Mal Leary

Managing Editor and Director of the Maine Capitol Connection

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads the Maine Capitol Connection project and serves as the Managing Editor and Director of the initiative.

Mal Leary has been a journalist throughout his life, working in both Washington D.C. and in Maine as both a reporter and editor. He has won numerous awards for his reporting, both in broadcast and in print and currently reports on state government issues in Maine on radio throughout the state and in several state newspapers. He owned and operated Capitol News Service, which was located in the State House complex.

Mal has been a long time member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. He is the SPJ Sunshine Chair in Maine and is currently the president of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition and is a director of NFOIC. Mal is married with three grown children, several grandchildren and lives in Augusta, within sight of the Capitol dome.


State budget gap
4:55 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Analysis: Maine Facing $461 Million Budget Gap

AUGUSTA, Maine - The new Maine Legislature and next governor will face a $461 million two-year budget gap in January, according to an analysis by the state budget office. The gap is the difference between expected revenues and projected expenditures. But some lawmakers are already questioning some of the assumptions in the analysis.

Read more
LePage nominations
3:39 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Maine Senate Rejects Dench Nomination, in Party Line Vote

Susan Dench, whose nomination to the UMS board of trustees was rejected by the Maine Senate.
Credit A.J. Higgins / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - The state Senate followed the recommendation of the Legislature’s Education Committee and rejected Gov. Paul LePage’s nomination of Susan Dench to the University of Maine System board of trustees. The vote was not without lengthy debate.

Read more
Your Vote 2014
2:51 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Maine GOP Chair Takes Issue with Michaud on Tax Cuts

AUGUSTA, Maine - Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett is criticizing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud over Michaud's attacks on tax cuts proposed by Gov. Paul LePage and adopted by the Legislature.

"It was a very sensible, fiscally responsible way to lower the tax burden on Maine citizens," Bennett says, "and Mike really should know better than to say what he said." Michaud made the comments Monday on MPBN's Maine Calling program.

Read more
2:30 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Maine Sen. King Urges Turkish Participation in ISIS Conflict

WASHINGTON - Maine Sen. Angus King is urging Turkey to participate in the military actions against ISIS forces in Syria, Iraq and along the Turkish border. In an interview with MPBN news, King says Turkey can no longer equivocate on its involvement.

"Some of these countries, like Turkey, are on our side Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and on the other side Tuesday and Thursday,” he said. “They have got to decide whether they are going to facilitate, for example, people traveling through into Syria."

Read more
Bond questions
3:11 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Two Views of Bond Spending: Which One Will Prevail in Maine in November?

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine voters will decide this November whether the state should borrow $50 million to pay for various projects through bonding. Supporters of those bonds see them as a good investment in the future. But fiscal conservatives see this kind of borrowing as an unnecessary addition to the state's troublesome debt. Mal Leary has more on this clash of fiscal philosophies.


Read more
Human Trafficking
11:59 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Maine Launches Major Effort to Combat Human Trafficking

The newly-formed human trafficking task force contains a mix of federal, state and local law enforcement.
Credit Mal Leary / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - Law enforcement officers from state, local and federal agencies have formed a cross-border task force to combat human trafficking in Maine.

Bart Cahill, of the Department of Homeland Security, says police have been working to combat the problem that includes a mix of drugs, gangs and prostitution across the state.

“With this task force we’re just looking to build on those efforts, combine those efforts across the state," he said, “and hopefully bring more resources to bear on this problem.”

Read more
12:00 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Maine Sen. King: Khorasan 'Very Serious Threat'

WASHINGTON - Maine Sen. Angus King, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says the Khorasan group of al Qaeda is among the most dangerous of the radical organizations in the Middle East, and he says air strikes targeting them are warranted since they are targeting the U.S. and its allies.

"They are really focused on aircraft, and they are focused on building bombs that can be smuggled on aircraft through airport security," King says. "And, secondly, they are attracting foreign fighter with western passports."

Read more
Your Vote 2014
4:16 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Spending in Maine Governor's Race Shaping up to be Record-Buster

AUGUSTA, Maine - It's election time, and that means it's big money time in Maine. MPBN's Mal Leary has been crunching the funding raising numbers in the state's governor's race, which appears headed for record-breaking spending. He talks about his findings with MPBN's All Things Considered host Nora Flaherty.

Read more
Your Vote 2014
3:45 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Analysis Indicates Big Increase in Out-of-State Money Pouring into Maine Governor's Race

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Citizens for Clean Elections says a preliminary analysis of the contributions to the campaigns for governor show that fund raising has already exceeded the 2010 campaign, and that there has been a significant increase in the percentage of contributions from out of state.  

"We're seeing nearly five times the amount of out-of-state money pour into this race," says B.J. McCollister, a spokesman for the group. "That equals about 20 percent of the total funding for candidates - right around 4 or 5 percent in 2010."

Read more
7:36 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Corrections Commissioner Questioned on Alleged Prison Guard Hazing

The legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee questioned Acting Corrections Commissioner Joseph Fitzpatrick about the hazing of new guards at Maine State Prison, and the ongoing investigation into that hazing. But Fitzpatrick said he could not comment specifically about the probe.

"My approach to something like that, although I can't comment on that particular situation as you seem to understand, I don't allow that to exist to the degree that I can, can go after it," Fitzpatrick said.