Gov. LePage held a press conference today and repeated, quite sincerely, his criticisms of using funds from the rainy day fund to restore revenue sharing.
But there were some rather odd moments.
For one, after the governor criticized Democrats for their restoration of municipal revenue sharing, a reporter noted that a number of Republicans also voted that way.
The House voted 120-17 in favor of the measure.
And the official roll call shows that the Senate passed it 33-2.
But today LePage seemed not to realize that Republicans were part of those majorities.
When LePage was told that a majority of Republicans supported the bill, he said, “I didn’t realize they did, actually. Republicans voted for this, too? Then, frankly, I hold the entire Legislature responsible. If they did (vote for it), they did an irresponsible move.” [source]
Another odd moment came when Gov. LePage responded to a question about why he didn’t veto the bill.
After all, there have been many times when bills passed with veto-proof margins but a number of Republicans did not vote to override a veto and so bills were not enacted.
To this, LePage said he didn’t veto it “because he thought they’d find some other way.”
Such a statement is rather curious. After all, the bill was passed in a particular form. What other way might the Legislature find, after they passed it already?
Also, near the end of the conference, the governor was asked why, with all his concerns, he did not “put a supplemental budget in.”
That way, said the reporter, he could be “part of the game.”
LePage’s reply was that he was “not part of the game. I haven’t been part of the game for two years.”
While the governor has very strong views about the budget, he seems to have taken himself out of involvement with it to some extent, and has missed part of what just happened with revenue sharing.
Here, via Scott Thistle, is the full press conference: