As he tries to veto laws, LePage blatantly contradicts himself

10030801_H9411027-600x783There’s a new act in the strange saga of Gov. LePage’s odd views of how adjournments and vetoes work.

Today, after 71 laws he didn’t veto became law, and the Legislature came together to finish its session before sine die adjournment, the governor’s staff sent the Legislature veto messages.

Not only is this simply incorrect, per the Attorney General and everyone but LePage staffers, but it contradicts what the governor’s own legal counsel said.

According to LePage’s own counsel, he can’t return vetoes today

In the theory espoused by LePage and his team, the Legislature had adjourned in a way that prevented him from returning vetoes to them. (Not true, but that’s what they said.)

And, according that theory, the governor can’t return vetoes until the fourth day of a legislative session.

This was expressed in the July 10, 2015 legal memo from the governor’s legal counsel.

Here’s the relevant language from p. 1 of that memo.

Screenshot 2015-07-16 11.50.46

Just read that last sentence in the paragraph above.

It says the governor “is waiting for the Legislature to reconvene for 4 consecutive days” and the “first day doesn’t count” and, on the fourth day, “he will act.”

Today is the first day, the day LePage’s counsel says “doesn’t count.” And it isn’t the fourth of four consecutive days when, according to the memo, the governor “will act.”

Therefore, even under the absurd theory propounded by the governor and his staff, he has no business returning vetoes today.

One wonders how the governor will explain this to a court someday.

(Note: The original title of this post has been changed.)

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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.