Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Maine Story Updates, Feb. 15 edition

A few updates on stories I've been covering:

On "LePage's Secret Puppeteers": A number of updates regarding the prominent role of lobbyists and their corporate clients in the creation of Maine Gov. Paul LePage's regulatory reform wish list:

Pierce Atwood lobbyist Patricia Aho (who represented the American Petroleum Institute and the chemical companies that make a banned fire retardant) has already started work as Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Protection, according to LePage's communications director, Dan Demeritt. She joins the governor's regulatory reform adviser, Preti Flaherty lobbying chief Ann Robinson, and his political adviser, Preti''s in-house expert on LURC, Carlisle J.T. McLean, in his cabinet.

Far from trying to play down their role in putting the chemical BPA back in baby's bottles, sippy cups, and other containers, The Toy Industry Association of America trumpets their involvement in this Feb. 10 press release. Ms. Robinson is their registered lobbyist here, and Ms. McLean represented them on the BPA issue last year.

LePage may be feeling the pressure, however. His draft of the relevant law, L.D. 1, contains no reference to repealing the BPA ban, the Kid-Safe Products Act, e-waste recycling, or the zoning regime of 30 percent of Maine's unorganized territories. The governor's staff say they haven't abandoned those points, but are simply postponing them.

Finally, even Richard "Scoops Don't Matter" Connor's Portland Press Herald has picked up on this story. Rebekkah Metzler's article makes no attempt to credit my Phoenix article or Susan Sharon's MPBN piece for the material she passes on. That said, I guess I did beg them to steal my stories here a year ago, so I suppose I should be happy.

On "Mud Wrestling": In case you missed it, the state Ethics Commission has recommended the largest fine of its kind in state history to be levied against the Republican State Leadership Committee. As my article in February''s Down East described, the RSLC has been condemned by both parties for funding a series of false campaign ads attacking local Democratic senate candidates. Some think the $41,000 fine -- for not reporting their spending in a timely fashion so the Democrats could take advantage of clean elections matching funds -- isn't big enough.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I might snatch a bit here and there, but attribution is king.