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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Maine Governor Paul LePage - don't just take my word for it

Rather than quiet legislative momentum growing in support of his impeachment, Maine's Governor LePage continues to stoke his political fires by creating even more questions about his ability to govern.  Does the Governor understand political processes or is he playing mind games with the state's legislature?  

Dear blog readers, although MaineWriter is about the issues I care about (thank you for reading), the soap opera administration of the Maine Governor Paul LePage is also an issue others are noticing, with mockery. So, the erratic behavior of Governor LePage is not just an issue I care about.  Don't take my word for it.  

Here's Esquire's Charles P. Pierce -
The Sweet Life of Maine Governor Paul LePage: Pierce calls the state's political situation "bedlam", and Pierce goes on to describe the governor as an "incompetent whackadoo"....(I can't make this up.) 

You may recall that, recently, there were calls for the impeachment of the state's bafflingly re-elected governor, human bowling-jacket Paul LePage, because LePage had knuckled a school for developmentally disabled children because the Democratic speaker of the House up there had been offered a job at said school. Well, there's one thing worse than having a whackadoo for your governor. That's having an incompetent whackadoo for your governor and, congratulations, Maine, you hit the freaking parlay with this guy.

LePage decided that he would "pocket veto" 19 bills that he didn't like. Alas for all concerned, Le Page is a considerable bag of hammers and he didn't understand what in the unholy fck he was trying to do.

If a Legislature is in session and the governor does not sign a bill or veto it within 10 days of receiving it, the bill becomes law. But, if a Legislature adjourns for the year before the 10-day window for a governor to act on legislation has elapsed and the governor does not sign the bill, it dies.

"I'm surprised the Legislature does not understand this," Bennett said.

That's the pocket veto, and it apparently is what LePage is trying to do with these bills—kill them without giving the Legislature a chance to override his veto.

The only hangup is the Legislature has not adjourned. Knowing it needed to give LePage up to 10 days to act on bills it has passed, the House and Senate on June 30 went "at ease" until July 16. By then, LePage would have had to act. Further questions sent to Bennett about LePage's actions were not answered. House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, was dumbfounded by LePage's maneuver. "I can't even process this right now, that this is his latest move," McCabe said Tuesday. "It's very clear, as far as the role the governor has, when it comes to bills — whether he signs them, not signs them or vetoes them. To hold them for an arbitrary period of time doesn't really work. He can't rewrite the rules.

And, of course, the really great thing is that, because LePage screwed the pooch so thoroughly, the 19 bills he wanted to veto now likely will become law.

In a news release last night, the ACLU of Maine said there is no question that as a result of LePage's inaction, the bills are destined to be law. "The Maine Constitution is clear on this," wrote Zach Heiden, the group's legal director. "The governor had 10 days to veto the bills, he did not veto them, and now the bills will become law. We do not have a government of one, and the governor cannot make up the rules as he goes along."

And, predictably, La Tete du Merde has responded by going completely bananas.

Asked what he will do if the Legislature insists that the bills are already law, LePage said he will "try to force them...We'll go to the courts and we'll ask them," LePage said. "It's in the Constitution … It's very clear – very, very clear. Even I can understand it and I'm French."

Well, here's where Pierce socks it to LePage in a place where even the governor's double intendre use of the word "vasoline" won't help.  

It was the state's Franco-American who twice supported Governor LePage's election and it's the same now embarrassed group who will likely lead the calls for his impeachment.



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