As The Fur Flies At The State Capital…Maine Governor Paul LePage And Legislators Clash Over Fate Of Bills Still On Governor’s Desk

PPH reports “In the latest twist of a historically bizarre legislative session, the LePage administration insisted Wednesday that lawmakers’ use of the word “adjourn” last week rather than “recess” gave the governor additional time to hold the 19 bills. Yet the nonpartisan state office responsible for publishing Maine statutes began writing the 19 bills into law on Wednesday despite the governor’s claims.

LePage’s maneuver, which is further fraying already tattered relations with some legislative leaders, appears to hinge on the question of whether the Legislature “adjourned” last week or “recessed.”

Under Maine’s Constitution, the governor has 10 days – excluding Sundays – to either sign or veto a bill passed by the Legislature. If he fails to act by the end of that 10-day period, the bill becomes law without the governor’s signature.

And here’s where the issue gets tricky.

The Constitution states that if the Legislature adjourns and then reconvenes, the governor has three days to send down a veto after lawmakers reconvene. Legislative leaders insist that they did not adjourn on June 30 but “recessed” until July 16 in order to take up a slew of vetoes expected to come from the governor.

But LePage’s office is pointing to an order passed by the Legislature on June 30 that states the Legislature will “Adjourn until the call of the Speaker and President.”

“As allowed by the Maine Constitution, the Governor will submit the vetoes when the Legislature meets again for three days,” LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said in an email to reporters.

In other words, LePage could wait until the Legislature has met for three days – officially, at least – before he sends the vetoed bills to the House and Senate chambers for reconsideration.

Paul Mills, a Maine political historian and the brother of Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills, told The Associated Press that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Maine Supreme Court is asked to weigh in on the issue, as it has in the past on similar procedural debates in the Legislature.

One opinion of the justices in 1981 may play into LePage’s favor. In that opinion, the justices argued that the Constitution requires that “the same Legislature must continuously be in session for three days before the period in which the governor may act on the pending bill expires.”

“It’s really kind of unexplainable,” said Lance Dutson, a longtime Republican strategist consultant who has been a vocal critics of LePage’s actions lately. “I can’t imagine that this is anything but a major screw up on the part of the administration. And their explanation today is absurd.”

Read more HERE.

BDN reports “LePage ups stakes in legal fight over adjournment. The next time the Legislature is in session for three days, he’ll deliver the bills he wants to veto,” LePage Communications Director Peter Steele said. Meanwhile, House Speaker Mark Eves, a Democrat from North Berwick, as well as Republican and Democratic senators, have asked Attorney General Janet Mills to weigh in on the issue. Read more HERE.

BDN Editorial – “Maine could end up in court to cover for LePage’s incompetence.

At this moment, LePage and his staff could choose to act with integrity. They could admit they erred and concede that the Constitution — as it has been applied throughout the state’s history — and rule of law do, in fact, apply.

Instead, they have raised an artificial legal question concerning what it means for the Legislature to adjourn — arguing for a definition no one with deep knowledge of Maine government (who isn’t working for LePage) accepts.” Read more HERE.

BDN reports “Attorney general rejects LePage’s argument for holding bills. Gov. Paul LePage’s contention that the Legislature is adjourned and that he has the right to hold 70 enacted bills until lawmakers reconvene was rebuffed on two fronts late Friday afternoon, including an opinion from Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills.

LePage argues that the Legislature adjourned on June 30, meaning that he does not have to submit bills for lawmakers’ consideration until three days after they have returned. Legislative leaders say they did not adjourn, they are in recess — meaning LePage missed the 10-day window to act on bills, which now would become law without his signature.

LePage also was rebuffed Friday afternoon by Grant Pennoyer, executive director of the Legislative Council, which oversees a range of legislative functions, including the Revisor of Statutes.

LePage, through his chief legal counsel, Cynthia Montgomery, asked Pennoyer on Friday that the revisor’s office stop chaptering 19 bills he is holding into law. The revisor’s office started moving the bills into law this week after LePage’s 10-day window to sign, veto or let bills go into law without his signature elapsed.

“The governor’s opponents wish to rush through the procedural hurdles associated with implementation of the laws and declare them valid,” wrote Montgomery. “Having the revisor’s office completely ignore the governor’s position is not only overtly partisan conduct on the part of the revisor’s office, it is also unnecessary as the governor intends to seek a legal solution to this matter.

The issue is whether the Legislature adjourned for the session on June 30. LePage argues that it did, despite the Legislature’s vote to adjourn “until the call of the chairs.” If the Legislature is technically adjourned, LePage has until three days after legislators reconvene to issue vetoes on some or all of the 70 bills that remain on his desk.

With Mills’ opinion buttressing legislative Democrats’ stance, LePage’s only remaining recourse seems to be the Law Court.” Read more HERE.

Rep. Fredette Urges Revisor’s Office To Stop Until Constitutional Issue Is Resolved By Law Court, click here.
Rep. Ken Fredette letter, click here.

