AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage’s latest controversy involving remarks on black and Hispanic drug dealers and a subsequent profanity-laden voicemail to a Democratic lawmaker who criticized him shows no signs of slowing down and should continue to dominate political coverage today.

LePage is set to meet with that lawmaker, Rep. Drew Gattine of Westbrook, this morning.

We’re also expecting to more legislative wrangling after Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, openly disagreed with House Republicans’ Tuesday announcement that they won’t support calls for a special legislative session to censure LePage.

“With all due respect, I completely disagree with [House Minority Leader Ken] Fredette’s position,” Thibodeau said this morning in a prepared statement. “The Republican Senate caucus has clearly stated that we need an acceptable plan for corrective action before the determination of whether the Legislature should convene is made. “We implore the governor to do the right thing …”

This all happens as Democrats push for LePage’s resignation. House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan and Assistant Leader Sara Gideon of Freeport said LePage is “not mentally able to serve” in a statement late Tuesday. Hundreds of progressives staged a rally in Augusta yesterday and a “Rally for Decency” is set for tonight in Westbrook.

That’s where we are now. Tuesday played a big part in getting us here.

The day began with LePage refusing to tell hosts in his weekly appearance on WVOM if he’d finish his term or not, saying he’s “looking at all of the options.”

Those comments — and subsequent reports from the Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald — sparked a national wave of reporting on LePage’s consideration of resignation, a serious subject that politicians don’t invoke lightly.

Except, perhaps, LePage: In the early afternoon, he paraphrased Mark Twain on Twitter, saying, “The reports of my political demise are greatly exaggerated.”

But those “reports” came directly from LePage. Just before the Twitter Twain quip, LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett sent an email to state and national reporters urging them to listen to LePage’s radio interview instead of citing Press Herald coverage.

She said the newspaper “has and will continue to report about Governor LePage with erroneous information as the publication’s editors support biased journalism against our Governor.” But LePage’s words were clear.

For his part, the governor had an otherwise normal day, touring St. Croix Tissue in Baileyville. Making things more confusing is that he talked to reporters there, largely repeating the same message that he leveled on the radio.

It’s not the first time that LePage has spoken on serious subjects before disavowing his words. Earlier this year, he talked about running against independent U.S. Sen. Angus King before dismissing it as a joke and later talking about it seriously again.

There was also the time that he said a Mainer may have died in the Paris terror attacks last year. His office said it didn’t have confirmation, and it ended up not being true.

The point is that LePage doesn’t behave like a normal politician, even when it comes to invoking resignation, which is one of the most serious things a politician can do. So, we urge caution in getting whipped up by his words here.


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