Political Animal


June 23, 2013 12:35 PM LeRamPage

By Ed Kilgore

So if you think the Obama administration is paranoid about leaks to the press, check out what’s happening in the Great State of Maine, where accidental governor Paul LePage is on a real rampage. Here’s an explanation from Washington Monthly contributor and Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram reporter Colin Woodward, whose investigative series on the corporate lobbyist LePage appointed to head the state’s environmental protection agency has really gotten under the governor’s skin:

As regular readers know, my seven-month, five-part, three-day investigation of the state Department of Environmental Protection began running Sunday. On Tuesday, Gov. Paul LePage reacted by announcing a statewide ban against any official — including his own spokespeople — from speaking to my newspaper, the Portland Press Herald, or its sister papers in the state capital and his most recent hometown, Waterville. His justification: an unspecific charge of bias, with my series on the DEP and George Polk Award-winning investigation of the education department as examples.

LePage, who seems to be one of those bulls who carries a china shop around with him, is also dealing with adverse publicity from a crude remark involving Vasoline that he recently made about a Democratic legislator.

Indeed, he’s so frustrated by his experience in Maine state government that he’s talking about running for the congressional seat that Democrat Mike Michaud is reportedly planning to vacate to run for governor.

Yeah, that’s exactly what the U.S. House of Representatives needs: another noisy right-wing crank. But that’s precisely why the idea might appeal to LePage. He wouldn’t stand out at all.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


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