Alex Brandon | AP
By Michael Shepherd, BDN Employees •
October 5, 2018 eight:59 am
Up to date: October 5, 2018 9:48 am
Good morning from Augusta. The U.S. Senate is scheduled to convene this morning to think about President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Courtroom, so we expect to quickly hear the place the undecided Sen. Susan Collins stands on him.
The centrist Republican from Maine is certainly one of 4 undecided senators who might swing the nomination, which turned unsure after California professor Christine Blasey Ford went public in September with allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her whereas they have been in highschool. Two different ladies made comparable allegations and he denies all of them.
Collins will determine quickly, however she hadn’t on the Daily Brief’s deadline. For now, we’ll replace you on yesterday’s developments on the nomination and what they might imply.
Collins completed studying FBI interviews on the Kavanaugh allegations on Thursday, however indications are that the report doesn’t say a lot that we don’t know already. The Maine senator has been hunkered down for a lot of the week and solely emerged on Wednesday and Thursday to make temporary utterances that however made headlines and nudged hypothesis.
On Wednesday, she referred to as Trump’s mocking of Ford at a rally “just plain wrong.” On Thursday, she got here out of a briefing on the FBI’s new report on the Kavanaugh allegations to say the evaluation “appears to be very thorough.” Her spokeswoman stated Collins completed studying these interviews round 6:15 p.m. yesterday.
Collins was certainly one of three undecided Republicans — alongside Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — who pressured Trump to re-open Kavanaugh’s FBI vetting course of after the Senate listening to the place Ford and Kavanaugh testified, calling it “a sensible agreement.”
However that report is confidential, so we will’t see it as senators parse what it says within the open. Sen. Angus King, a Maine unbiased who caucuses with Democrats, stated in a Thursday assertion that it “does not confirm or contradict Judge Kavanaugh’s statements, nor does it undermine the credible testimony of Dr. Ford.”
That led King to say that he made his Kavanaugh determination based mostly on the decide’s document, primarily placing him again on the place he held when he introduced opposition to Kavanaugh earlier than allegations emerged. Round that point, we thought Collins seemed like a sure.
Collins was dealing with new strain on Thursday over her vote and she or he’ll face extra in the present day. Every single day, there appears to be new letters to Collins or protests outdoors of her workplaces in Maine and Washington, D.C. Yesterday, she received a letter from greater than 100 former Maine regulation clerks urging her to oppose Kavanaugh.
A gaggle organizing opposition to Kavanaugh stated 150 Mainers went to the nation’s capital to protest the nomination. Kavanaugh wrote an op-ed in The Wall Road Journal that appeared aimed toward quelling considerations about his judicial temperament, headlined “I Am an Independent, Impartial Judge.”
The response to Collins’ choice — by some means — will be large. You possibly can watch right now’s Senate proceedings with us at present right here. Preliminary votes are set for later this morning.
Blaine Home hopefuls wrap up two days of debates
The individuals who need to succeed LePage spent lots of time on stage collectively since Wednesday morning. The 4 candidates for governor wrapped up 4 debates in two days with a discussion board for individuals within the fishing business on Thursday in Rockland. Democrat Janet Mills, Republican Shawn Moody and independents Alan Caron and Terry Hayes agreed on a number of issues, together with making certain that entry to a working waterfront must be prioritized and guarded.
If entry was up for debate or threatened, Moody even provided to attend municipal Planning Board conferences as governor to advocate on behalf of fishermen, who he referred to as a “bunch of independent cusses.”
Moody and Caron additionally referred to as for the state’s vocational and profession ed tech packages to be reformed as a means to bolster the business and Maine’s lagging workforce. In conjunction, Caron proposed providing a free two-year free larger schooling program to Mainers who agreed to enter the state’s workforce afterward.
All 4 felt equally in favor of however cautious about harnessing renewable wind power within the Gulf of Maine, a prickly matter that has rankled some fishermen in recent times and threatened entry to fishing waters.
“The role of the fishing industry is one of partnership with this potential resources. I think the fishing industry should be at the table,” Mills assured.
As for traits that make every of them certified, they’re good listeners, they stated.
“I’ve been majoring in Maine for 30 years, and this is my capstone project,” Hayes stated. “I’m honest, I’m going to tell you the truth even when it may not reflect best on me, but I’m also going to listen, to learn and to lead.” And, she promised, “I will read all your emails.”
