Gov. Paul LePage moves his TV out of Hall of Flags but with sight of passersby

AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage has complied with an order to remove a television from the hallway outside his office, sort of.

Christopher Cousins/Bangor Daily News

In response to pressure from Democrats the Legislative Council to move a television he placed outside his office in the State House last week, Gov. Paul LePage had the television mounted in a window above a door to his office over the weekend.

The television, which caused controversy last week when LePage put it outside his State House office to pressure the Legislature to take quick action on his biennial budget proposal and plan to repay Medicaid debt to Maine hospitals, has been mounted in a window above a door, facing out toward the Hall of Flags.

The Hall of Flags is technically the domain of the Legislature, and rules bar anyone from using that space for political purposes unless they have permission from the Legislative Council, which is made up of members of legislative leadership from both parties. But LePage refused to take that step last week and called lawmakers’ barring him from using the television “censorship.” He vowed that he would move his personal office out of the State House over the matter. Since last Thursday, LePage has conducted business from the Blaine House, though his staff remains at the State House.

“The repeated attempts by Democrats to stifle debate on bills and prevent me from speaking in front of the Appropriations Committee is a disturbing pattern of censorship that should concern all Mainers,” said LePage last week in a prepared statement. “Now they are saying that the governor of Maine cannot have a TV in the waiting area. … If I have to remove myself from the toxic climate of censorship by Democrats in the State House to defend the taxpayers of Maine, then that’s what I will do.”

Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, and House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, told reporters last week that they were not trying to censor the governor but rather ensuring that he follows the same rules that apply to everyone else.

At first, the television broadcast a daily ticker of how many days it has been since LePage proposed a biennial budget and hospital debt plan, along with the message, “What’s the hold up?” Messages commemorating Memorial Day began to appear on the television late last week and as of Monday, the television was streaming images of LePage at recent Memorial Day events.

LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said Tuesday that David Boulter, the Legislative Council’s executive director, told LePage last week that the television would be removed Tuesday if the administration didn’t move it first. Boulter could not be reached Tuesday morning to comment on the television’s new location, just a few feet from where it was before.

“We think this works for everybody and it fits nicely in that window,” said Bennett. “And now it’s within the governor’s office.”

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Comments

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Remove both

The flatscreen and the boob tube LePage....

Gerald Weinand's picture

A law has been broken

In order to place the TV in this spot, and existing transom window over the door was removed. This action violates state law, specifically 3 MRSA §902-A., which reads in part:

"The Bureau of General Services may make no architectural, aesthetic or decorative addition, deletion or change to any external or internal part of the State House or its immediate grounds under the jurisdiction of the Legislative Council unless the council has approved the change in writing in conformance with the plan adopted by the council. The Governor must be notified before the council votes on any change. The commission may make recommendations to the council in regard to any proposed architectural, aesthetic or decorative addition, deletion or change to the internal or external part of the State House."

The State House is an historic building, and cannot be changed on a whim. The Governor's Office should be compelled to explain who ordered this alteration, and then order the TV removed and the transom replaced.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Exactly Gerald

It should be removed; this hayseed thinks that the building belongs to him. Removing the mural then the transom is totally in violation of damaging/altering the Peoples House.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Gov. Paul LePage moves his TV out of Hall of Flags . .

Mainers, Tuesday night 20:00 hst
Hahahah ! Great headline , " Gov. Paul LePage moves his TV . . . "
This makes for good theatre ?
" I want my M T V . Now . "
/s, Steve

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Flat screen, to a sandbox

Who cares if you want to look at {Oh! Bennett, btw, is not a window} a transom for a neck breaking view...it will be easy for the Repubs to view since they always have their noses in the air....but the better view is when he puts his sandbox outside the main entrance playing with his toys out in the yard away from the Capital.

Steve  Dosh's picture

. .Hhahahah Jer ! You know

. .Hhahahah Jer ! You know it ?  Big boys ? Big toys . What kind of guns does he own ? ¿ B I G G U N S ? Talk a little louder ! I'M IN ARTILLERY . " -- Robin Williams ( as Adrian Cronaur ) to Forrest Whittaker (as Garlic ) in " Good Morning Viet Nam ." rotƒlmƒao again • t y v m Jerry ;) ? Steve

AL PELLETIER's picture

Poor Adrienne

Still trying to minimize the idiotic actions of Lerage.
Our state is at a total stand still due to all the counter productive crap he keeps coming up with, and he wants a second term?

Steve  Dosh's picture

AL ? A: Yes . Liƒe

AL ? A: Yes . Liƒe imitates art yet once again • It reminds us all of that classic flick http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_Hearts_%281966_film%29 . .. where the war finally ends and the crazies get out and take over the town ( in France , no less ) /s Steve :D

Jason Theriault's picture

Wow

Well, he is technically correct.

Just like how he technically has 524 days left as governor.

Steve  Dosh's picture

JT ? ¿ wow = mom upside down

JT ? ¿ wow = mom upside down ? uh huh . . 523.2 and counting . This should be ƒun ?
* snap * Gotta' see what the competition says --> http://www.twincitytimes.com <--
^^ Not an endorsement or advertisement , LSJ ® night editor ^^
/s, Steve

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