The Tipping Point Blog Archive 2011
If Eliot Cutler's late surge had peaked just a few days sooner, or if his campaign had focused on early voters while his opponents were still enmeshed in their primaries, or if he had spent a bit more than the $1.6 million he dropped on the race, he might be governor right now instead of Paul LePage.
In what has become a recurring theme for Maine Governor Paul LePage, a flippant remark has once again earned him days of negative press coverage.
Last week, colorful Tea Party activist Andrew Ian Dodge announced that he will be the second Republican entering the 2012 primary election against Senator Olympia Snowe.
Governor Paul LePage has now announced his choices for commissioner for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor, and he seems to have made his choice for the Department of Education. According to the criteria former gubernatorial candidate Peter Mills laid out when I spoke to him in January, that means that he won't have a place in the LePage administration.
In the past twenty-four hours, more than 600 stickers have been purchased featuring a blue outline of the state of Maine and "61%" in bold, black type. It's the first physical display of the power of a new political proto-movement in Maine that so far exists almost entirely online.
61% refers to the percentage of voters who voted for a candidate other than Governor Paul LePage in the last election. (The Secretary of State actually pegs that number at 62.4% but this campaign started before those numbers were final.)
After seeking to have his identity kept secret for months as the Maine Ethics Commission investigated complaints against the Cutler Files website, Thom Rhoads, the man identified as John Doe I in Commission documents and the husband of former Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Rosa Scarcelli, has admitted his involvement in the site.
Maine Congressman Mike Michaud is known as a national leader on the issue of fair trade. He chairs the House Trade Working Group and has been the lead sponsor in the House of the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, legislation backed by unions and environmenal groups that would reform the WTO and NAFTA and change the way the United States enters into international trade agreements.
Maine Governor Paul LePage has sent a list of recommendations to the Legislature's Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform that, if they were enacted as legislation, would eliminate a wide range of environmental protections.
The governor's office has not yet posted the list publicly, despite a press release promising to do so by Monday morning, but the list has been circulated to legislators.
What started as an off-the-cuff statement to a reporter ended up (as all good gaffes do) on the Colbert Report. In between, it sparked a flurry of state and national media attention, focused the ire of a 400-person rally in Portland, and tested a new administration's ability to respond to a self-created public relations disaster.
Former State Senator and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Peter Mills has applied to be Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and has had several discussions with Governor Paul LePage about the position.
Of the Republican candidates for governor who contested the 2010 primary along with LePage, Mills was seen to have the most in-depth knowledge of the details of Maine's legislative and government systems. He took positions to the left of LePage on a variety of issues, including health care.