Tom Bell, MaineToday Media Inc., Brings Balance to Profile of Brown; Today

Tom Bell: "It's a Big Challenge," of His Recent Reassignment to Cover the State House

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 697)

“It’s a three ring circus up here.  It’s a big challenge,” said Tom Bell this past Tuesday as he was covering the hearing of Darryl Brown before the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources in Augusta.  Bell, who has covered the Portland City Hall for several years now was reassigned to the State House several months ago.   It seems to be agreeing with him.

Bell’s front page profile about Darryl Brown in the “Maine Sunday Telegram”  gives the reader a much more complete view of whom the nominee for Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection really is.  The profile begins with the hardscrabble life that Brown, the  youngest of 16 children led, on a remote farm in Livermore Falls.  As Brown told the Committee last Tuesday afternoon, he never saw indoor plumbing until he started attending Richmond Public Schools.  He and Governor LePage have similar backgrounds in some ways.

But missing from this profile before the Committee hearing was just how successful a man Brown has become, despite a hard life.  While he was praised by  his many supporters for integrity, work ethnic and for being a “small” business owner, what was missing was the truth.  MHN.com was told repeatedly at the hearing that Brown is a “small” business owner who is a “soil scientist.”  ?? In the intervening years, Brown, 66, has become a wealthy man in his own right.  It finally occurred to MHN.com to google Main-Land Development Conulstants, Inc. – Livermore Falls, Me.  See for yourself.   “He has planned most of the subdivions in the Bethel area and has been working on the expansion plans for the Saddleback ski area in Rangley,” said Bell’s article today in the “Maine Sunday Telegram.” 

The question  remains as it did for Rep. Seth A. Goodall last Tuesday, can Darryl Brown really and truthfully separate himself as Commissioner of the DEP from his vast business – without putting it into a blind trust or selling it first?