Governor Paul LePage legal memo, click here.

A.G. Janet Mills’ Opinion, click here.

Legislative Council’s letter to Cynthia Montgomery, LePage’s Chief Legal Counsel, click here.

Letter from the Maine Office of the Revisor’s of Statutes, click here.

SP 556 “ADJOURN UNTIL THE CALL OF THE SPKR AND PRES”, click here.

To note: When you click “Bill Text” this comes up:
Cannot find requested paper, no information available at this time for Session 127, paper SP0556, LD 0. Also, there is NO Roll Call.

SP 556 – Bill Text, click here.

Related:  Do Maine Legislators Understand The Constitution? Click here.

Justice Nancy Mills Disqualifies Entire York County District Attorney’s Office From Prosecuting A Domestic Violence Case

PPH reports “A judge has disqualified the entire York County District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting a contentious domestic violence case, and also ruled that Eliot police officers may be cross-examined by the defense, resurrecting allegations that a majority of them routinely falsified patrol reports.

Justice Nancy Mills issued the rulings last week in the criminal case against Paul Olsen of Eliot, finding that Assistant District Attorney Thomas Miscio knowingly intercepted confidential documents written by Olsen’s attorney that contained the defense’s trial plans and read them without informing the court of the breach as he is required to do.

Mills learned of Miscio’s actions on May 4, the day before the 34-year-old Olsen was due to stand trial for allegedly assaulting and raping his former girlfriend at her home in Eliot in 2012. Mills immediately called off the trial, and said in her follow-up order Thursday that either the Maine Attorney General’s Office or another district attorney’s office will have to take over prosecuting the case.

“In this case, the state’s attorney should have known the information in the documents was privileged,” Mills wrote in the five-page ruling. “The disclosure of the information cannot be undone.” Read more HERE.

WMTW8 reports “Judge rules prosecutor saw privileged defense information in Paul Olsen case. “The state’s attorney’s reading the information was not inadvertent,” Mills wrote. “The disclosure of the information cannot be undone.”

Mills also issued another decision in the case, ruling that Olsen’s defense team could ask members of the Eliot Police Department if they have ever lied about their whereabouts while on duty.

“The defendant may inquire on cross-examination about the alleged misconduct by Eliot Police Department officers,” Mills wrote.
View report HERE.

Why wouldn’t the same ruling be consistent with a related case? (Now former) York County D.A. Mark Lawrence was in possession of confidential information/documentation relative to a “scheme” devised by Biddeford city officials, Police Chief Roger Beaupre and others. It was believed that D.A. Lawrence would investigate, indict and prosecute where the evidence demanded. D.A. Lawrence jumped the fence and prosecuted Lafortune with her evidence in his hands. Lafortune’s attorney was not allowed to present evidence, nor witnesses.

LAWRENCE, MARK D.A. LETTER JUNE 6, 2003.

Behind the Black Robes: Failed Justice, Author Barbara C. Johnson, click here.

FOIA-Judge David Kennedy, click here.

Judge David Kennedy, FOIA reply, click here.  Attorney General Janet Mills did not reply…she “passed the buck.”

Players in this case are the same ones in “Biddeford (ME) Police Department Exposed!” Click here.

There is more going on with the City of Biddeford than meets the eye!

Biddeford (ME) City Council April 21, 2015 – Public Addressing the Council (Sexual Allegations Against Biddeford Police Officers)

View council meeting HERE. (starts at 13:40)

Silence can only be equated with fraud when there is a legal or moral duty to speak, or when an inquiry left unanswered would be intentionally misleading. ” U.S. v. Tweel, 550 F2d 297, 299-300

Title 17-A: MAINE CRIMINAL CODE
§608. Official oppression

1. A person is guilty of official oppression if, being a public servant and acting with the intention to benefit himself or another or to harm another, he knowingly commits an unauthorized act which purports to be an act of his office, or knowingly refrains from performing a duty imposed on him by law or clearly inherent in the nature of his office.

18 USC § 4 – MISPRISION OF FELONY

Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

Office of the Maine Attorney General
Brian MacMaster, Chief of Investigations

“Brian MacMaster, the Director of Investigations since 1984. Mr. MacMaster has served as the Attorney General’s designee on the Board of Trustees of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy since 1993 and has served as Chair of the Board since 1997.”

If people have filed complaints with the A.G.’s Office. Chief Investigator Brian MacMaster brushes complaints under the rug. In the past, if you filed a complaint against a police officer with the Maine Criminal Justice Academy because MasMaster failed in his duties, MacMaster was Chairman of the Board!

Related: Biddeford (ME) Police Department Exposed! Click here.

Talkshoe Radio – Maine State Bar Association…100 Years of Law & Justice (1891-1991) (Part 2)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
9:00 PM EDT

Call in Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 27398#

Click here to join in online.

