Good morning from Augusta. A conservative blogger has introduced that he’ll run a Republican main towards U.S. Sen. Susan Collins as she approaches a 2020 re-election race promising to be one among the extra competitive ones in a yr with a troublesome map for Democrats.
He’s Derek Levasseur, a blogger and former police officer from Fairfield who stated in a Fb publish that he will run after Collins joined 11 different Republican senators to oppose President Donald Trump’s border emergency declaration. He hasn’t filed with the Federal Election Commission but, but he stated he’ll when he raises $5,000.
Levassaur says he’ll back Trump’s “America First policies” and his run exhibits lingering resentment toward Collins among conservatives, even if he doesn’t start as a critical menace to the senator. He’ll should cope with being a relative unknown and a 2012 incident — not on his document — in which he was charged with assaulting 4 individuals, including a daughter.
Levasseur’s stint as a police officer ended after the incident at a wedding reception, which he blames partially on post-traumatic stress dysfunction. Levasseur labored for the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Workplace from July 2009 to June 2011 earlier than going to work as a part-time officer in Clinton in January 2012, based on the Maine Legal Justice Academy.
In August of that yr, the Morning Sentinel reported that he had been arrested on a misdemeanor cost of home violence assault and charged with different counts of assault after a battle round 1 a.m. at his wedding ceremony reception in Clinton that left only minor injuries.
Two of the victims have been minors, together with Levasseur’s daughter, who was 15 at the time. There isn’t any narrative of the incident in a courtroom file, however Levasseur stated in an e mail he was “highly intoxicated” and out of doors the house when he discovered of a “situation” in the home involving his daughter, one other woman and two men and “responded to it very poorly.”
Nevertheless, he now has no legal document after complying with terms of a one-year deferred disposition on several costs. After being put on depart, he left the Clinton job in October 2012 and gave up his police certification in 2013. He stated the incident occurred after he suffered from post-traumatic stress dysfunction and didn’t need help because “I feared I looked weak.”
Since then, he has joined the arch-conservative Republican state committee and interviewed celebration candidates throughout the 2018 elections. Levasseur has been notably lively in politics since 2017. His Fb channel has more than four,000 followers, he filmed interviews with a number of Republican candidates in the 2018 elections, he serves on the Maine Republican Celebration’s state committee and has volunteered on social gathering campaigns.
Levasseur stated he was motivated to run in half by Collins’ advocacy for so-called “red flag” laws, which permit police and courts to take guns briefly from individuals deemed dangerous. He stated whereas such payments could also be well-intentioned, they might forestall individuals like him from getting the “help we need until it’s too late.”
Collins, whose spokeswoman didn’t respond on the report to Levasseur’s challenge, seemed weak on her right after her 2017 strikes to oppose Republicans’ proposal to repeal the Reasonably priced Care Act, but her high-pressure vote for U.S. Supreme Courtroom Justice Brett Kavanaugh seems to have gone a great distance toward shoring a lot of that help again up.
Nonetheless, Trump and former Gov. Paul LePage are the darlings of the state’s get together grassroots, so few main challengers may be completely discounted. It was lower than two years ago that LePage was making an attempt to ward Collins off of the 2018 governor’s race and he and his allies have as much management over the Maine Republican Celebration as ever.
Vice Chair Nick Isgro, the Trump-echoing Waterville mayor, has emerged as the celebration’s key informal spokesman and Levasseur backed Isgro in his current wrestle with Maine Senate Republicans over controversial tweets about vaccination and immigration.
When U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe announced her retirement in 2012, she was being challenged in a main by Scott D’Amboise, who was also a relative unknown. Her departure sent better-known politicians scuttling towards the race till unbiased former Gov. Angus King got here in to clear many well-known Democrats away from it and declare the seat.
Collins is probably in a great spot to beat back such a challenge, nevertheless it’s still a thorn in her aspect even if she punches a ticket to a 2020 race with a Democrat in which each parties are promising high-dollar efforts for the seat.
Time to grieve?
Proposed laws might impose a waiting interval before regulation enforcement officers are capable of make public the names of crime, crash or accident victims. Legal Justice and Public Safety Committee members on Friday heard public testimony from Connie Staples of Oxford, whose husband, Thomas, died final October at the age of 57 in a logging accident in Auburn. Staples was there to testify in favor of LD 828, from House Minority Leader Kathleen Dillingham, R-Oxford, a concept draft not yet in bill type that seeks to institute a statewide rule requiring regulation enforcement officers to inform the families of people that die earlier than notifying the media.
Staples is the inspiration for the bill, Dillingham stated, as a result of as she was contemplating how you can inform her three daughters that their father had died, Staples’ eldest and her grandson came upon by seeing information articles on social media. Her husband’s youngest sister discovered of her brother’s dying in a television news update, Staples stated: “This all happened before we even made it home from the hospital — only minutes beyond an hour after he was pronounced dead.”
Staples stated she did not anticipate to should compete with media retailers in telling her household that her husband had died. She informed the committee Friday it was “downright astounding we weren’t given any consideration of time.”
Although the bill language has not but been shaped, Staples asked for a “mandatory minimum of a 12-hour restriction” on regulation enforcement’s launch of the names of the deceased.
