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Commissioner Mike Michaud? An inside look at Janet Mills’ transition — Daily Brief — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Commissioner Mike Michaud? An inside look at Janet Mills’ transition — Daily Brief — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, who’s among the many individuals reportedly being thought-about for a commissioner spot underneath Maine Gov.-elect Janet Mills, is pictured right here at a 2015 occasion in South Portland.

By Michael Shepherd, BDN Employees •
December three, 2018 eight:59 am

Good morning from Augusta. Lawyer Basic Janet Mills will take a serious step in her transition to the governor’s workplace this week, when she begins interviewing candidates for greater than a dozen Cupboard positions that her transition group says about 150 individuals have utilized for.

The Democrat’s workforce has run a decent ship to date, however names of some who’ve utilized or are into account for jobs are circulating in Augusta, together with former U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and Rep. Drew Gattine, D-Westbrook.

Their names — and others — haven’t been confirmed by Mills’ staff and solely symbolize a partial record of potential candidates. However right here’s what we all know concerning the Cupboard choice course of to date.

Interviews will start this week, and Mills might have to first look for a Division of Well being and Human Providers commissioner. Mills spokesman Scott Ogden declined to touch upon the people named on this story, however he stated on Friday that upward of 1,000 individuals have expressed an curiosity in working within the Mills administration and 150 of them need commissioner-level positions.

Ogden stated these purposes are coming in quite a lot of methods, together with forwarding from stakeholder teams. He stated interviews for Cupboard-level spots will start this week with a objective of “naming as many commissioners as possible” earlier than Mills takes workplace on Jan. 2.

It was this week in 2010 when then-Gov.-elect Paul LePage started naming nominees for commissioner positions, however he didn’t have each commissioner named by the point he took workplace. The Republican’s best-known Cupboard member, former DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew, was named late after LePage stated publicly that he struggled to seek out candidates.

Mayhew’s tenure — throughout which she fought Medicaid enlargement and made Maine a coverage mannequin for the administration of President Donald Trump, for whom she now runs Medicaid — might have made the place extra engaging for Democrats who see it as a rebuilding undertaking.

Sources stated among the many prime DHHS candidates are Gattine and Kim Johnson, a former head of the Maine Workplace of Substance Abuse who went on to an analogous position within the federal Substance Abuse and Psychological Well being Providers Administration underneath former President Barack Obama.

Neither Gattine nor Johnson responded to requests for touch upon Friday. Gattine is a former assistant lawyer common who has been the highest Democratic well being coverage voice in Augusta through the LePage administration. Commissioners have to be confirmed by the Maine Senate after a listening to.

This place might need to be picked shortly, as a result of sitting legislators are barred by the Maine Structure from being chosen for presidency positions and the brand new Legislature will probably be sworn in on Wednesday. Gattine might get round that by declining to be sworn in together with his friends.

Two different huge names have confirmed that they’re in search of spots, however there’s doubtless stiff competitors for many positions. Solely Dunlap and outgoing state Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, confirmed that they’re being thought-about for commissioner positions beneath Mills — Dunlap for the Division of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Saviello for the Division of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Alongside Dunlap, Mills is claimed to be contemplating Judy Camuso, the wildlife director for the division. She didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Dunlap stated the likelihood has “been discussed,” however he’s operating for re-election as secretary of state and it’s not “entirely clear” that he’s the primary selection for IFW. Chandler Woodcock, LePage’s commissioner, might additionally keep on in a principally non-political division.

Michaud, who misplaced to LePage in 2014 and went on to steer veteran employment efforts for Obama, might be into account to steer the Maine Division of Labor. In a textual content message, he stated a reporter was “probably hearing a lot of names for different positions” like “I have been hearing,” however deferred to Mills’ group for touch upon who’s being thought-about.

Studying record

— A poor displaying by New England Republicans in final month’s elections didn’t appear to faze the GOP’s solely remaining member of the area’s congressional delegation. Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, who has but to announce whether or not she is going to search a fifth time period in 2020, stated her extra average strategy to politics has established bonds with voters that transcend partisan rancor. “Groups on the far left and far right demand 100 percent of compliance 100 percent of the time,” Collins stated in an interview with the BDN. “They’re never going to have that from me.” Collins’ vote for Supreme Courtroom Justice Brett Kavanaugh doubtless solidified her place amongst Republicans, nevertheless it gave a rallying cry to Democrats, who’ve struggled to seek out viable candidates to problem Collins.

— A Bangor jail guard allegedly despatched obscene pictures to fellow employees and different ladies for years. Cpl. Steven Buzzell, 39, allegedly made sexual advances, despatched specific photographs, and in a single alleged case, sexually touched an inmate whereas working as a corrections officer at the Penobscot County Jail, in line with an investigation by the Bangor Daily News. In the course of the reporting of this story, two ladies, which embrace Bangor Metropolis Councilor Clare Davitt, reported their expertise to Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton, who launched a still-ongoing investigation into Buzzell’s conduct. Buzzell of Corinth resigned in June however continues to be eligible to work as a Maine corrections officer and part-time regulation enforcement officer. Learn extra right here about how the BDN’s Maine Focus staff reported the story.

— Maine and the nation continues to mourn the dying of our 41st president. On Saturday, the day after former President George Herbert Walker Bush died at age 94, mourners left roses and wreaths close to his property at Walker’s Level in Kennebunkport. As recognition poured in from everywhere in the world, Mainers embraced him as considered one of their very own, even when he was not born right here. “He’s a Mainer. He chose to live in Maine because he was an unassuming, low-key person with a good heart,” stated Ernie Milner of Scarborough. Click on right here for tributes, response, remembrances and ongoing protection of plans for Bush tributes.

