Troy R. Bennett | BDN
By Alex Acquisto and Michael Shepherd, BDN Employees •
October 11, 2018 eight:58 am
Up to date: October 11, 2018 9:15 am
Good morning from Augusta, the place the focus stays on the contest to decide who will transfer into the governor’s mansion next January.
The 4 candidates for governor proceed their debate tour round Maine. After a flurry of boards final week, the quartet met once more Wednesday night time at the College of New England for a largely cordial 90-minute debate hosted by the college and Portland Press Herald. Every provided nuggets of coverage or initiatives they might search to implement if elected however targeted extra on displaying the character and management traits they might deliver to the Blaine Home.
Republican businessman Shawn Moody typically employed folksy colloquialisms in responding to questions and follow-ups. One among his newer coverage concepts got here when he stated he would advocate to broaden the three-person Maine Public Utilities Fee to 5 members — with one particularly chosen from the renewable power sector.
Moody’s responses, which have been typically obscure and meandering, contrasted with these from Democrat Janet Mills, who portrayed herself as an skilled chief who would offer an antidote to eight years of Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s disruptive administration fashion. Mills stated she needs to assist Mainers age in place, first by issuing voter-approved senior housing bonds “that have been sitting on the governor’s desk for three years without any excuse or reason” and by serving to communities safe aging-in-place grants.
Her bond comment, in response to a query about how Maine ought to serve its growing older inhabitants, dovetailed with an earlier name to instantly enact expanded Medicaid eligibility — one other LePage bugaboo — to spotlight the Democrat’s efforts to rally LePage detractors towards Moody.
Mills, like independents Alan Caron and Terry Hayes, additionally embraces weaning the state off fossil fuels and hit Moody with one among her more durable debate jabs up to now.
“I believe in renewable energy and, by the way, I believe in climate change,” Mills stated. “I don’t believe the Blaine House should become home to a climate change denier,” she stated, referring to Moody.
Moody, who rejected the scientific consensus that human actions are largely liable for local weather change at a Republican main debate in June, laughed and gave a hedging response. He was then requested once more.
“For anyone to say in this day and age that anyone is in denial about climate change is such a ridiculous statement,” Moody stated. “Does it even bear a response?”
Hayes and Caron gently jabbed at the change between Mills and Moody in their efforts to current themselves as options to partisan squabbling that they are saying paralyzes state authorities. Hayes later took the uncommon debate tactic of claiming she didn’t have sufficient info to reply a query about laws on abortion clinic oversight, emphasizing that she would make selections based mostly on her personal analysis and enter from an array of sources, not simply party-line voices.
Caron used it as a chance to argue that Maine has no power coverage and to body the local weather change query as one other instance of political discord stymying progress.
“There has been no scientific debate about climate change,” he stated. “It is a political debate.”
All 4 candidates emphasised the want to adequately fund Maine’s public faculties. Caron prompt shifting the funding method’s reliance from property values — some extent that has lengthy been criticized as foisting undue tax burdens on poorer communities — to add revenue to the faculty help distribution formulation. Mills echoed this level and stated the state also needs to “more aggressively” fund Pre-Okay schooling.
Moody and Hayes endorsed establishing a statewide academics contract, which has been one other LePage aim that met resistance from Democrats in the Legislature.
As the candidates debate, extra money is flowing into their race. Greater than $6.6 million in outdoors cash has been spent in the governor’s race up to now. The Maine Republican Social gathering turned the biggest-spending group in the race in Wednesday, once they reported shopping for $1.eight million in anti-Mills advertisements.
Nevertheless, the state get together has been the solely pro-Moody outdoors spender thus far and Republicans have had to deal with $three.9 million spent by six Democratic teams to increase Mills. Maine is now on tempo to exceed the document quantity of out of doors spending on the 2014 governor’s race.
U.S. Chamber endorses Grohman
An unbiased congressional challenger received an endorsement often saved for Republicans, nevertheless it’s unclear if it’s going to include monetary help. State Rep. Marty Grohman, I-Biddeford, was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday in his bid to unseat five-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from Maine’s 1st District.
