Commissioner or lobbyist?

The Maine Sunday Telegram and the Portland Press Herald are publishing a series of articles about Patricia Aho, Maine’s commissioner of Environmental Protection. In the article, reporter Colin Woodward lays out what he says is evidence that Aho is placing little priority to laws she — as a lobbyist for chemical corporations — tried to defeat before they were enacted during the Baldacci administration.

The articles also say Aho allowed a window — during which the State could have spoken on behalf of residents around Flagstaff Lake concerned that a power company was draining too much water to make electricity — to close during a federal licensing process.

Political analysts Phil Harriman and Ethan Strimling talk about Aho, the articles and whether former lobbyists should be allowed to cross over into state government.