Many regulation enforcement businesses have departmental practices or policies dictating how they disseminate the id of deceased people to news media. It isn’t uncommon for regulation enforcement officers to withhold names and particulars of a dying from reporters till speedy family has been notified. The usual rule is to inform next of kin, which Staples stated was finished in her case before the Auburn Police Department made the particulars public.
Likewise, there’s an assumption on the a part of reporters, at the least us here at the BDN, that when regulation enforcement does launch particulars about individuals who have just lately died, they’ve taken the correct steps to inform household, including next of kin.
It’s not but clear whether Staples’ advisable language might be included in Dillingham’s invoice. Committee members may have a chance to weigh in on the proposal in the coming weeks.
At this time in A-town
Will probably be another day with more listening than motion at the State House. The Appropriations Committee will continue to subject public enter on the biennial price range. Most different legislative committees are nonetheless plowing by means of public hearings on mountains of proposed bills.
— The Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee will host public hearings on proposals associated to turkey, bear and coyote searching. In the meantime, Gov. Janet Mills intends to sign a governor’s invoice at present that may permit the commissioner to increase the ice-fishing season.
— The schooling committee will spend the morning sorting by means of anti-hunger payments. Appropriately, the panel will reserve a day session for public hearings on a proposal to start out high school later. The afternoon session additionally will embrace hearings on proposals to ban Native American mascots in all faculties and to limit college students’ cellphone use. Click here to pay attention.
— The Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee will think about bills associated to tribal gaming, a variation of which exhibits up in virtually every Legislature, and a invoice that might affect gaming at festivals and festivals. Click on right here to tune in.
— Among a number of different public hearings on in the present day’s docket, the Well being and Human Providers Committee will think about a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products in Maine. Click on right here to pay attention.
And click here for the week’s full legislative calendar.
— The particular prosecutor launched his report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 marketing campaign. Lawyer Basic William Barr summarized the report in a four-page letter to Congress. Trump stated it exonerated him on allegations that his marketing campaign colluded with Russia to affect the consequence of the 2016 presidential election. Particular prosecutor Robert Mueller did not take a firm stand on whether or not Trump obstructed justice, based on Barr, who also wrote that Mueller didn’t exonerate the president on obstruction. Maine’s congressional delegation urged Barr to make public the whole report. Read Barr’s letter here.
— Maine’s new schooling commissioner continues to champion classroom academics. The Lincoln County News studies that Schooling Commissioner Pender Makin informed a gaggle of educators in that county that the department she now leads intends to rebuild trust in educators. She decried a departmental tradition of “carrots and sticks” applied to schooling and schooling leaders during the previous few many years as a horrible mistake. “We need to re-engage with you as providers of resources, information and guidance, and not as providers of handed-down mandates,” Makin stated. “That’s the old way, and we’re trying to change that.” She additionally warned towards the influence of software program sellers and different companies with revenue pursuits that don’t all the time align properly with the mission of public schooling.
— A Portland lawmaker needs Maine to take a hard take a look at when youngsters must be allowed to start out enjoying deal with soccer. A bill from Rep. Michael Brennan, D-Portland, would establish a 13-member fee to “review the current data and research related to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, [concussion-related injuries] and determine if steps should be taken to protect the health and safety of youth who participate in tackle football in the state of Maine,” Brennan stated in a written assertion introducing the bill. The panel would current its findings subsequent yr. Maine has seen a gentle decline in the quantity of high school football gamers — with three,443 rivals in 11-player soccer in 2017, down from 3,631 a yr earlier — and a few faculties are eliminating their soccer packages or considering a change from 11 to eight players on offense and protection.
The primary signs of spring in Maine after winter’s end are a joyous thing: Crocuses rising, the sun hanging in the sky longer in the evenings, birds singing, Belfast residents donning socks with sandals. Additionally for me, once the temperature settles above 40, my physique alerts with sneezing matches and a congested nose that refuses to unclog.
By no means in my life have I had allergic reactions. Not even once I was rising up in the allergen-rich Ohio Valley in Kentucky, the place pollen would gather visibly on parked automobiles, ensuing in my brothers and fogeys needing to be stuffed filled with allergy medicines and other cures. Nor did I endure from allergic reactions for the first six years of my dwelling in Maine.
In 2016, it started with the inexplicable onslaught of sneezes. A modest match commonly included no less than 9 or 10. My former colleague at The Forecaster, David Harry, who might hear my rapid-fire sneezing from one other room, used to purposely refrain from saying “Bless you” till at the very least the third sneeze, since that was my baseline.
My rationalization for this late allergic onset is physical deterioration. My physique’s de-evolution to be less tolerable of its environment was in place as I entered my 30th yr, which must solely level to the starting of the finish. That, or the warming local weather and pollen tornadoes are coming for us all. Right here’s your soundtrack. — Alex Acquisto
As we speak’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd, Alex Acquisto and Robert Long. In the event you’re studying this on the BDN’s website or have been forwarded it, click on right here to receive Maine’s main publication on state politics by way of e-mail on weekday mornings. Click on right here to subscribe to the BDN.