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The Portland Press Herald Podcast

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Hillary Clinton’s book, the Democratic Party rift, and Trump’s negotiating skills

Hillary Clinton’s new book “What Happened” is her reflection on the 2016 election, but critical reception suggests some people wish she would keep her analysis to herself. Dill and Nemitz try to define the ideological division within the Democratic Party without using the names “Hillary” or “Bernie,” and discuss whether Trump’s immigration deal with Democrats is a new negotiating tactic or more of his predictably unpredictable political style. Related stories: Trump crosses aisle to...

Duration: 00:30:21

News and opinion: Residential referendums in Portland and the Republican political spectrum

In November, Portland residents will vote on two ballot questions driven by citizen initiatives. One would allow resident input during the re-zoning process for new construction. The other would create a number of new rules for the city and its landlords with the goal of stabilizing rising rents. Randy Billings has been covering both issues. Host Greg Kesich and columnist Bill Nemitz discuss different political philosophies within the Republican party, both in the Maine governor’s race and...

Duration: 00:32:05

Listen to Sen. Collins tell her side of the health care vote to reporter Joe Lawlor

Host and editorial page editor Greg Kesich is joined by health care reporter Joe Lawlor and columnist Bill Nemitz to talk about Republican Susan Collins's position on health care policy that put her in the middle of the ACA debate and on the edge of her party. Related stories: Sen. Collins likely to be at center of Obamacare fixes Susan Collins withstood intense pressure, ultimately voted against health care repeal Bill Nemitz: Whine about insurance? For many Mainers it's really about...

Duration: 00:34:44

Opinion Podcast: Confederate statues, LePage's stationary, and the week in Trump

Host Greg Kesich is joined by columnists Bill Nemitz and Alan Caron to discuss the history that statues teach, Gov. LePage's propensity for penning personal notes, and to analyze a presidency that is like no other. Plus, Nemitz previews his upcoming column on a class-action lawsuit against Poland Spring. Related links: Bowdoin relocates Confederate plaque LePage pens notes to those critical of his stance on Charlottesville Lawsuit says Poland Spring water is mislabeled because it really...

Duration: 00:28:17

Opinion Podcast: Charlottesville riots, the long life of American Nazism, and where Sen. Collins has the most power

A few days after the violence in Charlottesville receded, our panel gathered to discuss the waves of social change and unrest in recent American history, including the arms-length relationship political parties have long-held with racist voting blocs. Then, as the more and more candidates throw down for the Governor's race, Alan Caron takes a stand and asks Susan Collins to stay in Washington. Related links: Alan Caron: The nation needs Susan Collins Lewiston-born white supremacist...

Duration: 00:30:22

Good sportsmanship gone bad, election fraud, and cell phones in your car

Our columnists take a final look back on the 2017 Beach to Beacon, and Cynthia Dill makes the case that our good feelings were misplaced while watching the viral moment of sportsmanship, Bill Nemitz shares a behind-the-scenes, bipartisan, bonding story from Secretary of State Matt Dunlap's time on Trump's Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, and then they all predict the future of using a cell phone in your car in Maine. Caution: hot takes ahead. Related stories B2B Maine winner...

Duration: 00:32:00

News and Opinion: Marijuana regulation, food trucks, and Sen. Collins in the spotlight

Since Maine voters approved the legalization of marijuana for recreational use last fall, there have been a lot of changes and updates to exactly how the state will regulate recreational marijuana industry and business. Reporter Penelope Overton gives a play-by-play of recent rule-making in the legislature and explains how the laws will apply to home and commercial growers when they are implemented sometime next year. And our columnists have projected and predicted plenty around Senator...

Duration: 00:37:04

#57 - Explainer Podcast: How Maine has responded to the opioid crisis

As the latest session of the legislature closed this year, reporter Eric Russell was watching how lawmakers would respond to the opioid addiction and overdose crisis. Last year, 376 Mainers died after taking some form of prescription or street-bought painkiller: things like OxyContin, fentanyl, heroin, or a combination of drugs. Russell was the lead writer for Portland Press Herald's Lost, a chronicle of how addiction and death impacts communities as a whole, and thought the urgency of the...

Duration: 00:25:44

#56 - The Comments Section: Letter Writer of the Month and Facebook discourse

Editorial page editors Greg Kesich and Sarah Collins dug into the mailbags to crown Kathleen Mikulka as June's Letter Writer of the Month. In this episode, Mikulka joins us to share more about her teaching experience and why she is concerned about creating education policy based on test scores. We also hear from social media czar Jim Patrick, who makes the argument that while Facebook maintains its reputation for impulsive, ad hominem comments, the Press Herald has also attracted engaged,...

Duration: 00:34:14

#55 - LePage's deceptive strategies, rickety party structure, and the future of ranked choice.

Press Herald columnists Alan Caron, and Bill Nemitz dive into the feast of political news from the past week with Editorial Editor Greg Kesich. From the short shutdown, to the Governor's intentionally misleading statements to lawmakers, the media, and citizens, from new fissures in the Democrat and Republican parties to the legislatures failure to pass significant policy changes in the afce of the opioid crisis. And bonus for the political science fans: on the day AG Janet Mills announced...

Duration: 00:31:53

#54 - What is the political fallout from the budget impasse?

Our columnists Alan Caron, Cynthia Dill, and Bill Nemitz joined host Greg Kesich in our One City Center offices to discuss how we became and how long we will be one of a few states without a budget. Are there political lessons to be learned from the 1991 shutdown? Then Greg makes a call to our more conservative columnist Jim Fossel to get into the nitty gritty of the negotiations and what both sides of the aisle are trying to accomplish. Our analysis is evergreen, but news can move fast and...

Duration: 00:43:15

#53 - Is a state shutdown inevitable?

If the state shutdown is the inevitaility that the Governor assumes it to be, Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich and columnist Bill Nemitz project the financial and political fallout from the closure of state services and halting of payroll. They also examine the purpose of the American Health Care Act and how Susan Collins's public opposition could effect negotiations. (Since we recorded, Susan Collins officially announced her dissatisfaction with the bill and Senate Majority Leader Mitch...

Duration: 00:26:05

#52 - The Comments Section

They say "don't read the comments," but here at the newspaper, we can't help ourselves because the comments come from you, our beloved readers and subscribers. So this week editorial page editor Greg Kesich and assistant editor Sarah Collins grab their favorite heartfelt, skeptical, whiny, funny, and outrageous comments off of our website. Kesich and Collins may get the final word on this podcast, but if you send us a note the conversation can continue. Related Stories: MaineVoices: One...

Duration: 00:13:24

Explainer Podcast #3 - Understanding Medicaid

Medicaid is the country's largest public healthcare system. It made up 17% of the federal budget last year. The program subsidizes healthcare costs for people with low incomes, people with disabilities, and families with children. While Medicaid is mainly funded by the US government, states provide funding too. That means enrollment criteria and costs change from state to state and from year to year depending on state policy. So sometimes it gets a little confusing. Health and human...

Duration: 00:22:46

#51 - Budget drama, Governor's race party shuffle, Angus King's star turn, and just a little nips

Portland Press Herald Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich along with columnists Alan Caron and Bill Nemitz discuss who needs to compromise with who in order to get the state budget passed, do some speculating on how Maine's undefined political soul could lead gubernatorial candidates to switch parties as they try to get through the primaries, take a teeny, little sip from the nips controversy, and admire Angus King's litigation skills on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Related...

Duration: 00:31:09

#50 - Susan Collins steps up, the "Resistance" steps back, and will the state budget arrive before a shut down?

Portland Press Herald Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich and columnist Alan Caron discuss Susan Collins's prominent role on the Senate Intelligence Committee (and speculate about her ambitions to govern the state of Maine), the difficulties of uniting "the resistance" around focused issues and the Democratic party's lackluster response to the energy, and whether the legislature will be able to find a budget compromise to avoid a state government shutdown.

Duration: 00:26:53

#49 Threats to shut down the state and defy the voters. Plus why Trump won't get impeached

Portland Press Herald Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich, and columnists Bill Nemitz, Alan Caron and Cynthia Dill discuss how conflict over the voter-approved surcharge on high-income earners could lead to a state shutdown. Then they weigh in on why some think it's unlikely that President Donald Trump will be impeached.

Duration: 00:31:30

#48 How the Portland City Council Works

For this week's episode, Portland Press Herald City Hall reporter Randy Billings joined Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich to explain our city's unique government structure and how it may contribute to drama in a municipal government with no partisan difference. This week's fight was over the city budget... kind of. The city council passed a $240 million annual budget with a very small cut (.02% of the budget) that exposed deep discord: they eliminated a position for Mayor Ethan...

Duration: 00:29:28

#47 - Comey, Comey, Comey!

This week President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The dramatic timing has redivided partisan sentiment and further complicated investigations into possible Russian meddling into the last election cycle. Why did Trump fire him this way? What exactly were his reasons? How might Senators Collins and King react from the Intelligence Committee? Does America need a new FBI Director to investigate or an independent investigator? Do we have time to talk about Gov. LePage demurring on a...

Duration: 00:32:05

#46 Bruce Poliquin's AHCA vote, the time zone shuffle, and Katahdin National Monument drama in DC

Portland Press Herald Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich and columnists Bill Nemitz, Cynthia Dill, and Alan Caron discuss three big stories of the week: the passage through the House of the American Healthcare Act and why Rep. Bruce Poliquin kept his vote secret until game time, a provisional vote in Maine to have us join the Atlantic time zone if Massachusetts and New Hampshire do the same, and Gov. Paul LePage's oppositional appearance in Washington D.C. to discuss the economic impact of...

Duration: 00:34:31

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