A group of environmental organizations is calling attention to the fact the ExxonMobil -- the world's largest company by revenue -- is the majority owner (at 76 percent) of the oil pipeline that runs through Maine, past the Androscoggin and Crooked rivers, and Sebago Lake. This is the pipeline that I wrote about earlier this summer -- the one that oil giants want to use to pump tar sands from Western Canada to the Portland Harbor.
Just when you thought he might have meant his non-apology, we find out LePage wasn't serious after all. Our friends over at Seven Days, Burlington, Vermont's alt-weekly, have a disturbing account of an exchange in which Governor Paul LePage reiterated and elaborated on his comparison between the Internal Revenue Service and the Gestapo, Hitler's secret police.
Josh Barro over at Bloomberg News has an interesting
theory on why Governor Paul LePage is so upset at the Obamacare
mandate that he called the IRS "the new Gestapo" (and then pretended to apologize). Barro's theory? That LePage
knows he'll have to work with the federal tax agency, rather than being able to
tell President Obama to "go to hell," as LePage promised on the campaign trail
Republican Governor Paul LePage will speak to the Maine Aggregate Association this evening - that's the
group representing Maine's
gravel and rock industries. But the public won't
be allowed to hear his comments.
Despite LePage's pushing of an East-West highway, and his
recent relaxation of mining regulations, an official announcement was issued
Monday from the governor's office specifying that the speech will be off-limits
to media coverage.
The legislation I mentioned in last week's story about girls and the trades, LD 1865, An Act to Enhance Career and Technical Education, was the first of four education-related bills to be heard in Augusta this week. The bill, which aims to make it easier for students to take CTE courses, is the least controversial prong of Governor Paul LePage's education agenda; the education committee and most legislators support improvements to vocational education -- especially those that don't cost anything.
If you would like to be horrified, just read these sad Twitter and FB responses to Chris Brown's performance at the Grammys last night.
For all his questionable policy decisions - and there are many! - and public gaffes, domestic and teen dating violence is one area in which Governor LePage has chosen to lead.
The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee is reviewing a domestic-violence related bill at the State House: LD1704, which would effectively tighten the reins on bail for alleged perpetrators of domestic assault.
Good thing we checked. When Governor Paul LePage was spouting his various opinions about open government (including that there should be limits to the most transparent administration in Augusta's history), he hadn't taken the legally required training about the state's open-government law. And he didn't take it before heading off on vacation, either.
It's not every day that a Maine governor does something warranting an editorial in the Sunday New York Times. But yes, Paul LePage has risen to that level. Questions yet to be answered include: iWill he care? Will his bullying ever cease?
Call for public art: Mural depicting the glorious contributions
of the Maine
Seeking designs for a 36-foot-long, 8-foot-tall mural to replace
a degenerate, “one-sided” mural at the Maine Department of Labor office in Augusta. Please e-mail jpgs
Submissions are encouraged to honor Maine’s grand business
history, from logging to ship building, from the brave executives who put down
the 1937 women’s strike to steadfast proponents of child labor, from the paper
mill bosses who purified our waters with dioxins to those who intrepidly called
in the National Guard to restore order in the face of wrong-thinking mobs and
crybabies, and surplus and salvage company CEOs who selflessly offer damaged
goods for retail sale before giving it all up for public service.
Over the weekend, Governor Paul LePage and some of his supporters made a couple of statements that make clear that "Maine people before politics" is a hollow slogan in the corporate-governor's rhetorical toolkit.
First, LePage unveiled an "Open For Business" sign at the Maine-New Hampshire border on I-95. Adrienne Bennett of the governor's office confirmed in an e-mail to the Portland Phoenix today that the sign unveiled was the exact sign presented to the governor on election night.
Listen, everyone. We'll have more on the budget moving forward, I'm sure. I'm heading up to Augusta on Wednesday to attend the Maine People's Alliances lobby day and learn more about what various organizations are most concerned (and others are most pleased) about. There have been protests and rallies of various sizes several times over the past few days, with more to come.
Just before 11 pm last night, Paul LePage took to the podium at Champions in Waterville. His supporters, who had been milling around, munching on taquitos, guacamole, cheese, and crackers, and fruit (while sipping from a full cash bar), were thrilled to see him. They were nervous. Early returns were showing a much closer-than-expected race between LePage and Cutler.