LePage inauguration to match the man, economy

AUGUSTA — Aides for Gov.-elect Paul LePage say the Jan. 5 inauguration ceremony will mirror the incoming governor's down-to-business personality and the times of austerity he's inheriting.

LePage will not give a long speech, or use a teleprompter. And there will be no lavish ball, just a short reception with a cash bar. 

There will, however, be lobster.

The latter will be donated by Linda Bean, a LePage campaign contributor, and the granddaughter of L.L. Bean, the famous retailer. As for the rest of the menu and the costs, LePage's advisers offered few details, except to say the event at the Augusta Civic Center will be significantly more low key than outgoing Gov. John Baldacci's first inauguration. 

Brent Littlefield, a consultant for LePage and his former campaign manager, said the governor-elect insisted on forgoing the traditional inaugural ball.

"He didn't think it was appropriate to do it during these times," Littlefield said.

Littlefield said LePage's ceremony will start and end early. He said the incoming governor was eager to get to work.

"Paul doesn't take himself too seriously," Littlefield said. "There's not going to be poems read, no chorus-style singing."

"You won't need a pillow," he added.

The invitation-only reception at the Civic Center will follow a ceremony in which LePage will be sworn in before a joint session of the Maine Legislature.

Senate President Kevin Raye, R-Perry, will preside over the joint session, which will begin at the State House. Per tradition, the Senate will formally receive the elections results from the Secretary of State and vote to ratify them.

"We hope they'll accept the results of the election," Littlefield said.

In the meantime, LePage will await the Senate decision at the Blaine House. Littlefield said LePage will have coffee with Baldacci and several other former governors before departing for the Civic Center.

Dan Demeritt, LePage's press secretary, said he wasn't sure if LePage would make any major policy announcements during his inauguration speech. Demeritt said the 12-minute speech is still being crafted, but that it would likely hit upon many of the issues LePage campaigned on, such as strengthening Maine's economy and making the state more business friendly.

The ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. Raye will swear in the new governor, marking the first time in decades that Republicans will have control of the Blaine House and both chambers of the Legislature. 

The last Republican governor was John McKernan, who served two terms through 1994.

LePage will take the oath of office before lawmakers from both chambers, as well as tribal leaders, party officials, diplomats and their spouses. Afterward, the Civic Center will be readied for the reception. There will be music, light food, a cash bar and a receiving line.

LePage isn't the only incoming governor planning a scaled-back inauguration ceremony. A recent USA Today piece noted that several other governors are doing the same in order not to offend unemployed or struggling constituents.

Beyond the lack of a formal ball, LePage’s inaugural activities are fairly typical. Both of Gov. John Baldacci’s events, like LePage’s, were invitation-only.

Despite the low-key affair and brief ceremony, Littlefield said organizers expected more than 4,000 people to attend the inauguration.

"This will be a typical Maine event," he said.

Content from The Associated Press was used in this report

smistler@sunjournal.com

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Comments

RONALD RIML's picture

sorry 'mainebob'

LePage is 'Special' - like special education....

RONALD RIML's picture

Jealousy? Grasp your mind around 'Nepotism'

Nepotism and corruption go together like baseball and springtime.

To minimize such concern as mere 'Jealousy' indeed shows us where YOU stand - and you better scrape the dirt and mud off your shoes before you go inside.

RONALD RIML's picture

Wrong again, Gil.

Gil writes: "So Governor LePage gets over 38%, Cutler gets 37%, and Mitchell gets 3rd with 19%, Moody 5%, and Scott 1%. I would say that gives Governor LePage the majority of the votes."

You might say it, Gil - but that doesn't make it so as you don't know the meaning of the words you use. Governor LePage actually got a "Plurality" of the vote - a "Majority" is that number larger than half of the total. LePage got less than half of the total - a 'Plurality." You should learn of what you speak before you stoop to deride "Liberals."

RONALD RIML's picture

Sorry Gil - Wrong again.

Synonyms don't mean 'the same thing.' Though some words may have similar meanings, and occasionally be interchangeable, syntax and context, along with nuance are very important. You just can't substitute a boar for a sow, though both be pigs.

Besides Constitutional Law Courses, you should also check into some English, Literature, and Writing courses...

Though you have done some pretty 'creative' writing here - we've noticed.

 's picture

eliminate????

I am definitely not a LePage supporter, but even he never said he was going to eliminate sales and income taxes.

Larry T. Doughty's picture

Governor LePage, man of the people.

Governor LePage, man of the people. Let's all get behind him, and wish you the very best. He will need it.

Wishing LePage well

I did not support Lepage or his platform, even though I graduated with him from Lewiston High School in 1967;his victory is a prettyawesome feat,ANDI wish him well! FYI I never remember him being homeless,and down trodden in any way!

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