“Pragmatic” Paul LePage needs a moving truck

Not a week ago Gov. LePage told legislators, “I’m a pragmatic person, I do not play politics.”

The governor had walked into an Appropriations Committee work session that was coming to a close. No one knew he was coming but he wanted to speak. Then Sen. Dawn Hill said she preferred to bring the session to a close, having heard from administration appointees and made progress, even as acknowledging “I know there’s a lot of politics at play as well.”

Now LePage needs a moving truck.

It went against the rules to put a television-as-billboard in the Hall of Flags.

The Legislative Council, which includes four Republicans and six Democrats, met Thursday afternoon, but LePage declined an invitation to appear before the council to request permission for his television display. [Source]

But, rather than simply filing the paperwork to request waiving the Legislature’s rules, the governor decided to move out of his statehouse office.

Once Gov. LePage is out of the statehouse, arranging meetings will be more inconvenient.

And Gov. LePage will ensure that someone’s money and time will be devoted to deciding where to move, packing boxes, and moving furniture. (Democrats have volunteered to help, but it’s hard to imagine the governor will accept this assistance.)

All that sounds about as pragmatic as vetoing a bill that would save Maine quite a lot of money for health care, while covering tens of thousands who lack coverage.

The other day, the Republican governor of Iowa worked out a bipartisan Medicaid approach with the Democratic legislature. And other Republican governors, including conservatives like Jan Brewer, John Kasich and Butch Otter, want to expand Medicaid.

But not pragmatic Paul LePage.

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.