The Tipping Point Blog Archive March, 2011
The biggest problem Governor Paul LePage faces isn’t the Legislature. His party has a majority in both Houses.
It isn’t a budget deficit, something he proved by introducing a budget that increases spending while cutting taxes, mostly on Maine’s wealthy.
The problem isn’t his Democratic opposition, unions, environmentalists or public interest groups. They’ll work to stop some of his policies, but they no longer have the muscle to set the agenda in Augusta.
Governor LePage has a new television show, airing on Time Warner Cable across the state and available online. For a governor distrustful of the media (LePage recently said that “buying a Maine daily newspaper is like paying someone to lie to you”) it’s a way to get his message out in a scripted, edited and favorable way.
State Senator Larry Bliss, a Democrat representing South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, and part of Scarborough, announced Tuesday that he will be resigning his seat in order to take a job at California State University.
Bliss has served in the legislature for eleven years and was well known for his role as Senate chair of the Judiciary Committee during the last Legislature, where he oversaw hearings on LD 1020, the equal marriage bill, which saw attendance in the thousands.
Thanks to this blog, and to the anonymous author of AsMaineGoesLolz, who first suspected that Republican operative Michael Pajak and AsMaineGoes forum poster The Distributist were the same person, the LePage administration has changed its mind about hiring Pajak to a position within the Department of Conservation. He had been offered the job of administrative assistant earlier this week.
Thanks to Public Policy Polling, we now have our first numbers comparing Snowe to actual challengers in the 2012 primary. While the numbers don't look so good for D'amboise and Dodge, her two announced Tea Party opponents, the overall discontent within the Republican electorate points towards a window of opportunity for a more well-known Republican challenger.
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.