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Maine Council of Churches

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Maine's donkey party loves the rich and the poor — but can't protect both

Two-faced Democrats
In the current legislative fight over Republican Governor Paul LePage's lust to slash Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) programs because of a $221-million shortfall in its budget, Democrats say over and over that they want to protect the poor, sick, and disabled people from whom the governor wants to withdraw state assistance.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 15, 2012

Seeking humane treatment

State and national efforts well under way
Some Maine people are taking moral responsibility for the way supermax inmates are treated.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 17, 2010
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We heart these people

Meet Portland's most influential
We all know Portland is a busy, exciting place to live. It takes a lot of people's amazing energy to keep it going, though. Who's doing the moving and the shaking?
By JEFF INGLIS  |  February 10, 2010

Anti-solitary campaign expands

Stopping Supermax Torture
As the February 17 State House public hearing approaches on the bill to restrict solitary confinement at the Maine State Prison, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), which sparked national debate about Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, has announced its support.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 03, 2010
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Secret, unaccountable, and co-opted

If the prison Board of Visitors had done its job, it might have helped prevent several recent tragedies
The state prison in Warren has been hammered in recent months by an inmate murder and other violence, a prisoner hunger strike, legislative investigations exposing mismanagement and poor guard morale, and a request by human-rights groups for a federal probe of prisoner mistreatment.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  August 17, 2009

Human rights watch

Acknowledging, and punishing, torture
Last week, on the heels of anti-torture panels and protests in Portland, Washington DC, and elsewhere, the Justice Department told the nation that it would have to wait a few more days before information about American torture policies and practices is made public.
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  June 24, 2009
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Maine: state of deception

How a budget surplus emerged from a back room
Surprise! When the 2008 fiscal year ended, on June 30, the state had a General Fund surplus of $56 million, so the shortfall in reality was considerably smaller than predicted — $134 million.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  August 27, 2008
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Prisoners as commodities

Critics slam Governor Baldacci’s plan to ship Maine inmates out of state to a for-profit company
If Baldacci goes around the Legislature with an emergency order, a big division could open between the governor and the Legislature.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 25, 2007

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