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Preview: Maine Governor Baldacci Press Releases

Maine Governor's Press Releases

Press releases issued by the Governor's office.

Copyright: Copyright 2016 All rights reserved.

Governor Raises Concern Over Land for Maine's Future Project Not Moving Forward

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 16:08:10 EDT

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 17, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531 Released LMF funding still on hold

AUGUSTA - Over the last year, nearly a dozen projects under the Land for Maine's Future ("LMF") program have been closed and funded. One major project in Cumberland County, however, remains up in the air despite this year's June bond sale that included funding for LMF. On Monday, Governor LePage raised concerns over why $225,000 in state funding has yet to be utilized.

"My critics and the Maine media have slammed me repeatedly for supposedly not releasing funding," said Governor LePage. "The Portland Press Herald and others have gone after Representative Michael Timmons personally, blaming him for delaying the project. Now the funds are available and those responsible for submitting paperwork are purposely slow rolling the process for political purposes. I demand to know why town officials and the land trusts involved with this project are dragging their feet."

The Knights Pond and Blueberry Hill area project focuses on the purchase and preservation of a 215-acre undeveloped parcel in Cumberland and North Yarmouth. However, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, which administers the LMF program, has not received the necessary documents from the towns and land trusts involved with the project. The State has had a check ready to complete this project since August 19. During the past 12 months, the Department has worked to provide funding to nearly a dozen LMF projects and is on track to close on additional projects by the end of 2016. The Cumberland Town Council approved in February to use $300,000 in taxpayer dollars toward the Knights Pond project. North Yarmouth approved spending up to $100,000. In total, the land acquisition cost is $1.3 million. Also working with the two towns is the Trust for Public Land, the Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust and the Royal River Conservation Trust.

President Penny Asherman of the Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust criticized the Governor a month prior to the bonds' release saying, "The Knight's Pond & Blueberry Hill project is still awaiting $225,000 it was promised by the LMF Board in July 2014 and we fully expect the governor to pay off this debt to our communities."

During the past year, for the LMF program has closed and funded at least eleven projects related to Land for Maine's Future. Those projects include: • Eagle Bluff • Central Maine Sportsman's Access • Kennebec River Estuary • Crooked River • Miller's Wharf • Cold Stream Forest • Pleasant Bay • Kimball Pond • Winterwood Farm • Merritt Cove • Knights Pond / Blueberry Hill

Governor Calls Attention to FBI Affidavit Describing Significant Welfare Fraud in Portland

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 16:10:46 EDT

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 17, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531 AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage on Monday called attention to a publicly available affidavit filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in April 2016 to justify a search warrant of Ahram Market ("Ahram Halal Groceries") in Portland. The affidavit describes massive welfare fraud-amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars-revealed in the FBI's investigation.

The investigation was generated by information from the Division of Audit at Maine's Department of Health and Human Services. The affidavit describes how the FBI used a confidential informant to obtain information about significant welfare and tax fraud conspiracies at Ahram Market, including trading cash for welfare benefits, filing false tax returns and fraudulent disability claims.

While Maine media ignored the easily attainable 52-page public affidavit, which details an investigation that began in July 2015 and lasted through April 2016, news of it broke on "By purposely choosing not to cover this story, Maine media is complicit in hiding welfare fraud," said Governor Paul R. LePage.

"The Maine people have been demanding welfare reform for many years, and our Administration has made significant progress in fixing the state's previously unchecked welfare system. It's no accident our Administration is finding 10 times as much welfare fraud as that of my predecessor. But the liberal, out-of-touch Maine media still vehemently opposes common-sense welfare reforms. It took an out-of-state news outlet to finally report this major story."

Members of the news media may obtain a copy of the affidavit from U.S. District Court in Portland or by requesting a copy from the Governor's Office.

"For too long, liberals from Portland to Washington have created ‘safe spaces' for welfare fraud and abuse by making benefits too easily available while neglecting to crack down on illegal activity," added Governor LePage. "I hope the Obama Administration is not turning a blind eye to such brazen tax and welfare fraud simply to protect their politically correct, open-borders agenda. On behalf of Maine taxpayers who work hard to provide these benefits to truly needy people, I will continue to support our state's efforts to end abuse of our welfare system and direct our agencies to assist the FBI or DOJ in any way they can to identify and root out fraud."

LePage Administration Increases Efforts to Remove Political Signs Illegally Placed Within a Public Right-Of-Way

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 14:43:01 EDT

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 14, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Due to the significant amount of illegally placed signs on public right-of-ways around the State of Maine, Governor Paul R. LePage has asked the Maine Department of Transportation to increase enforcement and removal of political signs that do not meet the law.

Many constituents have contacted the Administration in the last few weeks expressing their concerns that many campaigns are not following the new sign law.

"After receiving many complaints from the public about illegally placed signs, I have asked the Maine Department of Transportation to increase their enforcement of this new law," said Governor LePage. "Our Administration has and will continue to enforce this law fairly for all political campaigns."

Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a new law with specific requirements for displaying political signs along Maine's roads. The new law allows political signs to be placed along a public right-of-way for up to six weeks during a calendar year and signs bearing the same or substantially the same message may be placed no closer than 30 feet from one another.

Each sign may not exceed 4 feet by 8 feet in size. Further, the new law requires political sign owners to place their name and contact information on each sign, as well as the six-week time frame for which the sign owner intends to have the sign up. These changes were made to conform with a recent Supreme Court ruling and to mitigate public concerns about the overall density of signs along the roadway. To be clear, this law does not prohibit political signs on private property.

The Maine Department of Transportation will continue to notify a campaign if a sign does not follow the law and give them a short period of time to come into compliance. If the campaign does not follow this directive, the Department will remove the sign and notify the campaign that it has been removed and is available for pick up at a Department facility.

A link to the new law is below.

Governor LePage Receives Highest Marks Among Governors on Fiscal Report Card

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 11:49:58 EDT

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531 AUGUSTA - The Cato Institute has released its 2016 Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors, which awarded five governors an "A" based on their taxing and spending records. Governor Paul R. LePage received the highest overall grade among all governors. The full report is available here. "It's all about implementing good economic policies that will help the Maine people; this is what I care about," said Governor LePage. Five governors, including Governor LePage, received the top honor in this year's 13th biennial fiscal report card. The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization, whose scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues. Earning an "A" are Republican Governors Paul R. LePage of Maine, Pat McCrory of North Carolina, Rick Scott of Florida, Doug Ducey of Arizona and Mike Pence of Indiana. "Paul LePage of Maine has been a staunch fiscal conservative. He has held down spending growth, and state government employment has fallen 9 percent since he took office," cited the report. "LePage has been a persistent tax cutter. In 2011 he approved large income tax cuts, which reduced the top individual rate and simplified tax brackets. In 2015 he vetoed a tax-cut plan passed by the legislature partly because the cut was not large enough. The legislature overrode him, and Maine enjoyed another income tax reduction. In 2016 LePage pushed for more reforms, including estate tax repeal and further income tax rate cuts." The Fiscal Policy Report Card examined seven tax and spending variables, including two spending variables, one revenue variable and four tax-rate variables. Fiscal policy trends were also examined and notes reductions to individual and corporate income tax rates. There have been substantial rate cuts in Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio and Oklahoma in recent years. Ten governors were awarded an "F": Robert Bentley of Alabama, Peter Shumlin of Vermont, Jerry Brown of California, David Ige of Hawaii, Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Kate Brown of Oregon, Jay Inslee of Washington and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania. Fiscal Policy Notes on Governor Paul R. LePage Maine Paul LePage, Republican Legislature: Divided Grade: A Took Office: January 2011 Governor Paul LePage has been a staunch fiscal conservative. He has held down general fund spending in recent years, and he has cut state government employment 9 percent since he took office.69 LePage has signed into law cost-cutting reforms to welfare and health programs, and he has decried the negative effects of big government: "Big, expensive welfare programs riddled with fraud and abuse threaten our future. Too many Mainers are dependent on government. Government dependency has not-and never will-create prosperity." LePage has been a persistent tax cutter. In 2011 he approved large income tax cuts, which reduced the top individual rate, simplified tax brackets, and reduced taxes on low-income households. He also increased the estate tax exemption, cut business taxes, and halted automatic annual increases in the gas tax. In 2013 LePage vetoed the legislature's budget because it contained tax increases, including an increase in the sales tax rate from 5.0 to 5.5 percent. However, his veto was overridden by the legislature. In 2015 the Maine budget process broke down. LePage proposed a plan to reduce the top individual income tax rate from 7.95 to 5.75 percent, reduce the top corporate tax rate from 8.93 to 6.75 percent, eliminate narrow tax breaks, repeal the estate tax, and raise sales taxes. When the legislature rejected the plan, LePage said that he would veto any bills sponsored by Democrats. In the end, the legislature passed a budget that included substantial tax cuts over t[...]

