Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gov. LePage's first 100 Days: more bridges burned than built

My assessment of Maine Governor Paul LePage's first hundred days is up over at Newsweek / The Daily Beast. The abstract: he's caused himself a lot of damage over matters peripheral to his agenda and shows little indication that he's going to stop doing so anytime soon.

While I wrote the piece with in mind, it was published wearing Daily Beast livery, as the operational merger of the two outlets is now complete, giving the latter control of all original digital content. The piece ran as written, but with a tabloid headline: "Maine's Madman Governor Paul LePage strike s again." I'd prefer they'd have substituted "volatile" for "madman," as the latter term calls for speculation.

For Maine politicos, a couple of tidbits that didn't make it into the piece:

The eight senators who wrote the OpEd blasting LePage have agreed not to comment further on the matter, both Sens. Roger Katz and Brian Langley told me, as they wish to "move on" with the business at hand. I also learned that the they almost certainly acted with the blessing of the Republican leadership, as the OpEd was shopped around and placed by Senate President Kevin Raye's press secretary (and As Maine Goes editor) Scott Fish.

G.O.P chair Charlie Webster told me the OpEd was "a clear example of legislators representing their constituencies. I totally understand why eight people signed it If they'd taken it around they could have gotten more house members and maybe a few more senators. People in Maine who are working for a living are tired of this -- the mural, the whoopie pies -- they don't want to hear about these things."

For additional context on the LePage administration, I offer this fresh Down East article on his environmental policies, a prophetic piece from January and, of course, the "Secret Puppeteers" cover story from the Portland Phoenix.

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