Part 2 – Archived program, EPISODE 57, click here.

Part 1 – Archived program, EPISODE 56, click here.

*Note: The Maine Supreme Court issued their opinion in the Question of Law presented to the court by Gov. LePage….We started the program with the opinion and didn’t get into the 100 Years of Law and Justice which ties in to the opinion. We will continue part 2 next week.

OPINION OF THE JUSTICES

100 Years of Law & Justice (1891-1991),  click here.

1891 Act Incorporating Maine State Bar Association, click here.

Talkshoe Radio – Maine State Bar Association…100 Years of Law & Justice (1891-1991)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
9:00 PM EDT

Call in Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 27398#

Archived program, EPISODE 56, click here.

*Note: The Maine Supreme Court issued their opinion in the Question of Law presented to the court by Gov. LePage….We started the program with the opinion and didn’t get into the 100 Years of Law and Justice which ties in to the opinion. We will continue part 2 next week.

OPINION OF THE JUSTICES

Click here to join in online.

100 Years of Law & Justice (1891-1991),  click here.

1891 Act Incorporating Maine State Bar Association, click here.

When Maine Leads The Nation

Courtesy of For The People

“Child pornography is, unfortunately, quite an active past time for MANY governmental leaders and officials. So much so, that our illustrious governor, Paul LePage, felt the need to issue an executive order on February 20, 2015, prohibiting Maine state employees from accessing pornographic or sexually explicit material on both state computers or devices even when they were off-duty on personal time.

This executive order is the first of its kind in the USA. It is a very sad state of affairs when a governor of a state has to pass an order to his state workers directing them that they can’t use state property to watch (and thus participating in) the abuse of children! Not only are our state employees corrupt, but they are also so sick minded, that an official order must be given to protect our children from the very people who are supposed to be protecting them in the first place!

And the reason for Governor LePage’s executive order shows further the corruption in the offices of Maine’s state officials. He has been waging a public battle with Maine’s AG, Janet Mills (D). Our state is the only state in the country where the attorney general is neither elected by the general population nor appointed by the governor. Here, the AG is elected, solely, by the state representatives. This is a huge problem in that it enables and protects massive state-level corruption among state legislatures who are protected against prosecution for their crimes under “prosecutorial discretion” by the AG they elected to office.”  Read more HERE.

 

This begs the question “where is accountability?” No official will address this issue! They are concerned with their “political career.” It is time for Maine people to see how the Legislators conduct their own actions of ignoring public presentations of written evidence and how they believe in their own favoritism of fellow legislators and attorneys. The Governor can issue all the executive orders he wants, nothing will change without accountability…they are quick to prosecute, persecute innocent victims, but continue to shield their own.

Are you comfortable paying the salaries of these state employees? Would you get away with this at your place of employment?

The original Constitution of the State of Maine (1820) states in part in Article V, Part First, Executive Power, Section 8: “He [Governor] shall nominate, and, with the advice and consent of the Council, appoint all judicial officers, the Attorney General, the Sheriffs, Coroners, Registers of Probate and Notaries Public……….” Read more HERE, and listen HERE.

Listen to interview with Rep. Rick Long, click here.

Related:  Public Exposure Moves Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills, click here.

Talkshoe Radio – Discussion On “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills…Oral Argument

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
9:00 PM EDT

Call in Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 27398#

Archived program, EPISODE 55, click here.

Click here to join in online.

Related:  Talkshoe Radio – Discussion on Governor Paul LePages’s Request For Opinion of the Justices With Phil Merletti and Lise DuPont, Author of “Where Did The Original Constitutional State Go?” Click here.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 broadcast, Archived program, EPISODE 51, click here.

Talkshoe Radio – Update on Article V Constitutional Convention Forum and “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills, click here.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 broadcast, Archived program, EPISODE 54, click here.

The “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills, click here.

Talkshoe Radio – Update on Article V Constitutional Convention Forum and “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
9:00 PM EDT

Call in Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 27398#

Click here to join in online.

Archived program, EPISODE 54, click here.

 

Related:  Talkshoe Radio – Discussion on the Article V Constitutional Convention with Special Guest Deborah Stevenson, click here.

The “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills, click here.

Talkshoe Radio – Office of the Attorney General and the 1855 Amendment

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
9:00 PM EDT

Call in Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 27398#

Archived program, EPISODE 53, click here.

Click here to join in online.

The “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills

State of Maine 1855 Amendment

The “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills

Talkshoe Radio (February 4, 2015) – Discussion on Governor Paul LePages’s Request For Opinion of the Justices With Phil Merletti and Lise DuPont, Author of “Where Did The Original Constitutional State Go?” Click here.

Attorney General Janet Mills Asks The Maine Supreme Judicial Court Not To Take Action On Governor Paul LePage’s Questions, click here.

Documents:

Recording of oral argument on February 26, 2015

OPINION OF THE JUSTICES

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