The Phoenix Network:
Why the prison warden got fired
Corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte told the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee on January 16 that, because of state personnel law, he couldn't publicly say — until severance negotiations are finished — why he had fired, six days earlier, Maine State Prison warden Patricia Barnhart. She has said she can't say why, either.
| January 23, 2013
Gangs study killed
On February 9 the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee, which had already informally decided against LD 1707, the bill that would have created severe penalties for people associated with criminal street gangs, killed a substitute proposal for a study to be done on how to define gangs and how to have police share information on them.
| February 15, 2012
Democrats celebrate victory in the face of defeat
They cozy up to Republicans and the rich
Senator Dawn Hill, of Cape Neddick, the lead Democrat on the Legislature's Appropriations Committee, which fashioned the recently passed $6-billion state budget, explained to the Phoenix why she voted to reduce income and estate taxes on the rich while also voting for cuts in help to the poor and in teacher and state-worker pensions.
| July 06, 2011
Corporate prison bill 'carried over'
Inmate Exile Dept.
Although LD 690, A BILL TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR "EXILED" PRISONERS TO RETURN TO MAINE , was killed May 6 by the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee, political activist Ron Huber, who had pushed it, declared "victory in Augusta" on his Facebook page.
| May 12, 2011
The new corrections commissioner wants Maine prisons to learn from the state’s juvenile-treatment model
Fixing Maine’s troubled prisons is not an impossible task. In fact, if the state treated adult inmates more along the lines of how it treats juvenile offenders, prison critics — including, surprisingly, the new corrections commissioner, Joseph Ponte — think the prisons might not only become more humane, they might actually “correct” the prisoners.
| April 14, 2011
For five years, Rhode Island's medical marijuana movement has been a grassroots affair. For better or worse, it's about to go mainstream
In the five years since the General Assembly approved Rhode Island's medical marijuana law, licensed smokers have operated in a sort of smoke-filled netherworld.
| February 10, 2011
At a turning point
LePage's nominee to head Corrections has the skills to fix Maine's broken prison system. Will the governor and lawmakers give Joseph Ponte the tools?
When Joseph Ponte was told that Maine's longtime corrections commissioner Martin Magnusson had once informed the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee, after a dramatic hostage-taking, that there were "probably 300 inmates right now with a weapon in their hand" — and that nobody at the committee meeting seemed disturbed by this information — Ponte's reaction was "I would be extremely perturbed by that."
| February 09, 2011
On shrinking legislatures
In the midst of the new Republican majority's mania to reduce the size and cost of state government, I offer some advice and a warning.
| January 12, 2011
Seeking the State House
Comparing candidates for the Maine Legislature
Candidates for the Maine Legislature aren't always brief in their answers. Read expanded responses at thephoenix.com/abouttown. Phoenix-endorsed candidates have asterisks next to their names.
PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF
| March 29, 2012
Less of you
Reform is a bad idea
When the Legislature gets reformed, things get worse.
| August 18, 2010
| January 01, 0001
21st century breakdown
Ne'er has there been a sweeter gig than being secretary
The office of Maine's secretary of state has been around since we split from Massachusetts in 1820.
| January 06, 2010
Missing in action
The legislature vacations while crisis looms
Good-government advocates often breathe a sigh of relief when the legislature quits Beacon Hill.
| December 09, 2009
| January 01, 0001
Hey guv: stop slashing!
State budget cuts just make the recession worse
It seems as if there’s no light at the end of the state’s gloomy fiscal tunnel.
| December 31, 2008
Scenes from the Forget, Forget CD release
| September 11, 2013 at 1:29 PM
State to probe missing crude-oil reports #PanAm #mepolitics #crudeoil
July 10, 2013 at 3:15 PM
The answer to this week's game
June 08, 2013 at 12:15 PM
LePage: Big company didn't ask about Maine taxes #mepolitics
May 09, 2013 at 9:59 AM
LePage uses Obamacare to achieve his own political goal #mepolitics
May 08, 2013 at 10:12 AM
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