Geoff O’Hara, vice chairman of regional affairs and advocacy at the chamber, stated Grohman, who based a decking manufacturing firm in Biddeford, had the group’s “full-throated” backing, citing Pingree’s 31 % career-long document on points necessary to the chamber.
The chamber sometimes helps Republican candidates, however Grohman’s candidacy is exclusive. The previous Democrat is wanting to out-poll Republican Mark Holbrook — who misplaced to Pingree in 2016 — in the first spherical of ranked-choice voting and drag Pingree under a majority. Then, he might win as soon as first-round votes are reallocated, although it’s in all probability a longshot.
It’s unclear how a lot affect the endorsement will carry. The chamber has spent $11.9 million in outdoors cash on federal elections throughout the 2018 cycle, in accordance to the Center for Responsive Politics. After being requested if it will spend to assist Grohman, a chamber spokeswoman stated in an e-mail there was “no further news to share today.”
— A Hong Kong firm purchased a shuttered paper mill in Previous City. ND Paper LLC, an entirely owned subsidiary of 9 Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd., stated Wednesday it has a purchase order settlement t o purchase the Previous City property from OTM Holdings LLC for an undisclosed sum. ND Paper additionally owns a mill in Rumford.
— A lethal deer illness is getting nearer to Maine. A continual losing illness that has devastated ungulates in western states was detected in a single deer at a farm north of Montreal. That has wildlife biologists in Maine pricking up their ears in cautionary efforts to stave off the illness. Continual losing illness is unfold by a protein referred to as a prion. It’s comparable to mad cow illness in cattle, scrapies in sheep and Jakob-Creutzfeldt Illness in people. “It’s 100 percent fatal for deer. We can’t cure it. We can’t vaccinate against it. If a deer gets it, it will die from it,” Nathan Bieber, deer biologist for the Maine Division of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, stated.
— A decide discovered a Brunswick man not responsible of tried homicide stemming from a police shootout. Superior Courtroom Justice Michaela Murphy issued the verdict Wednesday. Prosecutors contended that 41-year-old Scott Bubar fired a shotgun at a sheriff’s deputy however Bubar blamed his father. A pistol and shotgun have been discovered close to the physique of 65-year-old Roger Bubar, who died throughout the shootout with police Might 12, 2017, in Belgrade. Scott Bubar was shot in the stomach however recovered.
— This assembly with the president, vice chairman, their chiefs of employees and the secretary of state is each reporter’s dream. New York Journal’s Olivia Nuzzi let President Donald Trump do a lot of the speaking in this wild account of getting referred to as into the Oval Workplace, the place Trump was wanting to tamp down her notion that Chief of Employees John Kelly has almost been or will someday be fired. Whereas Trump was speaking to her, Kelly appeared in the room, adopted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence. The story features a two-page handout on Trump’s accomplishment, lengthy quotes from the president and ends with Kelly and Nick Ayers, Pence’s chief of employees who has been rumored as a Kelly alternative with “their arms stretched around each other and their faces pressed close together” and Kelly saying, “This is my friend.”
I by no means realized Maine had so many pesky varmints till I began studying the Bangor Daily News. Virtually each day, I study some new critter that may make my life right here depressing.
We get a gentle dose of tick information, which is admittedly necessary given all the horrible illnesses they carry with them. And BDN writers have educated me about all types of different i nsects and bugs that may pester me.
This week, it’s rodents. First it was rats. I do know individuals who have them as pets and say they’re sensible and loving. Not me. My enduring rat story is the one about wiry New England farmer Edwin Warren, who had a rat run up his leg inside his pants whereas he was toting a hay bale in a barn. Together with his palms full, he shortly threw himself towards the barn wall, pulverizing the rascally rodent earlier than it might chew him.
Immediately, we get to examine skunks. On a go to to Plimoth Plantation and the close by Wampanoag settlement a number of years in the past, I noticed tribal members cooking morsels of what appeared like tasty chicken on skewers over an open hearth. It was skunk, which they stated tasted even higher than hen.
I’ll take their phrase for it. Right here is your soundtrack. — Robert Lengthy
In the present day’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.