Tag Archives: Gov. Paul LePage

Two Aroostook County Democrats want LePage investigated over blogger’s allegations

Spotted this story the other day and wanted to share it.

Two Democratic lawmakers from Aroostook County are asking the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee to investigate whether Gov. Paul LePage threatened to withhold state funds in 2013 from the World Acadian Congress unless its president stepped down.

Reps. Roland “Danny” Martin of Sinclair and Robert Saucier of Presque Isle sent a letter Tuesday requesting an investigation by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, the watchdog agency that reports to the oversight committee.

Their letter details allegations in a blog post last week by liberal activist Mike Tipping of the Maine People’s Alliance that LePage said he would withhold $500,000 in state funding for the 2014 World Acadian Congress unless then-board president Jason Parent stepped down.

The World Acadian Congress is an international festival celebrating Acadian culture that takes place every five years, most recently in 2014 at locations in northern Maine and eastern Canada.

Read more of this Portland Press Herald story by Eric Russell: http://www.pressherald.com/2015/07/28/democratic-lawmakers-want-lepage-investigated-over-alleged-abuse-of-power/

LePage among 10 governors facing tough fights to stay in office | The Washington Post via the Bangor Daily News

The most embattled collection of politicians this fall are neither members of the Senate nor the House. That distinction falls upon the nation’s governors. Compared with elected officials in Washington, incumbent governors are struggling disproportionately.

The Cook Political Report lists nine incumbent governors in tossup races and another as a clear underdog. That group of 10 includes seven Republicans and three Democrats. That’s the most ever dating back years of Cook Report analyses, according to Cook’s Jennifer Duffy. Another Democratic incumbent — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie — is already on the sidelines after losing his primary earlier this year.

The Rothenberg Political Report rates the races on a different scale and differs in some small ways from the Cook analysis, but it comes to a similar conclusion about the competitive nature of the races in the states: It’s a tough year to be a governor.

Voters often say they prefer their state or local elected officials to their Washington representatives. That may still be the case, theoretically. But the fact that this many are on the watch list provides one more indicator that voters in both red and blue states are unhappy.

At this point, the Republican incumbents who face serious competition include: Rick Scott in Florida; Scott Walker in Wisconsin; Rick Snyder in Michigan; Nathan Deal in Georgia; Sam Brownback in Kansas; Paul LePage in Maine; and Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania. Democrats with competitive races include Pat Quinn of Illinois; Dan Malloy of Connecticut; and John Hickenlooper of Colorado.

Read more of this story by Dan Balz, The Washington Post.

LePage to help dedicate Aroostook County trail to fallen Marine | Bangor Daily News

[I missed this story earlier in the week. Every kid I grew up with and I used to climb this trail every year or so. It won’t bring the young man back to his family, but they now have a place to honor his life and his duty to this country. – KM]

AUGUSTA, Maine — On Friday, Gov. Paul LePage will help dedicate a summit trail on Haystack Mountain in Castle Hill in honor of a Presque Isle native who was killed in Iraq five years ago.

The Dustin J. Libby Trail will be dedicated at 8:30 a.m. in memory of Marine Cpl. Libby of Castle Hill, who was 22 when he was killed in action on Dec. 6, 2006, while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned as a squad leader to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Libby was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq at the time of his death. He had served in the country previously in 2004. Between his two Iraq tours, he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

The trail was renamed through legislation sponsored by state Rep. Alexander Willette, R-Mapleton, and passed by the Legislature last March.

Click for the rest of the story in the Bangor Daily News.

LePage signs $6.1 billion two-year Maine budget | Bangor Daily News

LePage signs $6.1 billion two-year Maine budget | Bangor Daily News

LePage’s ‘Open for Business’ sign disappears from I-95 |Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA, Maine — In perhaps a sign of the times, the “Open for Business” highway sign that symbolized the LePage administration’s pro-business agenda may have become a casualty of Maine’s increasingly caustic political atmosphere.

The blue highway sign that Gov. Paul LePage ceremonially placed on Interstate 95in Kittery, just inside the Maine’s border, disappeared sometime during the past week. And the Maine Department of Transportation has no idea where it went.

“It has been removed and we did not remove it,” said Mark Latti, a DOT spokesman. “We alerted the governor’s office and reported it to the state police.”

The theft first was reported Wednesday by WCSH-6 in Portland. In fact, DOT staff were unaware of the sign’s disappearance until contacted by journalists from the television station inquiring whether the department had taken it down.

The oversized sign was presented to LePage on the night of his inauguration as a gift from supporters inspired by his campaign pledge to erect an “Open for Business” sign on I-95 if elected to the Blaine House. A group of supporters raised an estimated $1,300 to purchase the sign from a company that makes highway placards.

But the sign also has become a symbol for LePage’s critics of what they say is an administration intent on rolling back widely supported environmental and labor regulations.

Click for the rest of the story by Kevin Miller in the Bangor Daily News.

3 of 10 Mainers approve of LePage’s performance | The Associated Press via Lewiston Sun Journal

3 of 10 Mainers approve of LePage’s performance | The Associated Press via Lewiston Sun Journal

Poll on Maine governor: National spotlight a glaring concern | Maine Sunday Telegram

Most Maine voters are unhappy

with the job Paul LePage

has done so far as governor

AUGUSTA – Most Maine voters think the national media attention that Gov. Paul LePage has drawn in his first four months in office has been bad for the state – including many people who support the work he has done.

And most believe he made the wrong decision in taking down a mural depicting Maine workers in the headquarters of the Department of Labor.

That’s according to a poll commissioned by MaineToday Media to assess how Mainers feel about the job the Republican governor has done since his inauguration on Jan. 5. LePage was elected in November with about 38 percent of the vote.

The poll was conducted from April 25 to May 2 by Pan Atlantic SMS Group, a Portland-based firm owned by Patrick and Victoria Murphy. Victoria Murphy is a former Maine Democratic Party chair. The firm does independent marketing and research.

About 56 percent of the respondents said they have an unfavorable opinion of LePage; about 39 percent said they have a favorable opinion of him. About 5 percent said they do not know.

Click for the rest of the story by Rebekah Metzler in The Maine Sunday Telegram.

Maine Sunday Telegram’s view: LePage won’t get vote of confidence from this poll

 When Ed Koch was mayor of New York, he used to walk around the city asking constituents: “How’m I doin’?” We haven’t heard Gov. LePage ask that question in Maine, but we’ve decided to answer it anyway.

According to a poll commissioned by MaineToday Media, LePage is getting mixed reviews from Mainers but a majority of those polled, 56 percent, said they had an unfavorable opinion of the governor. Asked to rate LePage’s job performance, about 55 percent answered “poor” or “very poor.”

Given those basic numbers – detailed poll results are published in today’s paper – the most likely answer to the question, “How’s the governor doin’?” seems to be: “Not so good.”

When more than half the people who look to the governor for leadership don’t like what they see, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that he’s doing something wrong.

Click for the rest of the editorial in The Maine Sunday Telegram.

Bill Nemitz: Ringmaster over his head under Big Top

“Governor Announces Staff Changes,” proclaimed the headline over the news release from what’s left of Gov. Paul LePage’s communications office.

It should have read, “Welcome to The Greatest Show on Earth.”

Wednesday’s sudden departures of commissioners Darryl Brown from the Department of Environmental Protection and Philip Congdon from the Department of Economic and Community Development confirm what many have long feared since Team LePage rode into Augusta promising to transform Maine state government into something . . . well, different.

They’ve done it: After just under four months, the executive branch is now officially a three-ring circus.

In one ring we have Brown, who was forced to step down after Attorney General William Schneider informed him that those pesky environmentalists were right all along: Conflict-of-interest laws prohibit Brown, who owns a development consulting firm, from presiding over the DEP.

For weeks, Brown insisted that he was not in violation of identical federal and state statutes — which made him ineligible to serve if 10 percent or more of his income in the last two years came from applicants for and holders of federal clean water permits.

He was, as he conceded Wednesday, “obviously” wrong.

Still, that didn’t stop Brown from taking a parting swipe at the Maine statute, which, like the federal law, is intended to create a little space between the regulators and the regulated. He called it “silliness.”

That’s not respect for the law, folks. That’s clown talk.

Click for the rest of the column by Bill Nemitz in the Portland Press Herald.

US Labor Dept. tells LePage: Display mural or refund money | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

US Labor Dept. tells LePage: Display mural or refund money | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Governor: Mural was removed at a bad time | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Governor: Mural was removed at a bad time | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Lawmaker says constituents asked for process to remove Maine governor | Bangor Daily News

Lawmaker says constituents asked for process to remove Maine governor | Bangor Daily News

Maine Senate Republicans criticize LePage’s comments, actions in upcoming OpEd | Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA, Maine — A handful of Maine Senate Republicans are publicly criticizing Gov. Paul LePage for his frequent controversial comments and actions.

An OpEd column written and signed by at least eight Maine GOP senators, which will be published Monday in some Maine newspapers, indicates growing displeasure with LePage’s conduct.

“We feel compelled to express our discomfort and dismay with the tone and spirit of some of the remarks coming from him,” states the piece, which was provided to the Bangor Daily News. “Were this an isolated incident and not a pattern, we would bite our collective tongues, because we are all human. But, unfortunately, such is not the case. We feel we must speak out.”

The Republican senators further criticize LePage for demeaning others who disagree with him and diverting attention from real issues.

Click here for the rest of the story by Eric Russell in the Bangor Daily News.

‘Heartbroken’ Maine artist responds to mural controversy| Bangor Daily News

‘Heartbroken’ Maine artist responds to mural controversy| Bangor Daily News

Missing mural, empty wall: Art depicting Maine’s labor history stashed at secret location

Missing mural, empty wall: Art depicting Maine’s labor history stashed at secret location

LePage’s sudden removal of mural spurs outrage | Lewiston Sun Journal

He dreamed he saw Kim Jong-il | The New York Times

College president rebukes LePage over mural | Portland Press Herald

College president rebukes LePage over mural | Portland Press Herald

Maine governor is looking more boorish all the time

Maine Gov. Paul LePage during another of his finest hours.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage during another of his finest hours.

I had planned to reserve judgment on Maine Gov. Paul LePage until he had been in office for a while longer. After all, the man just took office a mere few months ago.

But frankly – and with no offense intended to my Maine family and friends who may have voted for him – LePage is looking more boorish and less like a statesman all the time.

It is one thing to stand up and be strong, but it is completely another to bumble your way through things causing chaos and destruction, and then boldly justify your awkward ways. He is more a bull in a china shop than he is a sage owl masterfully handling the duties and responsibilities of his new job. His coarse ways may have served him well in business – I cannot see how – but it does not serve the state well for him to continue his bad-mannered, loutish ways.

From all accounts – at least, accounts that do not come from the governor’s office or are not manipulated by the governor’s puppet masters – LePage is a boob.

He has offended almost anyone with any sensibility, from the growing African-American community in Maine to women to environmentalists to workers and unions to the working poor to art lovers to, well, anybody.

I once wrote in a column describing how clumsy the mayor of Vacaville, Calif., handled a situation. An entire neighborhood in Vacaville was flooded – at the time it seemed that city maintenance practices might have played a part in the severity of the flooding – and the mayor acted callously toward some very concerned neighbors. I wrote that the mayor came across as gangly as a moose on a frozen lake.

I was wrong. That mayor was as graceful as an eagle soaring in the sky.

LePage is the gangly moose on a frozen ice.

Here are a few links to stories about LePage’s mucked-up walk through Maine politics.

Hundreds protest mural removal; artwork could land in Portland | Bangor Daily News

A picture of labor unrest: Demonstrators at rallies take issue with Gov. LePage’s order to remove mural from a state agency’s headquarters | Portland Press Herald

Governor’s decision attracts attention, repels tourist | Portland Press Herald

Mural protesters say they’ll fight governor’s removal order | Lewiston Sun Journal

Panel backs state ban on products with BPA: LePage administration now says it won’t fight ban, even though the governor still opposes it | Portland Press Herald

LePage retorts to heckler: ‘I would love to tax the rich if we had any in Maine’ | Bangor Daily News

LePage again in national spotlight over mural order; Stewart, Maddow mock move | Bangor Daily News

Of course, some Mainers – especially those who voted for LePage and those who continue to support his bumbling ways – will decry my characterization of the man who was elected by them to lead the state. True, it seems as if I am an outsider – someone “from away” – and I should not have the right to criticize the work that has been done.

Well, I will criticize it for several reasons:

My sister and her family live in Maine. It is important to her, her husband, my mother and me that my nephew Max and niece Sophie live in a state where they can continue to thrive.

My mother lives in Maine. I will never get her to move away to a warm climate in the winter. She rarely stays with my sister in southern Maine longer than a week, let alone for a long, cold Maine winter. It is where she was born and it is where she wants to be. She should be allowed to enjoy here life there.

I am a Maine native and I fully intend to return to Maine, although LePage’s antics have made me think twice about it. Maine is where I want to be; my economic circumstances keep me from it, but I will there eventually, LePage or not.

Mainers deserve better than what LePage has done so far.

I have a vested interest in the success of Maine and it does not seem as if LePage can lead a row of ducklings let alone a state.

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Critics accuse LePage of exempting himself from pension sacrifice | Lewiston Sun Journal via Bangor Daily News

Critics accuse LePage of exempting himself from pension sacrifice | Lewiston Sun Journal via Bangor Daily News

Maine governor’s budget brings out hundreds of union workers in protest | Bangor Daily News

Maine governor’s budget brings out hundreds of union workers in protest | Bangor Daily News

Activists meet in Richmond to plan resistance to LePage policies | Bangor Daily News

Activists meet in Richmond to plan resistance to LePage policies | Bangor Daily News

LePage budget proposes spending increases, changes for state workers, welfare | Bangor Daily News

LePage budget proposes spending increases, changes for state workers, welfare | Bangor Daily News