L. Sigel: Governor's arbitrary decisions

When it was taught how legislation is passed and becomes law in the state of Maine, I must have missed the class where it was taught that the sitting governor could arbitrarily decide which laws he would acknowledge and enforce and which laws he would whimsically refuse to recognize and veto without recourse.

Gov. Paul LePage and Commissioner Sawin Millett apparently are the only ones who got that lesson on government in Maine.

Take the Maine Clean Election Act, which was placed on the ballot by the citizens of Maine by petition and subsequently passed by the voters in a referendum. Usually, a law passed by referendum, intentionally to bypass the state Legislature and the governor, wouldn't be altered. Gov. Paul LePage, however, has never liked the voice of the people, and noted through his spokeswoman that the Clean Election Fund is just "welfare for politicians" — the losing argument made against the Clean Election Act during the referendum campaign.

But now, Gov. LePage has decided he can veto the law in practice by simply defunding it in his monstrosity of a state budget, just as he has decided to ignore the law on revenue sharing and educational funding.

Fortunately, the people of Maine can still resort to a citizens' initiative to challenge any hideous budget Gov. LePage may force through the state Legislature.

Louis T. Sigel, Wayne

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.

Advertisement

Comments

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Governor LaPage is a member

Governor LaPage is a member of the executive branch, which is responsible of executing law. That said, the governor is at liberty to execute some laws with more diligence than other laws. This type of behavior happens all the time. Just look to Washington DC to see how the country’s executives have enforced immigration laws – or lake there of ( this applies to both republicans and democrats, so keep those remarks in your pockets please).

In closing, I support Governor LaPage’s priorities. Keep it up.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

So start a citizens' initiative.

You do that by writing to legislators, not to newspapers. When the petition comes my way, I'll sign it. When it goes to referendum, I'll vote against it, as will a great many Democrats. They will get the Blaine House back - that seems to be the will of the people who vote for a living - and they don't want to set a precedent that might come back to bite their governor when he goes against the will of the mob.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Representation

Our governor has pretty much managed to call everybody names who has had the nerve to disagree with him on anything. We have never had a politician in this state with so much contempt for the people of Maine. Seems to me the word for a leader who disregards the wishes and needs of the people he leads as well as the law is tyrant.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Hmm, kind of like being a

Hmm, kind of like being a conservative in the national political climate?

Claire Pot, what color is your kettle?

Advertisement

Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...