In my column this week in the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, I take a look at Governor LePage's latest friendly fire incident.
This time, LePage thoroughly stomped on Republican legislators' attempts to assert that they've been at all effective during the legislative session so far, declaring instead that they haven't "done a damn thing."
Also good reading on the subject is this BDN editorial, headlined "The 'nothing to do' governor."
This weekend saw another rejoinder on the subject from Maine's democratic leaders, with House Minority Leader Emily Cain again faulting Maine Republicans for a lack of focus, declaring in their weekly radio address: "So, while Governor LePage put up a sign, took down a mural, and went on vacation, Democrats in the legislature have been working to find real solutions to problems facing Maine families and spur economic growth."
On his Media Mutt blog today, Al Diamon notes that the Maine Public Broadcasting Network will be obligated to maintain its current coverage area, under a law sponsored by Sen. Kevin Raye, in exchange for an increase in government funding. Diamon predicts this will have a detrimental effect on the network's political coverage.
It wouldn’t be that much of a leap for lawmakers to decide to dictate the network’s news policy, as well. Although, most senators and representatives already know that won’t be necessary. Given its perilous financial situation, MPBN reporters will likely be extra cautious for the foreseeable future in covering the Legislature. A hat-in-hand network that’s already capitulated once to political pressure is in no position to spark controversy by getting ahead of other news outlets in reporting on the errors and omissions of state government.
The AP and PolitickerME are reporting that the Republican state senate caucus has chosen not to re-elect Sens. Carol Weston and Richard Rosen as their leader and assistant leader in the chamber. Instead, the caucus has turned to Sens. Kevin Raye and Jonathan Courtney to fill the positions.
This change is no doubt a result of the two-seat loss the caucus suffered in the recent election, which dashed hopes that they might retake the chamber.
Raye is a former chief of staff for Senator Snowe and ran for the open 2nd district congressional seat in 2002, losing to Mike Michaud.
He His wife has until recently served as one of Maine's representatives on the Republican National Committee.