Wisconsin, I’m sorry, but you folks and Scott Walker have nothing on Maine Governor Paul LePage, who is facing the prospect of being impeached after doing some spectacularly dumb things that may cost him his job.
Let me back up one moment, however, and — as always when this guy makes an appearance on the national stage (an all-too frequent occurrence) — clarify that Maine is the beset goddamn state in the nation between May and November (the winter months, maybe not so much). In fact, Southern Maine is progressive — we were the first state in the national to legalize gay marriage by a voter referendum, pot has been decriminalized in parts of Southern Maine, and Green Party candidates are viable in local election. However, we have no run-off election system in place, so during the last two election cycles, our the independent and Democrat have split the vote, and in both cases, allowed Paul LePage to be our governor despite no support from the majority (f*ck you, Northern Maine).
Anyway, so this guy is a nutcase. Over the course of his reign of terror, he’s made numerous embarrassing statements. He once told reporters that a Democratic lawmaker in the state “claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline,” a crude comment that came back to bite him in the ass a couple of months ago when a former lawmaker threw a jar of Vaseline toward him during a town meeting. He also once said he wanted to “blow up” the building that house Portland’s liberal newspaper.
Worst of all, last month he joked that he “wanted to shoot” a local political cartoonist in response to a question from the cartoonist’s SON during a high-school youth leadership program (as you might surmise, joking about killing a political cartoonist did not go over so well).
Anyway, he’s making national news again after showing up in a Rachel Maddow segment this week (and thus, allowing me to discuss him on a pop-culture site), because he may soon get impeached.
Why? Well, I’ll tell you why. Because when a political rival — and the State House speaker — was offered the job as the President of a charter school, LePage blackmailed the school, telling that that unless they withdrew the offer, he’d withhold half a million dollars of funding for the school.
The school backed down and pulled the offer, and now the state is going nuts because of the Governor’s abuse of power. Did the Governor deny it or cover his tracks? Hell no! He admitted it, and said he’d do it again.
An investigation — spearheaded by a Republican — will likely move ahead this week. The man also has no friends in the state congress, which would hold the impeachment proceedings. In fact, he had vowed to veto the state budget, forcing the state congress to come together and override the veto. THEN, LePage vetoed several hundred provisions using his line-item veto, forcing the Congress to override each and every one of them individually (which they successfully did over the course of several time-wasting hours). Nothing has brought Democrats and Republicans in Maine closer together than their unified hatred of Governor LePage and his petty bullshit.
Now, hopefully, the asshole is going down.
Here’s the Rachel Maddow segment.