Another episode in 'The Year of the LePage'

Posted Thursday, August 16, 2012 in Investigation

Another episode in 'The Year of the LePage'

by Gina Hamilton

Okay, what now?

The governor who is the gift that keeps giving (at least as far as journalists go) revealed on Wednesday night that he had a secret plan to call the Legislature back into session (which the Constitution gives him the right to do in 'extraordinary' circumstances.  We can only imagine the framers of the Maine Constitution envisioned floods, hurricanes, invasions by Canadians, and the like.)

Thanks to Mike Tipping, who is now blogging for the Bangor Daily News, and who was given an audio recording of his remarks, the governor said:

I’m going to be honest with all of you here, especially all you incumbents. I’m going to interfere with your campaigning because I’m going to call a special session in the near future and I can’t divulge what it is because the Attorney General is seeing if I’m doing it right.

I like to push the envelope, and so we’ve got it half open and I believe in my mind I believe it can be done. It’s not a matter of whether or not we should do it or can do it, it’s a matter of is our Constitution here in Maine allowing us to do it.

I’m just trying to do what other Republican states have done this year and I gotta wait before I say too much more about it, but what I’m telling you is this: If we get this done, the State of Maine will be on the right track for the next ten years. I promise you that.

I see Senator Rosen’s eyes saying “what’s he up to?”

I wish I had come up with the idea, but it was come up with… some people on staff… brilliant and it’s being looked at now and I can’t wait to call everybody back and get this done.

I think we can get it done in about a day and the Democrats, if you think they hate me now… Wow.

So with that, have a nice evening.

It is unclear what 'extraordinary' partisan legislation the governor is going to try to shove through the legislature during the next few weeks, but more than a few possibilities exist, including trying to do an end-run around the Department of Health and Human Services on MaineCare cuts, establishing Maine as a right-to-work state to break the state employees' union, making sweeping changes to welfare programs, or rescinding term limits. Or perhaps he just wants to push for some appointments that may be unwelcome to Democrats in the Labor Department, or get the Legislature to reappoint Bruce Poliquin early.

LePage knows that this is probably his last chance to fulfill his agenda, since the odds are good that he will lose the House or the Senate (or possibly both) in the upcoming election. 

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