Maine Heritage Policy Center

Maine Heritage Policy Center

Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC) is a conservative think tank located in Portland, Maine. According to its mission statement, the MHPC is "a research and educational organization whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise; limited, constitutional government; individual freedom; and traditional American values–all for the purpose of providing public policy solutions that benefit the people of Maine.[1] It has encountered controversy regularly in pursuing its goals.



In August, 2011, MHPC and the Maine chapter of Americans for Prosperity distributed a videotape produced by conservative activist James O'Keefe which "hint[ed] at" Medicaid fraud.[2][3]

One report at the time of his leaving said director Terry Bragdon "helped lead an organization that has played a major and often controversial role in policy debates over such hot-button issues as government spending, welfare reform and, most recently, Maine’s pension debt."[4]

In early 2011, Bragdon angered some state employees for suggesting that many state retiree pensions were “lavish” compared with those in the private sector.[4]

MHPC published "the salaries of all state employees while refusing to release the names of the center’s donors," according to a news report.[4]

In 2006, MHPC was prominently involved in the unsuccessful campaign for the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) in Maine.[5]

MHCP is a member of the State Policy Network.[6]


In August, 2011, Lance Dutson was hired as chief executive officer. Dutson, a Portland native, was most recently the spokesman for Maine House speaker Robert Nutting. Dutson, earlier, founded one of the state’s first political blogs, Maine Web Report, and also has served as an online communications consultant to U.S. senators Susan Collins of Maine and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.[7][8] He was also a party to a 2006 case in which he, as blogger, was sued by advertising firm Warren Kremer Paino (now WKP-Spier LLC[9]) and successfully defended by Media Bloggers Association and, among others, MBA general counsel Ron Coleman.[10]

Tarren (Terry) R. Bragdon, who in early 2011 was a leader of the transition team for incoming Republican governor Paul LePage, left MHPC later in the year. Bragdon had been CEO of MHPC for 3-1/2 years. His plan upon departure was to move to Florida to start a similar organization to MHPC there. Bragdon, with undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Maine and Husson University, respectively, was reported to have earned more than $100,000 a year. At the time of his departure, Bragdon said he had known Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Republican Florida legislators for several years.[4] The new organization was said to be locating in Naples, Florida.[8]

Stephen Bowen, most recently director of the Center for Education Excellence at MHPC, was named by LePage as Maine Department of Education commissioner in 2011. Bowen, with a bachelor's degree in political science from Drew University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University, had earlier been a teacher and a legislator from Camden, Maine 2002-6.[11]

In 2006, MHPC president and executive director was Bill Becker and its lawyer was Dan Billings.[5] Becker was the founder of the MHPC, finance director for Peter Cianchette run for Maine governor in 2002, and campaign manager for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Matt Jacobson in 2009.[12]

Board of Directors

a/o 8-2-2011[1]
  • Peter Anania, President, Anania & Associates
  • John Chandler, Managing Partner, Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker
  • Michael A. Duddy, Esq., Partner, Kelly, Remmel & Zimmerman; chairman of MHPC board[7]
  • Jinger Duryea, President, C. N. Brown Company
  • Neal B. Freeman, Chairman, The Blackwell Corporation
  • W. R. Jackson, Jr., Retired President, Pitt-Des Moines
  • Jeff Kane, President, National Distributors
  • Jean Ginn Marvin, Innkeeper, Nonantum Resort; former legislator

Board of Advisors

a/o 8-2-2011[1]
  • Joel Allumbaugh, National Worksite Benefit Group
  • Deborah Dunlap Avasthi, HRH Northern New England
  • Joe Bruno, Community Pharmacies
  • David Crocker, Solicitor
  • Ronald Drouin, Retired
  • Scott Fish, As Maine Goes
  • Susan Hamill, The Dette Company
  • Philip E. Harriman, Lebel & Harriman
  • Chet Jordan, Digital Architecture
  • Lisa G. Martin, Manufacturers Association of Maine
  • Mark McAuliffe, Apothecary By Design
  • Jennifer Riggle, Germani & Riggle
  • Mark Robinson, Robinson PR

Board of Adjunct Fellows

a/o 8-2-2011[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "About Us", MHPC webpage. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  2. ^ Higgins, A.J., "LePage: Secret Video Reveals Poor Training, but not Fraud", Maine Public Broadcasting, 08/11/2011. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  3. ^ Russell, Eric, "Secret video hints at Medicaid fraud potential; critics say it’s ‘gotcha’ without the ‘gotcha’", Bangor Daily News, Aug. 11, 2011 11:26 a.m. Retireved 2011-08-12.
  4. ^ a b c d Russell, Eric, "LePage adviser heading to Florida", Bangor Daily News, April 06, 2011, 12:35 am. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  5. ^ a b Farmer, David, "Ethics staff backs panel member", Sun Journal, Nov 30, 2006 12:00 am. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  6. ^ "Directory: Maine Heritage Policy Center", State Policy Network web page. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  7. ^ a b Russell, Eric, "Heritage policy center picks new leader", Bangor Daily News, Aug. 02, 2011 3:39 pm. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  8. ^ a b "Lance Dutson to Lead The Maine Heritage Policy Center", Maine Web Report. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  9. ^ "WKP-Spier LLC: Company Overview", Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  10. ^ "Maine Blog Libel Suit Update", Instapundit blog, May 5, 2006. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  11. ^ Bouchard, Kelley, "Bowen sworn in as education commissioner", Portland Press-Herald, August 2, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  12. ^ Cover, Susan, "Becker to manage Jacobson's campaign", Kennebec Journal blog post, 11/06/2009 10:20. Retrieved 2011-08-02.

External links

Dutson on Maine public radio (MPBN).

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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