John Martin

Recent Stories

Irving lowers Rep. Martin’s bankruptcy debt by $150k and Martin pushes another Irving firm’s mining interests

An Irving family company agreed to reduce by $150,000 the debt a leading Democratic legislator owed to the company – the same legislator, Democratic Rep. John Martin, who has been pushing to loosen state environmental regulations so that another Irving company can mine Bald Mountain in northern Maine. Continue Reading →

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Rep. Martin had problems paying off taxes and loans from two government agencies

Just as state Rep. John Martin, one of the most powerful Maine politicians of the last three decades, is emerging from the bankruptcy of the convenience store he co-owns, along comes another financial problem.
And this one has a new wrinkle – this time the back debt is to a government agency. Continue Reading →

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Rep. Martin, partner buy back bankrupt store for less than half of the debt

Bald Eagle Store

The federal bankruptcy court has allowed State Rep. John Martin and a partner to buy back their Eagle Lake convenience store for $125,000 even though they owe almost $300,000 to a variety of creditors, including the IRS. Martin, a Democrat, has been a power in state government going back to the 1960s. He was speaker of the house an unprecedented 10 terms and currently serves on the committee with oversight of the state’s $6 billion budget. He is running for reelection from House District 1, which includes Eagle Lake and Fort Kent. While some creditors may be paid in full and others in part, some may not be paid at all, depending on a report from the trustee appointed by the court half way through the court proceedings. Continue Reading →

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Martin sponsors bill for Irving mining while owing $250,000 to another Irving company

Rep. John Martin

AUGUSTA — State Rep. John Martin is sponsoring a bill that would make it easier for the Canadian-based Irving family to mine for valuable minerals on a Maine mountain at the same time he is negotiating a $250,000 bankruptcy debt with an Irving-family oil business. Martin, a Democrat, is the co-owner of Bald Eagle convenience store in his hometown of Eagle Lake, which Irving Oil Marketing says in bankruptcy filings is $250,000 in debt for gas and diesel deliveries and related charges. Martin acknowledges $150,000 of that debt, but said there is “absolutely” no conflict between owing one Irving company money and his legislation to rewrite the state’s mining laws that would benefit another Irving company. The bill was prompted by the J. D. Irving Company, which is the co-owner of Bald Mountain in Aroostook County. Geological studies have shown the mountain, in an area Martin has represented in the legislature, contains significant deposits of gold, silver, copper and other minerals. Continue Reading →

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State’s confidential employees’ pension plan costs state ‘extra’ $3 million


Editor’s note: This is the fifth part in a multi-part series about the state’s debt to teachers and state employees for their pensions. AUGUSTA — As state employees and teachers head into a second day of fighting the governor’s proposal to take almost 10 percent out of their paychecks to cover their pensions and pension debt, about 1,200 state employees known as “confidentials” have no such worry. Those employees — mostly in higher pay grades — will put only 3.65 percent of their pay into the retirement system if Gov. Paul LePage’s pension legislation is approved. This would continue the longstanding gap that goes back to 1981 between regular state employees and the confidentials. Confidential employees are defined as state employees not eligible for collective bargaining because they are either in high-level, policymaking jobs or they are involved in union contract negotiations. Continue Reading →

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Mitchell tries once again to turn insider success into a win with statewide voters

Editor’s note: The following examination of gubernatorial candidate Elizabeth Mitchell by the non-profit Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting is part of a series examining the claims and records of some of the leading candidates for governor. Elizabeth “Libby” Mitchell has enjoyed a highly successful legislative career: first woman elected speaker of the House; third woman elected president of the senate; and the first woman to hold both offices. Yet her every attempt to rise above the Maine Legislature has failed. Her quixotic campaign against then-Sen. Bill Cohen in 1984 ended in one of the most lopsided losses in recent history. In 1990, she came in a distant third in the primary for an open congressional seat. Continue Reading →

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