The Political Grind


Collins questions Wall Street execs

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins took over duties for an absent colleague as the top Republican on a subcommittee that grilled executives from Goldman Sachs on Tuesday, but she was less than impressed with their performance.

“It’s troubling to me that the employees of Goldman kept evading what I thought was a pretty straightforward question about whether they had an ethical duty to watch out for what was in the best interest of their clients,” Collins said after the hearing, according to her press office. “What is amazing to me is that they wouldn’t answer that question. That was very frustrating and really reflected disdain and arrogance.”

The Senate hearing was scheduled weeks ago, but gained extra attention because of recent charges brought against the Wall Street investment giant by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Goldman is accused of misleading investors on deals it was itself making bets against.

Collins repeatedly asked the firm’s top brass if Goldman Sachs had an ethical obligation to their clients to be upfront about the deals, but the witnesses did their best to waste time by thumbing through documents and generally circumvent answering the question.

“I’ll leave it up to the S.E.C., which has brought charges against Goldman in one case, whether it’s a legal issue, but I would argue they do have an ethical obligation to their clients,” Collins said. “It seems to me that Goldman has an obligation to fully disclose to clients not only the details of the products it’s trying to sell, but also what its own interests are.”

Money Talk

The latest episode of “Answers from Augusta,” a public television show hosted by state Sen. Margaret Craven and state Rep. Dick Wagner, both Lewiston Democrats, will focus on state and local budgets and revenue sharing.

Lewiston City Administrator Ed Barrett and state Rep. Emily Cain, D-Orono, House chairwoman of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, will be the guests on the show, which airs every Monday at 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Channel 11 for the month of May.

Everybody, now …

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Pat McGowan announced Monday his official campaign song would be “Back in Maine,” which was written in 2007 by Mark Miller and Wayne Hendsbee.

“I look forward to exposing more Mainers to this piece of music as we continue to further the discussion about our beautiful state throughout this campaign,” McGowan said in a release.

He’s right about having to expose people to the song, if the reaction in this newsroom is any indication. No one had heard of it. Mainstream pop, this is not.

“Lumberjacks and fisherman, folks working in the mill; potluck dinners at the Grange, daddies out cooking on the grill,” sings Miller. “Back in Maine. Back in Maine. Give me an old small town right here in Maine.”

For the latest in Maine politics, visit

 — Rebekah Metzler