A couple of Maine-related updates that intersect with investigative projects I've done in recent months:
LePage administration and smog: As I report in tomorrow's Portland Press Herald, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection has been quietly seeking to repeal some anti-smog requirements that effect new or newly-modified industrial facilities. Environmentalists are crying foul; the administration says it will be good for the economy. No public hearing has been scheduled, the public comment period ends tomorrow, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (which must approve the change) is allegedly on board with it.
Steve Bowen's role model in trouble: The Associated Press reports that former Indiana and current Florida education commissioner Tony Bennett -- a pioneer in the effort to assign A-F letter grades to public schools -- cheated on the grading of a charter school run by a political ally. Bennett, a close friend of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, was the keynote at Gov. LePage's education summit earlier this year in Augusta. Education commissioner Steve Bowen described Bennett as his role model in his introductory remarks.
I am an award-winning journalist and author of American Nations, American Character, Ocean's End, The Lobster Coast, and The Republic of Pirates. I'm a staffer at the Portland Press Herald, where I won a 2012 George Polk Award for my investigative reporting and was named a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist.