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Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:46 PM

Maine, you're kind of a mess right now (thank your teabagger Gov. LePage)

Maine, you're kind of a mess right now

By Laura Conaway

I used to live and work as a reporter in Maine, at a time when the state Republican Party considered itself to be a true big tent. Generally, that held true for the Democrats as well. Governing in Maine was all about moderation and competence. You may not have agreed with governors like John McKernan (R) or Angus King (I) or John Baldacci (D), but you knew they weren't going to tank the state.

Then, in 2010, Republican Paul LePage won a three-way race for governor with less than 40 percent of the vote. Life under the Tea Party favorite has not gone so great. Today the New York Times -- far from the capital of Augusta -- homes in on Governor LePage's difficulty dealing with the new Democratic majority in the legislature. LePage has refused to meet with Democratic leaders since December. The NYT reports:

The rising tensions over the budget were evident last week when the governor met with three independent House members who do not caucus with either the Democrats or Republicans. When they told Mr. LePage that municipalities could be forced to raise property taxes by hundreds of dollars, the governor grew angry, pounded the table, called them "idiots" and later swore at them, according to The Bangor Daily News.

"He went right through the roof when I asked him the question," Representative Jeff Evangelos told the newspaper. "He flew up like a jack-in-the-box and ran out of the room and slammed the door."

Governor LePage is notably hot-headed, a style that perhaps works better when your state is not suddenly broke after you cut taxes, and when you're not asking working- and middle-class families to pay more, and when even members of your own Republican Party are saying it's time to raise state taxes on the rich. Today Fitch ratings downgraded Maine's credit, citing "an increasingly contentious decision-making environment." Fitch sounds OK with some of LePage's policies, but the rancor with lawmakers is a no go.

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PPP: Maine Gov. LePage Extremely Unpopular

A majority of Maine voters disapprove of the job Gov. Paul LePage (R-ME) is doing, according to a survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling released Tuesday.

Fifty-five percent of voters in the state said they disapprove of LePage's performance as governor, compared with 39 percent who approve. The poll also showed LePage, who will be up for re-election next year, losing in every hypothetical head-to-head matchup. But LePage won every three-way hypothetical that was tested by PPP, an indication that a third-party candidate may ultimately rescue the unpopular governor.

Elected in 2010, the combative LePage has drawn plenty of attention for his often-stormy relationship with other lawmakers and the press. A meeting with legislators last week ended with LePage pounding on the table and cursing. Last summer, LePage criticized the new federal health care law by comparing the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo. When a reporter asked him about the comparison, LePage offered a profanity-laced apology to those who were offended.

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Reply Maine, you're kind of a mess right now (thank your teabagger Gov. LePage) (Original post)
ProSense Jan 2013 OP
sharp_stick Jan 2013 #1

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:10 PM

1. Gotta love those third party candidates

At least Maine provides a good example of what happens when you split the vote with a third party candidate.

I wonder if Maine will have learned the lesson for next election?

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