Political Bad Blood In Maine: Governor, Dems Not Talking
Not to editorialize too much, but the Tea Party Governor of Maine, Paul LePage, is starting to look petty and puerile:
The governor, … a Republican who won office in 2010 with the backing of the Tea Party, has been giving the Democratic leaders the cold shoulder. He has refused to meet or speak with them since the Democrats took back the Legislature in November.
The standoff started over the governor’s annoyance at being followed by a Democratic cameraman, known as a tracker, who films him at public events. … In early December, the governor was set to meet with the new Democratic leaders, the Senate president, Justin Alfond, and speaker of the House, Mark Eaves. But he canceled, saying he objected to the cameraman, who, he said, filmed him at a Veterans Day event in November while he was talking with an elderly veteran in ill health. Mr. LePage said the people of Maine should not be used as “props” to score political points.
The video, released by the Democrats, showed no such encounter between Mr. LePage and an elderly veteran. Nonetheless, the governor insisted the legislators call off the tracker, which they refused to do, saying they had no control in the matter.
Shortly afterward, Mr. Alfond sent the governor a handwritten invitation to dinner. But the invitation landed in the hands of the news media before it got to the governor, prompting the governor’s office to brand the invitation a stunt.
Mr. Alfond said in an interview that the governor’s snub was less about the use of trackers, who are now a standard part of politics for both parties, than about power. “If he doesn’t meet with me, it keeps that clear hierarchy,” Mr. Alfond said. “He likes that power play.”
The governor, Paul R. LePage, a Republican who won office in 2010 with the backing of the Tea Party, has been giving the Democratic leaders the cold shoulder. He has refused to meet or speak with them since the Democrats took back the Legislature in November.