Governor LePage pardons former GOP lawmaker in old drug case

Former state rep Pierce had requested clemency and he was notified by LePage’s office that the governor signed the pardon last week.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage has pardoned a former GOP state lawmaker for a 35-year-old felony-level drug trafficking conviction.

Maine Public reports the pardon of former state Rep. Jeffrey Pierce, of Dresden, could affect an ongoing investigation into whether Pierce illegally hunted with firearms.

Pierce had requested clemency and he was notified by LePage’s office that the governor signed the pardon last week.

Pierce says he had hunted with firearms since his conviction, but he didn’t realize he was violating state and federal laws, which prohibit anyone convicted of a felony from possessing firearms.

State Rep. Jeffrey Pierce. (Abigail Adams photo)Pierce was convicted in 1983 after selling cocaine and marijuana to an undercover police officer.

Pierce was among a core group of Republicans loyal to LePage, who leaves office Wednesday, during his two terms as governor.

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Maine Governor Paul LePage: You’ll ‘miss me’ when I’m gone

Governor Paul LePage says again that if he doesn’t like what Governor-elect Janet Mills does, he’ll run again in 2022

Maine’s governor says people are going to miss him when he’s gone, and he’s repeating his vow to run for a third term if he doesn’t like the actions taken by his successor.

Republican Paul LePage tells the Morning Sentinel he and his wife plan to spend the winter at their Florida home and return to Maine in the spring. He says they hope to buy a home in Aroostook County to be closer to grandchildren in New Brunswick.

He said previously he’s going reside in Florida where taxes are lower but said he’d “be a Maine resident when it’s time to run” if he seeks another term.

A spokesman for Mills declined to address LePage’s comments about the 2022 race, saying “the Governor-elect is focused on governing.”

Maine: Governor LePage signs CD2 results, calls it ‘stolen election’

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Governor LePage signed the election results, including the words ‘stolen election’ on the signature line, a jab at the ranked-choice voting process.

In a tweet, Gov. LePage showed a picture of the signed results, and the words “stolen election” on the signature line next to his initials.

LePage wrote, “Ranked Choice Voting didn’t result in a true majority as promised-simply a plurality measured differently. It didn’t keep big money out of politics & didn’t result in a more civil election.”

View image on Twitter

Paul R. LePage

@Governor_LePage

I’ve signed off on the CD2 election result as it’s no longer in federal court. Ranked Choice Voting didn’t result in a true majority as promised-simply a plurality measured differently. It didn’t keep big money out of politics & didn’t result in a more civil election

Congressman-elect Jared Golden responded on Twitter, writing “Not only are the Governor’s comments wrong, this is yet another attempt by the Maine GOP to undermine the will of Mainers, who twice voted to approve RCV. Maine people are tired of this kind of poor leadership — which is why they voted for sweeping change in November.”

Jared Golden

@golden4congress

Not only are the Governor’s comments wrong, this is yet another attempt by the Maine GOP to undermine the will of Mainers, who twice voted to approve RCV. Maine people are tired of this kind of poor leadership — which is why they voted for sweeping change in November.

Paul R. LePage

@Governor_LePage

I’ve signed off on the CD2 election result as it’s no longer in federal court. Ranked Choice Voting didn’t result in a true majority as promised-simply a plurality measured differently. It didn’t keep big money out of politics & didn’t result in a more civil election #mepolitics

View image on Twitter

Golden defeated incumbent Congressman Bruce Poliquin in the ranked-choice voting election. It was the first federal race ever decided by the system that Maine voters approved.

Poliquin announced on Christmas Eve that he would no longer pursue any legal action, after a federal judge denied two previous motions.

BREAKING statement from Congressman Poliquin:

Since Election Day, I’ve been stopped in grocery stores, airports and on the street, and have been contacted by phone, email, and social media from hundreds and hundreds of Maine voters with grave concern over the confusing and unfair rank voting process, pushed onto the people of Maine by out-of-state special interests. I agree with 2nd Congressional District voters who twice rejected this confusing and complicated rank voting pr

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Maine Governor Paul LePage: “97 percent” of the State’s drug dealers are Black and Hispanic!

Gov. Paul LePage repeated his claim Thursday afternoon on Maine Public. A caller to the show criticized the governor for blaming out-of-state minorities for fueling the state’s drug crisis

Maine’s departing Republican governor is doubling down on his discredited claim that out-of-state black and Hispanic drug dealers are responsible for an overwhelming percentage of drug trafficking in the state.

Gov. Paul LePage repeated his claim Thursday afternoon on Maine Public. A caller to the show criticized the governor for blaming out-of-state minorities for fueling the state’s drug crisis, and LePage responded that “it’s true.”

