Paul LePage continues attack on Democratic tracker at swearing-in

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage, still upset that the Maine Democratic Party has hired a tracker to film him at public events, swore in new Democratic majorities in the Senate and House on Wednesday and pledged to work with them during the coming legislative session.

John Clarke Russ/Bangor Daily News

Gov. Paul LePage

“I’m very distinguished. I’ve been honored to have a private paparazzi paid for by the Democratic Party,” LePage said before swearing in the new Senate, joking that the party should have hired a Mainer — rather than someone from Massachusetts — for the job.

“I think it’s vulgar, I think it’s vicious, and I think it’s vile to me and my family,” he said. “I say that to you, for the lack of respect that the office of the governor of the state of Maine is receiving. Having said that, we have to go to work. I want to work with each and every one of you.”

LePage’s remarks came a day after the governor called off an introductory meeting scheduled with the new Legislature’s Democratic leaders, House Speaker Mark Eves and Senate President Justin Alfond, after the Democratic Party’s tracker filmed him at a Veterans Day event last month and attended a Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce event Tuesday at which LePage was speaking.

LePage said he would meet with Alfond and Eves if they called on the Democratic Party to stop filming him in public. Alfond and Eves had been attempting to schedule a meeting with LePage since shortly after last month’s elections.

In addition to taking the oath of office, representatives and senators on Wednesday formally elected their leaders. The Senate selected Alfond, who lives in Portland, as Senate president. Alfond won the job over the Republicans’ nominee for the post, Sen. Garrett Mason of Lisbon.

The House selected Eves, who lives in North Berwick. House Republicans didn’t challenge him.

In a speech after his election as Senate president, Alfond recognized his Republican colleagues and LePage and promised a collegial spirit for the coming legislative session.

“Even as we meet here today, there are those on both sides spoiling for a fight, and expecting the worst — a showdown in Augusta between the Blaine House and the Legislature,” he said. “I say, let’s disappoint them.”

While the speech wasn’t heavy on policy specifics, Alfond called for a blueprint for job growth, tailored to each region of the state.

Eves also called on both parties in the House to work together to address the state’s budget situation, as state revenue collections are expected to fall short of projections and the state’s Medicaid program faces a $100 million budget gap.

“We must work together,” Eves said. “The challenges we face are too big for one party to solve alone.”

Later Wednesday, lawmakers are scheduled to formally elect the state’s constitutional officers.Legislative Democrats and Republicans chose their candidates Tuesday for secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer and state auditor.

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Comments

Alarmingly, I find I agree

Alarmingly, I find I agree with the Governor on one point: they could have at least hired a Mainer (then again, the BDN doesn't confirm whether they guy's from Maine or Mass, and given the Gov's record on accuracy, he was probably wrong about that).

The governor is a clown, a spoof of a politician whose accomplishments of note have been thoroughly obscured by the foot firmly implanted down his throat. ("What accomplishments?" I hear asked. I'm not sure, but I'm sure he's done SOMEthing beside complain and whine and make jokes that fall flat.)

However, I have no more respect for the Democrat party operators than I do for Charlie Webster's GOP. They damaged their own credibility in 2008 when they went after a small-time independent running agains Tom Allen and Susan Collins for Senate. Out of fear that he was going to siphon off votes and keep Tom Allen from beating Collins, they had him thrown off the ballot for the alleged (and never proven) irreguilarities on a couple of signature sheets. News flash: Tom Allen never had a chance against Collins, and the independent was irrelevant. They also tuned me away with theit campaing attacks on Cutler. The Maine Dems are trying to act like the out of state Dems, and it is certainly conduct unbecoming of a Mainer.

Charlie Webster was no better and actually quite a bit more insane, especially when it came to his Turets-like cries of "voter fraud! voter fraud! Doesn't matter if I have no proof! Voter Fraud!" Webster bears as much responsibility for the Republican losses this year as LePage.

Funny, though, that I don't recall one single case of Angus King complaining about the GOP tracker that followed him around during the campaign. Probably because King had nothing to fear since he keeps his feet on the ground.

Dan Beggs's picture

Liberal democrats are all about hate

This is a form of hate they wont cooperate and are trying to ruin this state just to blame the governor. SUN JOURNAL i dont see an story about how this activity is hurting maines trust in the party system. the election is over and hiring this tracker shows just how scared the liberals are of the governor. why is this even allowed because of total lack of respect for the citizens elected governor of maine. "I didnt vot for him" you liberal whiners say, well the same percentage of people voted for useless baldacci did we throw a fit like a spoiled child? that is what the democrats are still doing and being supported by a liberal controlled media with liberal minded reporters. dont we have an anti stalking law in maine? why does this activity not apply

Chris Blake's picture

You can't stalk someone who gives permission

It's not stalking when a public figure shows up at a public event and is recorded by someone his own office gave permission to do so. If the governor has just a huge problem with it, he shouldn't have given permission, and he should sit down and deal with it like an adult with the people responsible, instead of canceling meetings with them and complaining whenever anyone is listening, regardless of whether what he is saying is appropriate to the venue.

