The Dear Leader of Maine Will Not Tolerate Your Dissent

21 Jun

This is the governor of Maine:

Gov. Paul LePage made a crude sexual reference about a Democratic state senator in a television interview Thursday and said the lawmaker “has no brains” and “a black heart.”

Referring to Assistant Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash, who gave his party’s response to the Republican governor’s latest budget proposal, LePage said: “Sen. Jackson claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.”

Later in the interview, LePage said, “Dammit, that comment is not politically correct. But we’ve got to understand who this man is. This man is a bad person. He not only doesn’t have a brain, he has a black heart. And so does the leadership” in the Legislature

What a way with words. Wonder if he kisses babies with that mouth while campaigning?

Oh, he’s also great with the local press! As long as you don’t report any facts that may be negative:

Gov. Paul LePage’s administration will no longer comment in stories published by the Portland Press Herald, the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The new policy follows the newspapers’ publication of a three-day series of articles this week examining LePage’s top environmental regulator and how her department’s actions have benefited her former lobbying clients in private industry.

LePage’s spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett, informed a Press Herald reporter of the new policy following a request for the governor’s public events calendar. Bennett would not provide the calendar, a public document, and said the administration would no longer participate in stories reported by the three newspapers.

Bennett said MaineToday Media, the newspapers’ parent company, “had made it clear that it opposed this administration.”

She would not elaborate, saying that responses from the administration could be gleaned from reports by The Associated Press or through document requests using the Freedom of Access Act.

Another Press Herald reporter asked Bennett on Tuesday to comment on a story about Medicaid expansion. Bennett told the reporter she would not speak to the newspaper about the issue.

“Not to the Portland Press Herald,” she said.

The no-comment policy does not appear to include all state agencies.

Steve McCausland, communications officer for the Department of Public Safety, said he was not aware of any such directive. He said his department will continue to communicate with the Press Herald and its sister publications.

The new policy in the governor’s office follows the newspapers’ publication this week of an investigation by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, which found that LePage’s environmental protection commissioner, Patricia Aho, a former industrial and corporate lobbyist, has scuttled programs and fought laws that were opposed by many of her former clients in the chemical, drug, oil, and real estate development industries

This is what leaders of democracies do, not talk to the press or give them a daily briefing on what their office is doing while running the government. This is just what is done. Nothing odd here, nothing petty or insanely childish.

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