Student Debt Soars

Maine places the highest financial burden on students of any state in the country. As a result of the high cost of higher education, the graduation rate for Maine students within 6 years of beginning school is well below the national average. Ideas like the one proposed by Rep. Michaud of making Sophomore year free at University of Maine schools would be a step in the right direction and all options should be considered to address this crisis in education.

Court Hears MPA’s Decades-Long Penobscot River Pollution Case

The Maine People’s Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council commenced trial in federal district court June 3, 2014 to fight for cleanup of a toxic legacy left behind in Maine’s Penobscot River. For over three decades, the former HoltraChem plant in Orrington, Maine— owned and operated by the corporate predecessor of defendant Mallinckrodt US, LLC—had dumped an estimated six to twelve metric tons of mercury into the river. Mercury is a potent and persistent neurotoxin that is unsafe at even very low levels.

Important Accomplishments Despite LePage’s Obstruction

This legislative session—while it featured no wins quite as spectacular as the budget last year—saw progressive lawmakers make small, notable advances. Remarkably, it also saw a perfect record of defeating LePage’s far-right corporate agenda of proposals based on scapegoating poor people and immigrants.


Maine Can’t Afford Four More Years of Governor LePage

In 2010, politics and government in Maine changed dramatically. The Mayor of Waterville and General Manager of Marden’s, Paul LePage, rode a wave of Tea Party energy and anger to win first the Republican Primary and then the General Election for governor of Maine.

LePage won with only 38% of the vote, but that was enough in a three-way race where Democratic candidate Libby Mitchell and independent Eliot Cutler split the more-moderate vote.

MPA’s Summer Voter Engagement Campaign

There is a great deal at stake for Maine families in the 2014 election. The outcome this November will determine
the direction of the state for at least the next four years. Will Maine finally accept federal funds under the Affordable Care Act and expand health coverage to tens
of thousands of Mainers? Will Maine’s minimum wage be increased for the first time in over four years and lift Maine workers and their families out of poverty?

Will Maine Increase the Minimum Wage?

In Maine, as in many places in the nation, it is becoming increasingly difficult for workers to find jobs that pay enough to make ends meet. Nearly one in five jobs in Maine don’t pay enough to lift a family of four above the poverty line, much less meet their basic needs.


Fight to Protect Children from Toxic Chemicals Continues

The Maine People’s Alliance continues to maintain an active role in the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine (ACHM), a coalition of environmental and public health groups working to ensure Maine’s children are protected from dangerous chemicals lurking in everyday products. This year, the coalition saw several positive steps forward in the fight to get toxic chemicals out of consumer products, even as Governor LePage fought new efforts to protect children’s health.

MPA, NRDC Return to Court to Fight for Penobscot River Cleanup; MPA Intervenes for Removal of Dangerous HoltraChem Landfill

On May 7th, lawyers representing the Maine People’s Alliance will return to Federal District Court to argue that corporate polluter Mallinckrodt US LLC should pay to clean up the highly-toxic mercury it dumped into the Penobscot River from the now-closed HoltraChem plant in Orrington. On February 11th, MPA appeared before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to oppose Mallinckrodt’s effort to leave a dangerous leaking landfill in place at the HoltraChem plant site.

LePage’s Corporate Contributions Include Questionable Money from Failed MaineCare Rides Broker

Governor Paul LePage has taken a number of questionable corporate contributions, both to his official campaigns and to a dark money political organization headed by former campaign staff called Maine People Before Politics. MPA has chronicled a series of these contributions and what these companies may have received in return in an ongoing series of online info graphics called They Bought Him When They Saw Him (collected at


Federal Updates - Immigration Reform; More Budget Cuts

If you’re wondering how to tell that it’s an election year for the House of Representatives, look no further than the de facto understanding out of Washington that no substantial legislation will move

forward in 2014. As elected officials, particularly those in contested races, look to hunker down and ride out the year MPA’s work becomes that much more important. It’s the job of MPA members to hold legislators responsible on issues of social and economic justice and to use 2014 as a chance to distinguish between champions for change and those who are content with the status quo.