Amedeo Lauria's picture

The purpose of this tracker is plain and simple...

to attempt to discredit and annoy our Governor; they certainly don't use the video collected to publicize his MANY accomplishments.

If he is in fact paid by Democrat party; I would just ask, is this they type of activities you are expecting from your polical donations?

I was personally involved with an incident while working this last campaign season, when a two person team, representing some political action group, walked into our campaign headquarters in Lewiston.

One was carrying a video camera, while the other asked a series of, in my opinion, silly questions, all in the attempt to get a rise out of us. They never asked for our permission to video us and it was done on private property. We tried to be as cordial as we could even given the circumstances, as we knew anything else would have served their purposes to try to discredit a particular candidate.

I later found myself, without granting any permission to do so, as part of a hit piece against a local candidate posted on "YouTube." I was a private citizen working on a campaign as part of my civic responsiblity. I felt this was a form of harrassment but, of course, there is little legal recourse given the cost of trying to discourage this ridiculous "in your face" behavior in the courts.

This from the party that claims we have lost civility in the political process. What a joke! The best part, the candidate they were trying to discredit WON back his seat!

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Meism

Once again with the governor it's all about him. It's not about solving the budget, or the people in Maine who have no homes, or health care, or jobs. It's about him getting his picture taken. I swear this guy is five years old. When you are the governor you meet with the legislative leaders. It's your job. When New Jersey went under water its Republican governor was able to put the needs of his constituency ahead of self interest and ideology. He will be reelected by a landslide. Take a note governor. I don't think that will be your case.

Denis Ledoux's picture

Dem Tracker

LePage is trying to bring this to the court of public opinion. What he does not seem to realize is that he is very unpopular and the vast majority of voters do not want him and would be pleased to see him quit over his "disgust." The court of public opinion will not work in this case.

If he can't stand the heat, he ought to get out of the kitchen.

Ed Enos's picture

tracker

It's too bad that this person is hired to film every spoken word, to be edited for the next election. This behavior does not belong in Maine. Every Democrat and Republican should be calling their state organizations and demand this stop.

DONALD FERLAND's picture

Too bad the republicans did

Too bad the republicans did the same thing during the election....guess if it's good for the goose than it is good for the gander. LePage is just too childish and immature to deal with it

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

Now the shoes on the other side

the bully becomes the victim :)

AL PELLETIER's picture

Lack of respect?

Perhaps creating respect for the office of the Governor of the State of Maine instead of making it the laughing stock of the state, and the country, would not draw so much negative publicity.

Chris Blake's picture

Respect is earned

Respect is earned, or at least given on the condition that it is honored. LePage has done and said much that shows a profound lack of respect for both his office and his constituents, and our state is weaker for it, not for the publicity that arises after the fact. The publicity is a symptom, and the illness is our current governor.

I respect the office, I don't respect the officeholder in this case.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Paul LePage continues stalking Democratic tracker . ..

LSJ - BDN readers 12.05.12 10:35 hst ? Weds , Hump Day
. .and this is what it feels like to have a ƒascist as your civilian Chief Executive Officer /s Steve Dosh , Presidentially Comissioned and former Federal Ombudsman
Thank good ness for the Fourth Estate ?
e.g., http://www.newseum.org/exhibits-and-theaters/permanent-exhibits/first-am...

Steve  Dosh's picture

lsj - bdn readers 12.05.12

lsj - bdn readers 12.05.12 14:14 hst ?
. . The guy may have another heart attack in office
You are , by definition , a " public " figure , Hon. Gov. ref :. . ." the Democratic Party to stop filming him in public. " We can only wonder what other skeletons you have hiding in your closet ( no reference to Kathryn :)
Time wil tell . ...
Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you
/s , the winning party

Jason Theriault's picture

OH NOES

He does realize he is the Governor, and that as a public figure, he is going to be filmed alot?

And obviously, the swearing in of the new Dem majority is the perfect time to call the Maine Democratic party names.

Only 698 more days.

DONALD FERLAND's picture

When is the governor going to

When is the governor going to grow up and do his job. I have some cheese here that should go nicely with his whine.

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