The debate bandwagon will hit most corners of the state and will take to the airwaves later this month. The Bangor Daily News is certainly one of a number of co-sponsors of a televised Oct. 23 gubernatorial debate within the ballroom of the Cross Insurance coverage Area in Bangor. It’ll be aired stay on Bangor ABC and Fox affiliate WVII. You’ll be able to RSVP for the occasion via AARP Maine’s web site. Submit recommended questions by emailing [email protected] We additionally will collaborate with WGME for the ultimate televised debate of the governor’s race on Nov. 1.
LePage’s wind fee had its first assembly
The wind energy panel didn’t give discover of its first assembly and is exempt from public entry legal guidelines, however the governor’s workplace stated future conferences will be public. In January, Gov. Paul LePage issued an government order that stated he would place a moratorium on new wind turbine permits throughout a lot of the state and created the Maine Wind Power Advisory Fee to research generators’ impression on Maine’s setting and financial system.
This was challenged by environmentalists who famous that state regulation governs turbine allowing. Nevertheless it had restricted impact since there have been no new purposes for permits earlier than the state then and a lawsuit towards LePage from wind advocates over the transfer was dismissed by a decide in July after the administration admitted that it wasn’t implementing the order.
LePage’s order exempted the panel from Maine’s public entry legal guidelines, permitting it to meet in secret with out advance discover. They did that on Thursday, although LePage spokeswoman Julie Rabinowitz later emailed reporters to say it had met for the primary time, launched an inventory of members and stated that the Republican governor will open future conferences to be public.
Jeremy Payne, the chief director of the Maine Renewable Power Affiliation, which sued LePage, stated on Friday that the panel is a one-sided “charade” that is meant to “send a signal to the market generally that Maine is not open to clean energy business.”
- The firm that desires to run a transmission line to ship Canadian hydro energy to Massachusetts has began operating advertisements. Central Maine Energy late final week began peppering the airwaves with an advert touting the advantages to Maine of the $950 million undertaking, referred to as New England Clear Power Join, or NECEC. The advert touts advantages CMP cites for the venture, together with creating 1,700 new jobs, broadband entry and greater than $18 million in elevated property taxes yearly to communities internet hosting the facility strains. In the meantime, opponents are amping up with a gentle movement of written arguments towards the venture in preparation for a collection of regulatory hearings, and Alna just lately turned the third small city, following Caratunk and West Forks plantation, to withdraw its help for the venture.
- Fishermen and regulators face a stark selection on Maine shrimp. They might proceed to ban the harvest of Maine shrimp for the sixth consecutive yr in hopes that a inventory that has proven little signal of rebounding would revive. Or they might permit a restricted season this yr, understanding that it might decimate the shrimp inhabitants to such a level that it will by no means get well. Researchers and policymakers sorted by means of these unappealing decisions Thursday as The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Fee introduced a draft of its Northern Shrimp 2018 Inventory Evaluation Report.
- Plenty of People — together with Mainers — like beer. Knowledge from the U.S. Census and business sources present that the brewery-building growth nationally and in Maine continues with gusto. All 50 states noticed a rise within the variety of breweries between 2012 and 2016, in accordance to the newest knowledge out there. In these 5 years, the variety of breweries nationwide greater than tripled from 880 to 2,802. Newer numbers from the Maine Brewers’ Guild present that the expansion of craft brewers within the state is up virtually 40 % since January 2017, from 93 then to 130 now.
Let there be peace
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded at present to Nadia Murar of Iraq and Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo for his or her work to help sexual assault survivors and within the effort to scale back human trafficking and sexual violence — particularly in warfare zones.
They have been chosen from amongst greater than 330 nominees, and their tales are compelling. The BBC reviews that Murad, 25, “endured three months as a sex slave at the hands of Islamic State militants. She was bought and sold several times and subjected to sexual and physical abuse during her captivity. She became an activist for the Yazidi people after escaping in November 2014, campaigning to help put an end to human trafficking and calling on the world to take a tougher line on rape as a weapon of war.”
Mukwege, 63, has handled greater than 30,000 rape victims, principally in war-ravaged areas of Africa.
Their accomplishments converse for themselves. Right here is your soundtrack. — Robert Lengthy
We’ve got to work on Monday, however most state, federal and municipal staff have the day without work. So of their honor, we will not publish Daily Brief on Monday until one thing earth-shattering occurs. We plan to return Tuesday, Oct. 9.
For those who will be celebrating Columbus Day, right here is your soundtrack.
In case you are observing Indigenous Peoples Day, right here is your soundtrack.
When you’ve got to work like us, right here is your soundtrack.
In any case, benefit from the weekend and make Monday matter. — Robert Lengthy
At this time’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd, 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.