Good morning from Augusta. Gov. Janet Mills hauled in almost $277,000 in donations to her inaugural and transition efforts by late December, with 80 % from company donors and most of it from the marijuana, monetary, on line casino, lobbying, paper and power industries.
Mills, a Democrat, is the primary governor who should disclose these donations after voters handed a 2015 marketing campaign finance regulation establishing transparency necessities for the transition committees that when fell right into a limbo between campaigns and state authorities.
The brand new governor had till Wednesday to disclose the contributions and bills as of Dec. 22 for the committees planning her Wednesday inauguration and her transition to workplace. Right here’s the place the cash got here from, in accordance to filings on the Maine Ethics Fee.
Corporations gave to Mills’ inauguration in giant numbers and people funded her lower-dollar transition account. Like governors-elect earlier than her, Mills was allowed to take limitless quantities of cash from firms and people to information her to the Blaine Home.
Nevertheless, Mills’ group stated it will solely permit lobbyists or corporations using lobbyists to donate to the committee funding inaugural actions and not the transition. The inaugural one raised $241,000 from principally company entities to the transition’s $25,000 from people. Company donors gave 80 % of that complete, not together with Maine-based business associations.
The most important donor to the inaugural committee was Wellness Connection of Maine, which operates 4 medical marijuana dispensaries and gave $25,000. Different dispensaries, Maine Natural Remedy in Ellsworth and Treatment Compassion Middle in Auburn, gave $10,000 every because the state prepares to govern a brand new leisure marijuana market in 2019.
Oxford On line casino gave $15,000 and Hollywood On line casino in Bangor gave $10,000. ND Paper, the subsidiary of a Hong Kong firm that owns two mills in Maine, gave $15,000. Different $10,000 donors included LL Bean and the regulation and lobbying companies of Pierce Atwood and Bernstein Shur.
Most of this cash got here from entities that in all probability would have donated to a governor of any political celebration, however Mills has to eliminate the cash by month’s finish. Turning into governor — particularly earlier than you offend anybody in workplace — makes lots of people such as you.
Lots of Mills’ big donors — together with a subsidiary of the oil and forest merchandise big JD Irving, Inc., Bernstein Shur, LL Bean, the Maine Credit score Union League and the Maine Affiliation of Realtors, additionally gave to her predecessor, Republican Paul LePage, throughout his 2010 transition, when he voluntarily disclosed donors however not quantities of cash.
That exhibits that whereas the donations could also be utilized in hope of currying favor, they’re not essentially political — or a minimum of partisan. The primary distinction between the transitions is that LePage was in a position to begin an outdoor political operation, Maine Individuals Earlier than Politics, with the leftover cash and Mills can’t do this.
General, her two committees solely spent $70,000 of the cash raised. The brand new laws say that Mills should give extra cash by Jan. 31 to the state, to charity or again to donors. Her staff hasn’t introduced a plan for any leftover cash and they will nonetheless increase it till month’s finish.
Recapping Golden’s first day in DC
Maine’s latest congressman forged his first votes on Thursday. U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from the 2nd District, after being sworn in Thursday, voted in favor of an emergency spending invoice package deal that might finish the two-week authorities shutdown.
Golden, together with 1st District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat who was re-elected in November to a sixth time period, voted for the emergency spending package deal that may reinstate funding to six authorities businesses by way of the top of September and keep one other month of funding for the Division of Homeland Safety.
Golden additionally stored a pledge he made throughout his marketing campaign not to help Nancy Pelosi as the subsequent Home speaker, a place she gained for a second time Thursday with the help of most Democrats, together with Pingree.
The 36-year-old spoke typically throughout his 2nd District marketing campaign towards former Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of the necessity for brand spanking new Home management, and as an alternative on Thursday supported for speaker U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Illinois. Bustos, who Golden’s spokesman stated represents a district demographically comparable to his, was just lately named chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Marketing campaign Committee, which aided Golden’s marketing campaign.
“When I told Mainers I thought it was time for new leadership in Washington, I meant it,” Golden stated after the vote. He additionally referred to as the federal government shutdown a “ manufactured crisis” eclipsed in consideration by President Donald Trump’s demand for cash to construct a southern border wall.
The Democrat-sponsored spending package deal doesn’t embrace the $5 billion Trump and another Republicans have requested for the wall, so it’s largely symbolic, as Senate leaders and Trump stated earlier than the vote that they might not help it.