Governor Halts Maine Military Authority Contract Pending More Details

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 15:45:38 EDT

For Immediate Release: Friday, September 23, 2016 Contact: Susan Faloon, Special Projects Coordinator/Public Information Office, Maine Emergency Management Agency (207) 624-4420 Cell: (207) 592-6201

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced that it has recently come to his attention that a contract executed by the Maine Military Authority (MMA) was underbid, resulting in unexpected costs to Maine taxpayers and putting good-paying jobs at Loring Development Authority in jeopardy.

Governor LePage has major concerns and expects more details in the coming weeks to become available about MMA's $19 million contract with Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MTBA). "While we continue to work toward reducing costs as we renegotiate the contract terms, we must be reassured about the continuation of this contract as we move forward. We cannot in good faith create a financial burden to taxpayers and we will work to protect these good jobs for Mainers," said Brigadier General Douglas A. Farnham, who serves as Adjutant General, Maine National Guard and also as Commissioner for the Department of Defense. "We intend to personally discuss the issue with MMA staff and Massachusetts officials and act appropriately."

The Maine Military Authority, an instrument of the State of Maine with manufacturing operations and more than 50 employees in Limestone, entered into the contract in late 2014 to refurbish 32 articulated transit buses for MBTA.

First Family Food Drive Postponed Due to Blaine House Maintenance and Repair

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:35:17 EDT

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 22, 2016 Contact: Barbara Claudel, Blaine House Director, 207-624-7500

AUGUSTA - Maintenance and repair at the Blaine House will delay the Sixth Annual First Family Food Drive that helps fellow Mainers who are less fortunate. Construction on the roof, driveway and entrances is scheduled for October and November. Therefore, the food drive will take place in April 2017.

Every fall, the First Family invites the public to visit the Blaine House on Saturdays in an effort to help raise food donations for the Good Shepherd Food Bank. The First Family Food Drive began in 2011. Since then, thousands of pounds of food for pantries and shelters across Maine has been collected and donated.

"We continue to encourage Mainers to donate to their local food pantries around the holidays, but it is equally important to give back to your community year round," said Governor LePage "It's important the First Lady and I give back to the people of Maine, and we will hold the food drive this spring."

Friends of the Blaine House is a non-profit entity that works continuously to preserve this historical landmark and active museum visited by thousands each year. Funds collected from the Friends of the Blaine House along with state allocated funds will be used for the Blaine House maintenance and repair. This spring, Mainers again will be encouraged to bring food donations, get a tour of the Blaine House led by Governor LePage and enjoy light refreshments.

Governor LePage Joins Coalition of States Challenging New Overtime Rule

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 14:50:38 EDT

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage joined a coalition of states today in filing a federal court complaint challenging the United States Department of Labor's new overtime rule.

"If implemented, this rule would more than double the minimum salary threshold for public and private workers without Congressional authorization," said Governor LePage. "The rule will force many state and local governments to substantially increase their employment costs. Some may be forced to eliminate some services and even lay off employees."

The complaint urges the court to prevent the implementation of the new rule before it takes effect, which is scheduled for December 1, 2016.

The "threshold" for salaried employees is now $47,500 a year. All salaried employees making less than that will now qualify for overtime. Employers will be required to pay time-and-a-half to anyone working more than 40 hours a week. This will significantly increase labor costs for businesses, as well as state and local governments.

On March 13, 2014, President Obama ordered the Department of Labor to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime exemption for executive, administrative and professional employees-the so-called "white collar" exemption-to account for the federal minimum wage. On May 23, 2016, the Department of Labor issued the final new overtime rule. It doubles the salary-level threshold for employees to be exempt from overtime, regardless of whether if they perform executive, administrative, or professional duties. After December 1, 2016, all employees are entitled to overtime if they earn less than $913 a week-including state and local government employees. Additionally, the new rule contains a ratcheting mechanism to automatically increase the salary-level every three years without going through the standard rule-making process required by federal law.

In addition to Nevada, other states that joined this filing include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

"This rule, coupled with referendum questions to dramatically increase the minimum wage and impose a 10.13% income tax on successful Mainers, demonstrates the Democrats at the state and national level are doing everything they can to put people out of work," said Governor LePage.

The filed complaint is attached below.

Governor LePage Urges Congress to Reduce Regulatory Burden on Maine's Small Hydropower Facilities

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 10:54:25 EDT

For Immediate Release: Friday, September 02, 2016 Contact: Patrick Woodcock, Director, Governor's Energy Office, 207-624-7405

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has called attention to the precarious future of many of the state's small hydropower resources due to expensive and burdensome federal regulatory relicensing requirements.

The Governor recently wrote Maine's congressional delegation to notify them of the uncertain future of three small hydropower facilities in Kennebunk caused by a one-size-fits-all, expensive, lengthy federal regulatory process designed for facilities a thousand times larger. Governor LePage also asked the delegation to take action to modernize the permitting process, so these renewable generating assets can continue operating.

"The Kesseln Dam, one of the three small hydropower dams owned by the Kennebunk Light and Power District, has been providing reliable, renewably generated electricity to the citizens of Kennebunk for well over a hundred years," said Governor LePage. "Yet, the federal process to re-permit this small hydropower operation is the same as it is for the Hoover Dam. It takes years and costs millions of dollars because activists not looking to improve projects or address substantive environmental concerns, but simply to block critical energy infrastructure across the country often hijack the process. The expensive engineering analyses, sampling studies and installations for fish passage required for a new license, regardless facility's size or environmental impact may cause the state to lose these clean energy resources permanently. The federal government needs to modernize the federal permitting process so regulatory requirements no longer hold our local economies back."

This is not the first time Governor LePage has appealed to Congress to reduce the regulatory burden on the state's small hydropower operations. In 2015, the Governor testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, stating America's energy challenges can be met with our continent's natural resources, but only if the permitting process is not left to languish. "Maine has one of the cleanest electricity-generating fleets in the country, and hydropower is one of the major reasons why," he said. "Right now, 26 percent of the state's electricity generation comes from hydropower. These facilities should be able to continue operating. We need to stop overzealous activists from taking advantage of the regulatory process and tying our state and country up into knots."

Governor LePage Apologizes to the People of Maine, Gattine Family

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:03:04 EDT

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has announced he will take several actions in light of recent controversial comments from both himself and Representative Drew Gattine.

"To the Maine people, I am asking for forgiveness. Comments I have expressed recently are unacceptable, and I apologize sincerely for using such disrespectful language as your Governor," said Governor LePage. "Also, I would like to express an apology to the Gattine family. I understand how hurtful statements affect a family and regret that my words have upset your lives. For this I am truly sorry."

Tuesday morning on WVOM 101.3 & 101.9 The Voice of Maine, the Governor agreed his comments were inappropriate and repeatedly expressed remorse for them. In an effort to bring closure for all those involved, Governor LePage has invited Rep. Drew Gattine to meet privately today. Furthermore, the Governor has said he and his family will be seeking spiritual guidance as they move forward in finding closure themselves.

"We always have been a family of faith, and we recognize that the grace and guidance from God can make us stronger in life," said First Lady Ann LePage.

Governor Visits Baileyville Mill to Mark New Maine Investment and Jobs

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 15:08:01 EDT

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - On Tuesday, Governor Paul R. LePage met with officials from St. Croix Tissue, Inc. in Baileyville to help mark the completion of two new tissue machines and the start of its official operation this week.

St. Croix Tissue, Inc., which has recently created 80 new jobs and currently employs 400 Mainers plans to hold a grand opening celebration with a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday. Governor LePage traveled to China twice to meet personally with the investors, which resulted in productive meetings. "IGIC, the company that invested heavily in Maine, as well as the workers, contractors and officials from our Administration who have been working to achieve this accomplishment should be proud of their hard work and the jobs they have brought to Washington County," said Governor LePage.

However, the LePage Administration recognizes the challenges the company currently faces noting how it is instructive for the entire forest products industry. "We must understand what encouraged a company to make this initial $120 million investment in Maine, we must address the high-cost issues facing the industry and we must build on these factors to create an economic environment for additional job creation in our state," said the Governor.

Nearly six years ago, when IGIC purchased the mill, the company saw a long-term opportunity in converting it from a costly pulp mill to an internationally competitive facility. First, the plan required creating an integrated tissue facility and shift from a pulp market that was in decline to a tissue product that has shown stable long-term growth.

"If we truly listen to the economic message of IGIC and implement the pro-growth strategies, we can successfully modernize Maine's forest-products industry," said Governor LePage.

CANCELLED: Governor to Visit Westbrook for Next Town Hall

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 10:48:46 EDT

For Immediate Release: Monday, August 29, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531


AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has announced he will hold his next town hall Wednesday, August 31, in Westbrook where he will deliver remarks about moving Maine forward and answer questions from residents.

The My Place Teen Center, 755 Main St, Westbrook is the location for the town hall from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

The town hall meeting will focus on the Governor's vision for Maine, including further reducing the income tax; reforming welfare by strengthening the State's safety net for the most vulnerable; cutting energy costs; and addressing Maine's high student debt burden. The Governor will also highlight five of the referendum questions featured on the November ballot.

