Right here is Canseco’s soundtrack. — Robert Lengthy
In the publication model of Thursday’s Daily Brief, we omitted the phrase “not” in a studying record entry about the farm invoice. As mirrored in the story to which we linked, the remaining model of the invoice didn’t embrace an modification referred to as the Shield Interstate Commerce Act of 2018, which might have pressured states to authorize the sale of any agricultural product not prohibited beneath federal regulation.
Immediately’s Daily Brief was written by Alex Acquisto and Robert Lengthy. When you’re studying this on the BDN’s web site or have been forwarded it, click on right here to obtain Maine’s main publication on state politics by way of e-mail on weekday mornings. Click on right here to subscribe to the BDN.