Troy R. Bennett | BDN
By Alex Acquisto, BDN Employees •
December 12, 2018 eight:53 am
Good morning from Augusta, the place Gov. Paul LePage continues to remind individuals he’s nonetheless in cost.
The departing Maine governor used his pen and a radio look Tuesday to say his authority. In a letter to Gov.-elect Janet Mills, LePage rejected her transition staff’s request — in a Monday letter — that his administration chorus from getting into into new contracts earlier than she takes workplace.
“You look to halt all procurement of state government for all agencies for all amounts,” LePage wrote. “If I did this, I would not be transitioning government, I would be abdicating my responsibilities.”
He referred to as her request “inappropriate” and stated it implies that the awarding of state contracts is one way or the other “politically motivated.”
Richard Rosen, a former legislator who served on the budget-writing committee earlier than turning into LePage’s finance commissioner from 2015 till he resigned in 2017 through the protracted price range struggle that resulted in a authorities shutdown, stated Mills’ request “seems extraordinary,” as a result of “normally, the state’s contracting process would continue uninterrupted,” via the change of administrations.
As a result of some contracts expire on Dec. 31 — two days earlier than Mills will take workplace, negotiations are ongoing. The state awards hundreds of contracts annually. These of their last stage, as a result of they doubtless went by way of months of vetting and evaluation, would usually not be affected by an incoming administration. It might appear, Rosen stated, that Mills might “want to reserve the right not to execute on them.”
Scott Ogden, Mills’ spokesman, provided little perception on what motivated Mills’ letter.
The governor-elect, “looks forward to productive discussions with current administration about all pending matters that may impact the state and the people of Maine in the years to come,” he stated in a assertion.
With the sort of flourish that he beforehand demonstrated in handwritten barbs to constituents, LePage ended his letter to Mills with a postscript advising the Democratic governor-elect that, regardless of his said intention of shifting to Florida, the Republican governor would come again to problem her in 2022 if she didn’t steer authorities in his most popular course.
“P.S. I wish you success as Governor because if you succeed, the state succeeds. However, if the state is not succeeding, I plan on being your opponent in 2022,” he wrote.
That echoed what he stated in a radio interview earlier Tuesday morning. Dusting off a prospect he first floated the week after Mills gained, he informed the hosts of a WVOM radio speak present that he would be again to run towards the Democrat in 2022 if her administration failed to satisfy benchmarks he has apparently set for her.
The Republican governor additionally used Tuesday’s radio interview to second-guess a couple of his judicial re-nominations — Supreme Judicial Courtroom Justice Joseph Jabar and Superior Courtroom Justice Michaela Murphy — in ways in which spotlight the truth that he takes politics personally. He renewed his criticism of Jabar for allegedly breaking a promise to retire if LePage renominated him and criticized Murphy for being “an activist judge” as a result of she has dominated towards his administration in an ongoing authorized battle over Medicaid enlargement.
With out naming them, LePage additionally took a shot Tuesday on the Republicans who led the earlier Legislature. After noting that former Senate President Mike Thibodeau, former Senate Majority Chief Garrett Mason and former Home Minority Chief Ken Fredette had sought the GOP nomination to succeed him, he chided them.
“When they lost in the primaries … they all went home. Shame on them,” he stated.
Thibodeau, who withdrew from the race earlier than main day, appeared Wednesday on WVOM to rebut that declare. After citing a number of methods through which he and his spouse labored to help Republican candidates on this yr’s basic elections, he referred to as for an evaluation of why Republicans misplaced that doesn’t embrace pointing fingers.
“We need to make sure we have an honest discussion about what went wrong for Republicans,” he stated. “I don’t think you can point to any one person and say it’s their fault.”
Thibodeau prompt that the majority Maine individuals help the extra conservative insurance policies put forth by Republicans, however that final month’s Democratic positive factors mirror the truth that “style matters.”
“People are getting fatigued with the toxic environment in politics,” Thibodeau stated.
However gently fading away doesn’t match LePage’s fashion. Mills, “activist judges” and Republican Senate leaders, notably Thibodeau, have been his foils for a lot of the combative governor’s second time period. Tuesday’s salvoes once more show that LePage — who has all the time factored retaining his political opponents on the defensive into his management technique and earlier this yr vowed to control “until the very last minute” — appears intent on sustaining that tack by way of his final day in workplace.
Golden proclaims key hires
The person who expects to be Maine’s latest member of Congress has crammed two necessary positions. Democratic U.S. Rep.-elect Jared Golden, who’s getting ready to be sworn in Jan. three as the most recent member of Maine’s congressional delegation, introduced Wednesday who he’s hiring as his chief of employees and district director.
Aisha Woodward, a Bowdoin graduate and former coverage analyst for Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, will function Golden’s chief of employees. Woodward served as deputy marketing campaign supervisor for King’s reelection marketing campaign and beforehand labored for a variety of years as a coverage advisor and a analysis director and legislative assistant for King.
Margaret Reynolds of Orono will be district director, engaged on the bottom with constituents within the 2nd District. The College of Maine graduate spent 5 years as a legislative aide for the Maine Home Democrats, after which as a subject director on Golden’s main and basic election campaigns.
Reynolds and Woodward “represent a new generation of leaders in Maine, and I look forward to putting their knowledge and expertise to work for the people of Maine,” Golden stated.
