John Christie

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Closed door: Legislators conducting public business in private despite state’s open meeting law

The legislature’s practice of conducting the public’s business — such as budget negotiations — behind closed doors likely violated the state’s Freedom of Access Act (FOAA). Center editor-reporter John Christie “crashed” a closed door session of the appropriations committee and confronted legislators about the practice, which one of the state’s prominent first amendment attorneys says violates the sprit of FOAA and likely also the letter of that landmark law. Continue Reading →

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Poll news is no news

As voters surely saw this past campaign season, there were lots of polls. They showed how one candidate was winning or another.

But polls can be wrong, and they are often abused by political operatives who want to promote candidates.

Read John Christie’s latest “Who Ya Kidding” to see how it all works. Continue Reading →

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Three for the price of one

It’s election season, and the hyperbole machine is redlining. Endorsements, especially, are the time to lay it on thick and attempt to counter the candidate’s greatest weakness. Read John Christie’s “Who Ya Kidding?” column to find the latest examples of “pure wind” in Maine politics. Continue Reading →

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Stuck at home

“Who ya kidding” takes on the euphemisms of a disgraced baseball hero. The quote: “The timing is better for me. Back then, it just wasn’t right.” –Barry Bonds, March 10 Continue Reading →

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Out to lunch

THE QUOTE
“Today, all we are asking — and expecting — is for the adults to have a conversation about the hungry children at their school, in their community. Today, we are asking schools who already offer summer programming like a rec program, to consider whether a summer food program is right for them.” WHO SAID IT
Maine state Senate President Justin Alfond in a speech on the floor of the Senate on Feb. 11

THE QUOTE
“This bill presents an irresponsible unfunded mandate.” WHO SAID IT
Gov. Paul LePage in his Jan. Continue Reading →

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Shoulda, coulda, woulda

THE QUOTE
“… the Pine Tree Development Zone (PTDZ) program demonstrates the importance of competitive tax policy for new and growing companies leading to the creation and/or retention of nearly 10,000 jobs that could have landed in other states …” WHO SAID IT
The state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) in a press release, Feb. 2, 2014. BACKGROUND
The statement from DECD refers to a section of the just-released “Comprehensive Evaluation of Maine’s Economic Development Incentive Programs.” Such programs have been in the news in recent years because critics say they cost the state millions of dollars each year while there is scant evidence of their cost-effectiveness. Continue Reading →

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