— A assessment of ballots in Maine’s hotly contested 2nd Congressional District signifies that “math,” not an algorithm, determined the result. Maine Public studies that Bates School professor Nathan Tefft and Theo Landsman, a researcher for FairVote — a gaggle that helps ranked-choice voting and collaborated with the BDN on 2nd District exit polling — independently concluded that primary math, not synthetic intelligence, decided the ultimate poll tally reported by Maine election officers. Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who misplaced the race to Democrat Jared Golden because of the ranked-choice system accepted twice by Maine voters, has requested for a recount, filed a lawsuit in federal courtroom and raised doubts concerning the automated poll tallying system. “I think it’s time that we have real ballots, counted by real people,” Poliquin stated in media look final week. Noting that he’s “a real person,” Tefft took benefit of the truth that the ballots are publicly out there and tried to duplicate the rely. “Yeah, it’s just math,” Tefft stated. “There’s no sort of statistical analysis. There’s no prediction involved, which is necessarily a part of artificial intelligence, by the way.” His outcomes mirrored these of the state.

— Maine might change its regulation for childhood vaccinations, limiting philosophical exemptions. A Maine lawmaker has proposed tightening the principles that permit mother and father to say a non-medical exemption, after almost 5 % of oldsters selected to not immunize their kindergartners final yr, 2 % of which have been for non-medical causes. Rep. Ralph Tucker, D-Brunswick, plans to introduce a invoice that may get rid of non-medical exemptions for vaccines, together with spiritual and philosophical. “If there’s a low level of protection in any given school, if many children are no immunized, then an outbreak can occur,” Tucker stated. Vaccine critic Ginger Taylor, director of the Maine Coalition for Vaccine Selection, thinks fears about opt-out charges are overblown. “Parents need to be able to know the risks and make informed choices,” she stated. Maine is one among 18 states that permits philosophical exemptions.

Je ne comprends rien

After each main election, I depart the nation. It’s for the widespread good.

Months of tiring — and sometimes tiresome — marketing campaign protection fills me with a lot bile that it’s unhealthy for individuals of excellent will to be anyplace close to me. It acquired so dangerous this yr that I needed to have my gallbladder eliminated, however that’s a narrative for an additional time.

Often, my extremely affected person spouse and I’m going to England to let the political toxins drain safely in a spot many time zones away from Maine. We love England and have buddies there, however principally we go as a result of, properly, we converse English and so do they.

However this yr, recognizing that life is brief, we broadened our horizons and determined to journey to Amsterdam, a few previous Belgian cities and Paris. I had by no means been to any of them, largely as a result of, nicely, they converse languages aside from English.

Communication is my work, so the prospect of not with the ability to talk successfully with individuals in these locations triggered fairly a little bit of trepidation. For probably the most half, my stress was unfounded.

Everybody I met in Amsterdam spoke English simply, and about half the shops there had English names. It was hanging how omnipresent English has develop into on the European continent. Plus, Dutch is probably probably the most logical language on Earth, a pleasant mixture of English, German and Onomatopoeia.

The Flemish they converse in Belgium is principally Dutch with a French accent. They don’t prefer it once you name them Belch, however the people who reside there are in any other case easygoing and alluring.

The one communication breakdown I encountered concerned a French man in a uniform and his monumental guard canine. We have been dashing to make a practice connection in Brussels and went to the gate designated on the station’s message board. Nevertheless, once we arrived, the French man with an enormous gun and a much bigger canine held up his hand and stated, “ Acces interdict.”

Dusting off reminiscences from my highschool French class — supplemented by the fast intuitive considering that comes from seeing a man with an enormous gun and a much bigger canine standing proper the place you need to go — I found out that he was telling us to take a hike.

So I requested him, in English, the place we have been alleged to go.

“Je parle seulement francais,” was his stern response. [Note: I am leaving out the fancy accent marks that the French use when they write their language.]

Meaning he solely speaks French, stated that previous voice in my head from Madame Horgan, my highschool French instructor who helped me earn a French Nationwide Honor Society medal. [Note: The French give out medals for almost everything. This one was especially unhelpful when confronted by a guy with a gun and a big dog.]

Left unstated was the second a part of his message: “Mon chien geant aime manger les gros Americains.” [My giant dog loves to eat fat Americans.]

I kept away from asking him why he was solely talking French whereas in Belgium. [Note: Big gun, bigger dog]

We moved alongside. And caught our practice. Barely.

The conductor laughed at us. In each French and English.

We tried to talk French in Paris, however most people there shortly flipped the dialog to English. Apart from that man and his massive canine, most of them appeared to understand our efforts to talk their language, minus the Franglais diction I picked up in Lewiston. However they most popular to go away the butchery to the white-coated guys with knives within the meat outlets.

I got here house with a renewed appreciation for multilingualism and hopes of honing the talents I discovered all these years in the past in French class. I’ll begin by making an attempt to determine one of the simplest ways to apologize to Madame Horgan for letting her down.

Right here is my soundtrack, And here’s a soundtrack for that man and his canine. — Robert Lengthy

In the present day’s Daily Brief was written by Alex Acquisto, Michael Shepherd and Robert Lengthy. Should you’re studying this on the BDN’s web site or have been forwarded it, click on right here to obtain Maine’s main publication on state politics by way of e-mail on weekday mornings. Click on right here to subscribe to the BDN.

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