Monday, July 31, 2017

Trump voter fraud commission renews demand for state's voter data -- without commissioners' approval

The vice-chair of President Donald Trump's voter fraud commission has sent a second letter to all fifty states, renewing their demand for detailed voter registration data. But Maine secretary of state Matthew Dunlap, who sits on the commission, said commissioners were never consulted about the move, better yet voting to approve it.

I write about the latest in this story from Friday's Portland Press Herald.

I last wrote about the commission just a week earlier, after their first meeting, in which Dunlap dropped his earlier suggestion that the body look at Russian attempts to infiltrate state election equipment (but declined to endorse Sen. Angus King's urgent call to replace voter machines that have no paper trail.)

[Update, 21:46 ET: Dunlap has announced he won't comply with the second request.]

[Update, 11/18/17: Dunlap has now sued the commission and asked for an injunction. For more updated coverage, start here.]

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Interior Department whistleblower is a Mainer

For Thursday's Portland Press Herald I interviewed Joel Clement, the Department of Interior scientist and research director who wrote a fiery op-ed in Wednesday's Washington Post alleging the Trump administration and Secretary Ryan Zinke had retaliated against him for continuing to call attention to the climate change-driven plight of northern Alaskan Native villages.

Turns out Clement is from Falmouth, Maine, and from a family that tangled with native people back in the 1750s, ironically enough.

Enjoy the story.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sens. Collins, King warn Trump not to interfere with Mueller probe

In tomorrow's Portland Press Herald, I have this story on Senator Susan Collins' warning to President Trump regarding his implied threat to interfere with or fire Robert Mueller, the Justice Department's Special Counsel looking into the Trump campaign's Russia ties.

Collins says such a move would be an "extraordinarily serious mistake."

Senator Angus King, an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, and Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-1) also warned against interfering with the investigation. Republican Rep. Bruce Poloquin (ME-2) was the odd-man out, dodging the question altogether.

Details herein.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

After first Trump voter fraud meeting, Maine's Dunlap keeping open mind

If you've been wondering what's happening with President Donald Trump's controversial voter fraud commission, look no further than today's Portland Press Herald, where I cover their first meeting.

Among the commissioners is Maine's (Democratic) Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, who said he's not going to pre-judge the panel. He also told me he'd agreed with his fellow panelists and commission chair Vice President Mike Pence not to have the body look at Russian infiltration of state election infrastructure after all.

Dunlap also declined to endorse Sen. Angus King's urgently-argued recommendations that all states use voting machines with paper trails and that scientific audits be held to detect tampering.

Details herein.

I last wrote about Dunlap and the commission when it demanded states provide extensive personal information on voters, and before that when Dunlap called for the commission to consider the Russia angle.

[Update, 11/18/17: Dunlap has now sued the commission and asked for an injunction. For more updated coverage, start here.]

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Maine removed major dams and river herring have returned in a big way

In this week's Maine Sunday Telegram, I wrote about the continuing recovery of river herring -- alewives and blueback erring -- in Maine rivers after the removal of major dams and other obstructions in recent years.

The Kennebec has seen the biggest run -- 3.8 million fish -- of the post-dam era, and the St. Croix has set a 20 year record after a legislative sentence against the forage fish was repealed a few years ago.

I've written on alewives quite a few times over the years, starting with the epic argument over the St. Croix fish passages. My Press Herald colleague Kevin Miller had this overview of the effort to remove the dams a couple of years back.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Sen. Collins opposes Senate health bill

In today's Portland Press Herald, I report on how Maine's U.S. Senators have reacted to the latest Republican Senate health care bill.

Both oppose it in no uncertain terms, with Senator Susan Collins' opposition a complicating factor for  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as she is a fellow Republican. Senator Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also opposes it. Details herein.

Earlier this week I reported on Collins and King's reaction to the revelations that the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., met with a Russian lawyer with Kremlin ties for the express purpose of getting dirt from her on Hillary Clinton. Both want the presidential son to testify before the senate intelligence committee, which they both serve on. Details here.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

"Balkanized America" - a series at Medium

Medium, the blog hosting site created by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, is developing a members only section, and invited me to create a series of articles there built around the American Nations paradigm.

The result is "Balkanized America," and the first part of the series -- an up-to-date overview of the American Nations model and its wide-ranging implications and utility -- published to the site yesterday. It's the first of at least a half dozen monthly pieces rolling which will run the gamut from hidden history to electoral analysis.

I hope you enjoy.

[Update, 8/23/17: Part 2, "The Almost Civil War of 1789,"  is available now as well.]

[Update, 9/22/18: the third installment, on new research showing a genetic legacy as well, is up now too.]

Thursday, July 6, 2017

CNN Interview now online

A quick housekeeping note:

Last month I was a guest on a CNN special, Bill Weir's States of Change, talking about American Nations. That appearance is now available to watch online here.

You can also watch his hour-long documentary -- with another short interview with me talking about the implications of America's settlement history -- here.

That is all.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Maine will partially comply with Trump election fraud commission demand

In yesterday's Portland Press Herald, I wrote on how Maine's secretary of state has reacted to the call by President Trump's election fraud commission to turn over a vast array of voter registration data, from social security numbers to party affiliation.

All fifty states were asked -- this appears an effort to create a federal voter database for the first time -- but Maine's case is particularly interesting because Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is (a) a Democrat and (b) a member of Trump's commission.

I spoke to Dunlap Friday morning to get his perspective and to explain why he's providing a certain subset of voter roll information to his commission colleagues (while other states -- including California, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Virginia -- have told them to pound sand.)

Story herein.

I also wrote last week about Dunlap and the commission, on the occasion of his calling for it to also probe Russian infiltration of state electoral systems.

[Update: 6/5/17: Dunlap, on consideration and consultation with the state's Attorney General, has reversed himself and will not supply the data.]