— Maine’s new governor adopted by means of on a serious marketing campaign promise. On Thursday, her first day on the job, Mills signed an government order to begin work on implementing a Medicaid enlargement regulation permitted by voters in 2017. She directed the Maine Division of Well being and Human Providers to associate with well being care suppliers and sufferers to present a communications and outreach technique to assist enroll eligible Mainers to velocity up software processing. She additionally submitted a letter to federal regulators, laying out plans to implement enlargement and trying to reply questions that they had raised about an enlargement plan submitted by LePage’s administration after a decide’s December choice. She didn’t say whether or not she would search to reverse work necessities permitted by the federal authorities final month or how the state’s share of enlargement prices can be funded past this fiscal yr.
— The governor needs a gaggle of people that oversee providers for Maine youngsters to start assembly once more. Throughout Wednesday’s inaugural handle, Mills stated she would revive Youngsters’s Cupboard conferences, which have been curtailed early in LePage’s tenure as governor. Click on right here to learn concerning the historical past and make-up of the Youngsters’s Cupboard. Mills additionally crammed out the slate of nominees for her extra typical Cupboard by asking three LePage-era commissioners to proceed of their present roles.
— A date has been set to fill a vacant seat within the Maine Home of Representatives. When lawmakers elected Democrat Aaron Frey to be Maine’s lawyer basic, the seat to which he was re-elected to a fourth time period in November got here open. Residents of his district, which incorporates elements of Bangor and Orono, will elect his successor on March 12. Candidates have till Jan. 18 to safe a spot on the poll. Frey beat Republican Daniel Lapointe of Orono with 63 % of votes in November, and Democrats maintain a seven-point registration benefit over Republicans within the district.
— In 2017, Maine was the blackout capital of the nation. Maine Public reviews that Maine electrical energy customers endured probably the most frequent service interruptions and the longest outages of any state within the U.S. in 2017, in accordance to federal reliability knowledge. That knowledge present Maine electrical energy clients in 2017 skilled, on common, greater than three service interruptions — the very best price within the nation and greater than double the nationwide common. Mainers have been at midnight longer than anyplace else — on common greater than 40 hours. Right here is your blackout soundtrack.
— Mainers now have a neater method to store for bargains on colonoscopies. Maine Public reviews that federal regulation now requires all hospitals to record their commonplace expenses, and Maine hospitals have begun itemizing costs for providers on-line. Right here is your colonoscopy soundtrack.
Social gathering prefer it’s …
Mills’ big, invitation-only inaugural celebration occurs tonight on the Augusta Civic Middle. My invitation should have gotten misplaced.
That’s OK. The one black ties I’ve are shoelaces. And I’ve attended inaugural shindigs on the civic middle prior to now. These fetes for newly sworn-in Augusta mayors and metropolis councilors through the 1990s can be robust to prime.
The center faculty band renditions of “Hail to the Chief” have been a bit tough, however the Cony Madrigals have been on the prime of their recreation underneath Bob Morang again then, so I discover it arduous to think about that the musical visitors lined up for tonight — even a canopy band fronted by a former Maine Home speaker — might make my ears any happier than they have been again then.
As for commestibles, the Vanilla Wafers have been crisp, the cheddar was sharp and the punch was tangy, so I’ll merely relish these reminiscences as I miss out on tonight’s unfold that’s designed to spotlight delights from all 16 Maine counties.
The one factor I’d remorse by lacking tonight’s bash is that I gained’t have the ability to pattern the particular Inaugur-ale brewed for the event or sip the “signature cocktail called The Governor Janet,” which mixes prosecco and wild Maine blueberries.
As an alternative, I’ll in all probability proceed experimenting with my very own signature cocktail. Proper now, the recipe consists of eight elements bitters and a splash of Moxie — to mirror my character — added to a double shot of grain alcohol — to assist me overlook. Stirred, not shaken.
I’m nonetheless engaged on a reputation. “The Uninvited” may look like bitter grapes, that are dangerous in a cocktail, so perhaps “The Missed Deadline” or “The Grumpy Robert.” I welcome your ideas, and right here is your soundtrack. — Robert Lengthy
Right now’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd, Alex Acquisto and Robert Lengthy. For those who’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.