Maliseets ponder next steps in tribal casino plans


Maliseets ponder next steps in tribal casino plans


HOULTON, Maine — Following last week’s decision by Maine’s top court to not take a stand on the constitutionality of tribal gambling, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians is now mulling its next steps to bring a casino to Houlton.

HBMI Tribal Chief Clarissa Sabattis also stated Sunday, Nov. 25, in an email response that the tribe would no longer send a tribal representative to the Maine State Legislature in Augusta.

“Efforts to gain local, state support for our legitimate, but modest, tribal economic development plans was never legally required under current international, treaty, federal or state law,” tribal Rep. Henry Bear of the Houlton Band of Maliseets said in response to the brief opinion released last week by the justices of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Rather Bear said that tribal “information and education efforts [were] undertaken out of courtesy toward those who are seemingly unknowing of the law and now find themselves among us as our neighbors as we pursue our modern-day goals of self determination and economic self sufficiency.” ...

The Maine House of Representatives this fall passed an order by Rep. Bear asking the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to decide whether a U.S. Supreme Court decision in a California case would allow the Maliseets to conduct gambling on tribal trust land without state permission.

In their brief opinion Tuesday, Nov. 20, the state high court justices said they don’t consider the issue “of a serious and immediate nature.”  ...

Under the Maine Constitution, the governor, House or Senate can ask the Maine Supreme Judicial Court justices to “give their opinion upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions.” ...

Rep. Bear has been at the forefront of attempts at tribal gaming for years — all of which have failed either at the ballot box or in the Legislature.

A non-voting member of the Legislature, Bear most recently argued that a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians gives tribes the authority to operate casinos if the states where their reservations are located allow casinos. ...

Bear previously has said that gambling revenue could help Maine’s tribes on a range of public health and infrastructure issues. He also said a casino would benefit Aroostook County’s economy.

“In the past six years the Tribe has lost a projected $100,000,000 in net tribal casino revenues and a hundred, much needed jobs as a result of this ongoing, jurisdictional situation,” Bear said. “State gaming studies confirm a Tribal Casino in Aroostook County does not impact Oxford and barely (3 percent) impacts Bangor’s Hollywood Casino. The only ones pleased by this behavior are the out-of-state-owned casinos and their teams of lawyers and lobbyists at the state capital.”

The tribe will now pursue a resolution through negotiations or litigation, Bear said.
“Based on an increased awareness of the tribe’s circumstances and the state’s dubious legal position, there was majority support for the question propounded to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and there remains strong support among Maine legislators for the idea of a tribal casino in our Aroostook region,” he said. “Going forward there is expected to still be tribal gaming efforts even without our presence in the Maine Legislature.

“The Maliseet people, whom I represented fully, support these goals of asserting our tribe’s historical, legal and treaty-based rights, including our international, legal right to self determination and economic self sufficiency by way of a modern-day version of tribal gaming in our own tribal homeland (along) the St John River watershed, just as a majority of our other, nearby Maliseet Indian Bands currently do as a matter of treaty-based, legal right,” Bear added.





Election Day 2018

Election Day 2018


This election day, we give our heartfelt thanks to all our candidates who gave of themselves to promote our values and shift the political dialogue toward a greater focus on the health and sustainability of our planet and the people who live on it. We are grateful for their service to their communities, and their dedication to making citizens aware of the importance of thinking and living Green.


We wish our candidates the absolute best this election day and are hopeful that we may retain our House Green Independent minority caucus, so that we will continue to have voice at the state level.