The 36-year-old was declared winner of the 2nd Congressional District race in late November over two-term Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin within the first congressional election ever to be determined by ranked-choice voting. He has since begun taking steps to transition into his new position in Washington, D.C., although a recount requested by Poliquin continues to be underway, as is Poliquin’s lawsuit contesting the constitutionality of ranked-choice voting. A decide will possible determine on it this week.
Woodward and Reynolds are Golden’s solely hires thus far, however he’ll probably add no less than one other dozen by way of the top of the yr, his marketing campaign supervisor Jon Breed stated Tuesday.
The president’s proposal to chop prices by reclassifying some types of nuclear waste won’t have an effect on Maine, however watchdogs listed here are on guard for modifications that would. A brand new proposal by President Donald Trump’s administration to reclassify some high-level nuclear waste to scale back cleanup focuses on waste generated by nuclear weapons, not energy crops. However Mainers tasked with advocating for protected dealing with of the 550 metric tons of spent nuclear gasoline saved in additional than 60 hermetic metal canisters close to the previous Maine Yankee nuclear reactor in Wiscasset voiced concern that it might foretell modifications that might have an effect on the Maine waste.
Maine’s senior senator stated she was inspired by the most recent Supreme Courtroom justice’s vote towards listening to an attraction involving Deliberate Parenthood funding. “I certainly do” really feel vindicated, Maine Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins advised reporters gathered on Capitol Hill, in accordance with CNN. The Supreme Courtroom on Monday declined to listen to an attraction backed by 13 conservative states that sought to defund Deliberate Parenthood. However progressives against Kavanaugh’s nomination informed CNN that Collins’ confidence in Kavanaugh is misplaced after Monday’s determination. “Sen. Collins is wrong to think that Kavanaugh’s vote on Monday signals any support whatsoever for Roe v. Wade,” Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Middle, informed the TV community.
In the meantime, one other federal authorities shutdown looms after Trump and newly empowered Democratic leaders in Congress sparred within the Oval Workplace. The Related Press stories that Trump threatened repeatedly on Tuesday to close down the federal government if Congress doesn’t present the cash he says is required to construct a wall on the Mexican border. Trump’s feedback got here as he opened a contentious assembly with Democratic Senate and Home leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, with the federal government taking a look at a attainable partial shutdown on Dec. 21 when funding for some businesses will expire. “This Trump shutdown, this temper tantrum that he seems to throw, will not get him his wall and will hurt a lot of people,” Schumer stated.
A Maine man needs $120 million in restitution after police blew up his house. In a discover of declare despatched Monday to the Maine State Police and different regulation enforcement businesses, attorneys for 62-year-old Michael Grendell requested $20 million in compensatory damages for the lack of his home and accidents, and $100 million in punitive damages. The June 29 incident on Fox Lane in Dixmont was the primary time police in Maine detonated explosives utilizing a robotic to finish a standoff. The 22-page discover of declare alleges that the Maine State Police turned the incident into a coaching train, refused to attend for a negotiator educated in coping with individuals experiencing psychological well being crises, didn’t have authority from an arrest warrant to make use of a bomb and didn’t contemplate various strategies of coping with Grendell.
Lads or cads?
I unashamedly love Christmas. And I really like studying about Christmas traditions from different cultures.
Final yr, I used this area to attempt to ignite curiosity in St. Lucy’s Day, which arrives once more tomorrow. I all the time discovered the Scandinavian custom of getting younger women prance round with lit candles of their hair to be simply the right combination of festive and daredevilish.
This yr, I’m infatuated with the winter vacation custom from one other darkish, northern land. In Iceland, the arrival of Christmas is heralded by the exploits of the 13 Xmas Lads. I acquired a crash course in Xmas Lad tradition throughout a one-night go to to Reykjavik in December 2016. Current flights on Icelandair offered a refresher course. Even the napkins are bedecked with Xmas Lad photographs and their sagas.
Smithsonian explains that these “merry but mischievous fellows take turns visiting kids on the 13 nights leading up to Christmas. On each of those nights, children place one of their shoes on the windowsill. For good boys and girls, the Yule Lad will leave candy. If not, the Yule Lads are not subtle in expressing their disapproval: they fill the shoe with rotting potatoes.”
My calendar signifies that the annual Xmas Lad visits start at the moment. They’re a motley crew. Among the many Xmas Lads are Sheep-Cote Clod, who tries to suckle yews in farmer’s sheep sheds; Gully Gawk, who steals foam from buckets of cow milk; Spoon Licker, whose identify is self-explanatory; Sausage Swiper, once more self-explanatory; Window Peeper, primarily a Peeping Tom; and Door Sniffer, which is someplace I refuse to go.
I don’t need to quibble with Smithsonian — or the great individuals of Iceland — however these traits appear to transcend “mischief” to me. In reality, they strike me as type of pervy.
That stated, does anybody know find out how to take away the odor of rotten potatoes from footwear? Right here is your soundtrack. And since it’s Christmas, right here’s a bonus soundtrack. — Robert Lengthy
As we speak’s Daily Brief was written by Alex Acquisto and Robert Lengthy. When you’re studying this on the BDN’s web site or have been forwarded it, click on right here to obtain Maine’s main publication on state politics by way of e mail on weekday mornings. Click on right here to subscribe to the BDN.