Statement of Governor LePage

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 11:49:43 EDT

For Immediate Release: Friday, August 26, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage released the following statement in light of Representative Drew Gattine's comments of the Governor: "When someone calls me a racist, I take it very seriously. I didn't know Drew Gattine from a hole in the wall until yesterday. It made me enormously angry when a TV reporter asked me for my reaction about Gattine calling me a racist. It is the absolute worst, most vile thing you can call a person. So I called Gattine and used the worst word I could think of. I apologize for that to the people of Maine, but I make no apology for trying to end the drug epidemic that is ravaging our state. Legislators like Gattine would rather be politically correct and protect ruthless drug dealers than work with me to stop this crisis that is killing five Mainers a week."

"When I said I was going after Gattine, I meant I would do everything I could to see that he and his agenda is defeated politically. I am a history buff, and I referenced how political opponents used to call each other out in the 1820s-including Andrew Jackson, the father of the Democratic Party. Obviously, it is illegal today; it was simply a metaphor and I meant no physical harm to Gattine. But I am calling him out to stop giving inflammatory sound bites and get to work to end this crisis that is killing Mainers, destroying families and creating drug-addicted babies, all so the drug dealers Gattine is protecting can make a profit."

PLEASE NOTE: The Governor is available for comment to the media during the noon hour in the Office of the Governor.

Governor to Visit North Berwick for Next Town Hall

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 09:50:35 EDT

For Immediate Release: Monday, August 22, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has announced he will hold his next town hall Wednesday, August 24, in North Berwick where he will deliver remarks about moving Maine forward and answer questions from residents.

Noble High School, 388 Somersworth Road, North Berwick is the location for the town hall from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

The town hall meeting will focus on the Governor's vision for Maine, including further reducing the income tax; reforming welfare by strengthening the State's safety net for the most vulnerable; cutting energy costs; and addressing Maine's high student debt burden. The Governor will also highlight five of the referendum questions featured on the November ballot.

First Lady Ann LePage to Host Sixth Annual Military Families Ice Cream Social

Fri, 19 Aug 2016 12:00:53 EDT

Contact: Barbara Claudel, (207) 624-7500 For Immediate Release: Friday, August 19, 2016

AUGUSTA - First Lady Ann LePage will host her sixth annual Military Families Ice Cream Social on the Blaine House Lawn on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. This event is open to currently serving Military Families and Gold Star Families.

The social is a "Back to School" event, at which each child will receive free school supplies, thanks to Operation Homefront and community members through sales at the Dollar Store. This event is free of charge, and open to Maine military families of any age, and any branch of service. Guests are encouraged to wear play clothes, and join in a variety of lawn games with the First Lady while they enjoy their ice cream.

"Maine's military service members, and their families, make tremendous sacrifices on behalf of all of us," said First Lady Ann LePage. "Many children are faced with the difficult task of a parent leaving home for deployment, and this is an opportunity for Maine's military families to connect, interact with each other, and enjoy some summer fun.

To attend, please register at no later than Monday, August 22nd. Keyword: Ice cream. Contact the Maine National Guard Family Program office at 430-5773/5953.

Statement of Governor LePage on Importance of Enhancing U.S. Immigration Laws

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 14:15:40 EDT

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

Safety of Americans must come first, says Governor LePage

AUGUSTA - Publicly released documents regarding an Iranian refugee who lived in Freeport, Adnan Fazeli, have prompted Governor Paul R. LePage to reiterate the need to strengthen immigration policy in the United States. Fazeli, a secondary migrant who moved to Maine in 2009, joined ISIS and was killed during an attack against Lebanon in 2015.

Such cases are the result of an inadequate vetting process, which must be addressed by Congress, says Governor LePage.

"President Barack Obama's immigration policies have been an utter failure and continue to jeopardize the safety of millions of Americans," said Governor LePage. "While the Supreme Court rejected the President's overreach in his executive action to prevent deportation of millions of illegal immigrants, we must urge Congress to correct and enforce immigration policies to ensure they protect American citizens and reject those seeking to live in the United States who want to harm us or join our enemies."

"The screening process of immigrants has failed and will continue to place Americans at risk," the Governor said. "We cannot afford to harbor radical Islamic sympathizers on our watch. We have an upcoming election, which is pivotal in addressing U.S. foreign policy and immigration laws and two presidential candidates who are on opposite sides of the fence. These policies are vital to the future of our nation and our state. The safety of Americans must come first."