LePage proceeded to say “97 percent” of drug dealers in the state were minorities. He first made a similar claim in summer of 2016, saying it was backed up by news clippings he collected. An Associated Press analysis concluded the statement was wrong.

LePage is moving to Florida after he leaves office. His replacement, Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills, will be sworn in next month.

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Gov. LePage’s daughter Lauren hired by NRA for New England director’s position

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Lauren LePage will oversee all legislative and political activities for the NRA across Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s daughter has been hired by the National Rifle Association as its new state director for Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Lauren LePage previously attended the University of Maine School of Law and worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign in Maine before managing Republican Shawn Moody’s 2018 unsuccessful run for governor. The Bangor Daily News reports NRA media liaison Lars Dalseide said Thursday that she will oversee all legislative and political activities for the NRA across the three states.

She also formerly led Maine People Before Politics, a group that worked in concert with the term-limited Republican Gov. LePage.

Lauren LePage did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

New Study puts Maine at Number Four in the Nation in Emergency Room Visits per Capita.

(NEWS CENTER Maine) — A new study puts Maine at number four in the country in emergency room visits per capita. A study conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation collected data for community hospitals, representing 85% of all hospitals between the years 2012 and 2016. Not included in the study Federal hospitals, long term care hospitals, psychiatric hospitals and others, according to the study.

The top area listed for ER visits per 1,000 people is Washington D.C. The nation’s capital has the highest percentage due, in part to the increase in crime around the area, according to the website MedicareHealthPlans.

The States with the Most ER Visits

  1. Washington D-C
  2. West Virginia
  3. Mississippi
  4. Maine
  5. Ohio
Maine Hospital Emergency Room Visits per 1,000 People
MAINE US
2016 489 440
2015 725 441
2014 580 428
2013 599 423
2012 595 424

Northern Lights Eastern Maine Medical center says the amount of Emergency Department visitors is similar to the study’s timeframe. Dr. James Jarvis, Sr. Vice President and Sr. Physician Executive, and Dr. Michael Melia, Chief of Emergency Medicine, say there are multiple factors landing Maine in the top 5, but EMMC is actually seeing sicker patients arrive in our emergency department than we would in other parts of the country.

“We are, if not close to the oldest state in the nation, so that already brings unique challenges to us,” said Dr. Jarvis. “We are an underinsured state. The decision was made not to expand Medicaid in the state of Maine. In fact, we actually contracted the number of patients that are covered under Medicaid that would leave us with a number of patients that is either under or uninsured in our state.”

““There is more rural medicine in Maine then if you were in New York City,” said Dr. Melia. “Some people are going to seek care for acute things as opposed to going on long trips to go see a doctor for routine medicine.”

Dr. Jarvis says it is easier for patients to get to the ER than a primary care doctor. Many patients have transportation issues to get to proper care.

“It is easier to call 911 and have an ambulance come to your house than it is to get a taxi cab, a friend or a relative or Uber to come to your house,” said Dr. Jarvis. “For some people it winds up for them being cheaper and they are going to get taken to an emergency room and not a doctor’s office.”

Another concern is what the hospital calls ‘super utilizers.’ Patients that continuously frequent the Emergency Department.

“We do have certain individuals who will seek care at the emergency department hundreds of times a year and that certainly taxes the system,” said Dr. Melia. “We try and put resources for those individuals to find out why are they super utilizers and what resources are necessary in order to keep them away from the ED and get them the care they needed.”

LePage orders flags to half-staff, vigils planned in Portland, Rockland

Flags in Maine have been ordered at half-staff as vigils are being planned to honor the eleven victims of the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, (while the deaths of two African Americans in Kentucky are ignored… that’s just sad.)

AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine Gov. Paul LePage has ordered United States and state of Maine flags be flown at half-staff in respect for the eleven victims of the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

The Republican governor said Sunday that he and his wife are “deeply saddened by this tragedy, which occurred in a place of worship.”

Police in Portland also said they were boosting patrols around houses of worship. The Maine Council of Churches is holding a vigil on Tuesday evening in Portland at 5:30 p.m. There is another being held in Rockland at 6 p.m. on Monday at Adas Yoshuron Synagogue, 50 Willow St.

Authorities say gunman Robert Bowers made statements about genocide and killing Jewish people.

Bowers is being treated for gunshot wounds and is due in court Monday.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump ordered flags at federal buildings throughout the U.S. to be flown at half-staff in “solemn respect” for the Pittsburgh shooting victims.

WHAT ABOUT THE “WHITES DON’T KILL WHITES” VICTIMS IN KENTUCKY?

Nope.