Andrew Howard, H.D. 1 - Kittery (part)

Justin Reinhardt, H.D. 21 - Alfred, Limerick (part), Newfield, Parsonsfield (part) and Shapleigh (part)

Kate Schrock, H.D. 44 - Falmouth

Kim Pfush, H.D. 61 - Lewiston (part)

Robin Downs, H.D. 101 - Hampden, Newburgh

Jaco Bebop Deertrack, H.D. 119 - Abbot, Beaver Cove, Bowerbank, Greenville, Guilford, Monson, Parkman, Sangerville, Sebec, Shirley, Willimantic plus the unorganized territories of Blanchard Township, Northeast Piscataquis (including Barnard and Elliottsville Townships) and Northwest Piscataquis

Maine Greens poll gubernatorial candidates

Maine Greens poll gubernatorial candidates
Dear (name of candidate for governor)
   As a Political Party that foremost values fairness and equality we are committed to helping all Maine Citizens have a voice in Government. We are committed to help build a healthy Maine government that represents all citizens fairly. We are concerned about the division and gridlock in Augusta and we hope the next Governor can bring to an end the bitterness and divisiveness that plagues our Election process.
   The Maine Green Independent Party (MGIP) has not taken an official position on the gubernatorial race. We have some 43,000 Maine voters enrolled in our Party, and are part of the swing vote that are neither Democrats nor Republicans--with good reason, we believe. We would like to know your positions on the following issues which are important for the MGIP. We plan to announce the results of your answers in a press release to assorted Maine media at least a week prior to the election date. Please send your emailed responses, numbering the answers 1 through 8 respectively, to co-chair Niomi Larravee. We appreciate your participation.
 We will post your responses verbatim--no editing--or we will say "candidate did not respond."
Question 1:  Will you give direct verbal and operational support to a Constitutional amendment changing "plurality" to "majority" so that the expressed will of Maine voters can implement Ranked Choice voting for all offices in Maine, including that of governor and legislative seats.
Question 2:  Will you promote the extension of the time to gather signatures from the current March 15th, to April 30th.
The current requirement creates a huge burden as it is during the most difficult weather and travel time of the year.
Question 3:  Will you support the elimination of the requirement to hold caucuses in nearly every county as a condition for ballot access?
This is a major burden for small parties. We recognize that there needs to be some criteria, such as number of enrollees, but caucus holding does not need to be one of them.
Question 4: Will you support the implementation of a "level playing field" for the obtaining of signatures required for statewide and Congressional District offices? That is, will you support the idea of a percentage of enrolled voters in a party rather than a "one size-fits-all" number as it now stands, making it extremely difficult for smaller parties to qualify?
Question 5:  Will you support expanding the time for candidates to solicit qualifying contributions for Clean Election status?
Question 6: Will you enthusiastically give support to the job-creating solar industry and other alternative energy methods, consistent with a Green future for Maine?
Question 7:  Would you sign a bill that excludes any form of fracking in Maine, including in its coastal waters?
Question 7:  Will you engage in regular respectful consultation with the Wabanaki Nations  and demonstrate true respect for their sovereignty on a government-to-government basis?
Question 8:  Will you direct the attorney general to look honestly into the matter of people who have claimed to have been falsely accused of crimes and potential perjured testimony against them? Truth depends on the presentation of evidence, which sometimes appears later than the trial. If it is important enough for referees to have recourse to "instant replay" in sports, does not justice require that the same be applied to people's lives, and to "get the call right?"


In 1998, the Maine Green Party Council consisted of two representatives from each county and four officers (two co-chairs, treasurer and scribe).


The co-chairs were Nancy Allen and Will Neils. David Draper was treasurer and Peter Neils was Scribe.


The county representatives were:

  • Laura Childs
  • Jim Freeman
  • Tom Fusco
  • Ron Huber
  • Doug Hufnagel
  • Tammy Lacher
  • Jane Livingston
  • Peter McFarland
  • Ben Meiklejon
  • Peter Neils
  • Will Neils
  • Nancy Oden
  • John Rensenbrink
  • Tom Roberts
  • Matt Tilley
  • Rob Waite

Two candidates ran for state house: Betsy Marsano in House District 30, Portland's East End, and Ben Meiklejohn in House District 31, Portland's West End.


Pat LaMarche ran for governor.


Election results can be found here.


The Maine Green Party hosted the Association of State Green Parties national convention in Topsham Oct. 3-5.


It doesn't grow on trees, but it goes a long way to help us protect the trees, water, air and people.


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-Maine Greens/Maine Green Independent Party


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