The Coastal Packet: LePage getting weirdly worse

Thursday, June 25

LePage getting weirdly worse

Huffington Post - Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said Wednesday that he'd like to shoot the cartoonist for the Bangor Daily News, a joke that fell flat in light of the January shooting that killed five Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in France.
LePage made his comments about cartoonist George Danby in front of a group of teenagers attending Dirigo Boys State, a youth leadership program held in Waterville, Maine. Danby's son, Nick, was in attendance and asked the governor a question.

Bangor Daily News - A day after Gov. Paul LePage told a group of high school students that he would “like to shoot” a Bangor Daily News cartoonist, a top advocate for expanding passenger rail to Lewiston-Auburn said that LePage earlier this month said state lawmakers from Lewiston should be “rounded up and executed in the public square.” Tony Donovan, a Portland-based real estate developer and member of the executive council for the Sierra Club Maine, said Thursday that LePage made the statement during an hour-long meeting in LePage’s office at the State House on June 8. “Maybe I didn’t hear right, but I’m pretty sure I did hear right,” Donovan said. “He was pretty vulgar and said he thinks the entire Lewiston delegation should be rounded up and executed in the public square. He did say that to me.”

Bangor Daily News - Six lawmakers said Thursday they will attempt to launch impeachment proceedings against Republican Gov. Paul LePage for his alleged role in pushing Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves out of a new job at Good Will-Hinckley School. 

David Farmer, Bangor Daily News -  When the House and Senate reconvene on June 30, they have several options they could take to hold the governor accountable and improve state law.

The Maine Constitution is clear that it is within the power of each House to “punish by imprisonment any person, not a member, for disrespectful or disorderly behavior in its presence, for obstructing any of its proceedings, threatening, assaulting or abusing any of its members for anything said, done, or doing in either House.”

By the governor’s own admission in a letter to Good Will-Hinckley and in a press release issued today, his actions are retribution for the work Eves has done in his role as speaker of the House.

The governor cited particular votes of the speaker, work done in his capacity as a lawmaker, as the reason for his actions and was explicit that his attack was predicated on Eve’s role in the Legislature.

It could be argued that:

The governor has treated the Legislature with disrespect. He has behaved in a disorderly manner and has obstructed its proceedings. And he has threatened and abused members of both the House and the Senate, with Eves being the latest and most egregious example.

The punishment outlined in the Constitution is imprisonment for the remainder of the Legislative session. That’s not an appropriate punishment, is silly on the surface, would accomplish nothing and would likely further a potential Constitutional crisis.

However, the vote to hold the governor in contempt would permanently stain the governor and whatever legacy he might imagine for himself.

It would also put the Legislature clearly on the record that it will protect its prerogative.

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