Robert F. Bukaty | AP
By Alex Acquisto, BDN Employees •
November 2, 2018 9:05 am
Up to date: November 2, 2018 9:16 am
Good morning from Augusta, the place Gov. Paul LePage continues to revel within the type of provocative retail politics that gained him two phrases within the Blaine Home.
Through the previous two weeks, LePage has resumed weekly interviews on radio speak exhibits with hosts who’ve been usually amenable to stepping apart to let him rip Democrats, stump for Republicans and wax poetic about his accomplishments.
His chief goal in current weeks has been Lawyer Common Janet Mills, the Democratic nominee to exchange him. He has just lately hit Assistant Home Majority Chief Jared Golden, the Democrat in a toss-up race to substitute U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in Maine’s 2nd District.
However on Thursday, he was in Bangor to help a Maine Senate candidate and previous pal in a race that has gotten subsequent to no consideration from the state’s political events.
On Thursday, he introduced his marketing campaign machine to Bangor. LePage headlined a rally at Husson College for previous pal Jim LaBrecque, a Republican difficult three-term Sen. Geoff Gratwick, D-Bangor. By campaigning for a good friend and lashing out towards enemies, LePage once more demonstrated that, for him, politics is private.
LaBrecque pitched the LePage occasion as a means to talk about Gratwick’s perceived authorized and moral points. He was charged in 2001 with a Class E misdemeanor for eradicating another person’s beaver traps from a small residential pond, which LaBrecque publicized that vaguely in a mailer that was despatched out final month to virtually 20,000 individuals.
LePage stated Thursday night time he needed to help get his message throughout as a result of he was nonetheless indignant at Gratwick and the Democrats for his or her marketing campaign techniques towards former state Sen. Nichi Farnham, a Republican whom Gratwick beat in a nasty, pricey 2012 race. Concentrating on LePage closely, Democrats trounced Republicans in legislative races that yr, profitable again management of the Home and Senate in one of many governor’s uncommon election night time setbacks.
“She is a far better woman than he is human being,” LePage stated when he took the rostrum, motioning to Farnham, who was sitting within the crowd.
LePage’s speech served as a protection of his administration and an extension of his previous media critiques. Whereas the occasion was organized by school Republicans, a lot of the crowd seemed to be over 60. LePage spoke briefly concerning the upswing of jobs and the financial system earlier than he proposed that Maine spend money on interest-free loans for school college students — one thing he tried final yr however failed to push by way of amid skepticism from different Republicans.
“Give them interest-free loans, the state picks up the interest. Now, follow me on this.” If a scholar leaves Maine after school, they pay their very own curiosity, but when they keep and work in Maine, “you go to their employer and say, we’ll give you a dollar for dollar reduction for your corporate tax.” That approach, younger individuals can make investments their cash elsewhere.
“Yes, brilliant,” the lady subsequent to me stated.
LePage punctuated his speech with well-worn criticisms of journalists, saying “if newspapers went away, I’d be “a happy person,” which acquired laughs from the gang. Then, he launched LaBrecque, whom he stated “needs to send the doctor back to doctoring and out of public office, because he’s horrible at it.”
To spotlight his friendship with LePage, LaBrecque confirmed a slideshow of photographs with the 2 of them at a birthday celebration earlier than he acquired down to enterprise, “just kinda to bring back some good ol’ memories,” he stated.
After that, and footage of him as a younger boy together with his sisters in Jay, he projected footage of newspaper articles about Gratwick and pointed at them with a laser pointer. LaBrecque informed the gang that Gratwick stole another person’s beaver traps.
The phrases, “Well, didn’t Gratwick have a mother growing up?” appeared on the display and LaBrecque learn them aloud. “My mother would’ve called that stealing. Would you vote for him if he stole your kid’s bike?”
LePage is wanting to outline his legacy at a delicate time for the top-tier Republicans in Maine’s largest races. LePage shares a political marketing consultant, Brent Littlefield, with Republican gubernatorial candidate Shawn Moody and Poliquin. He is additionally wanting to stamp his legacy. This week, he launched a press release hailing Maine’s financial system as “the best in decades” as a response to Democrats together with Mills who’ve painted it as stagnant.
Over the past two weeks of the marketing campaign, he has been preventing Mills in courtroom after her lawsuit towards his administration for withholding funding from her workplace and his lawsuit over her capacity to weigh in on out-of-state lawsuits. He has additionally hit Golden in radio appearances for advertisements concentrating on Poliquin on the difficulty of pre-existing situation protections, noting that Maine has comparable protections in regulation. He gave a Thursday radio tackle decrying Query 1, the house care referendum.
LePage has all the time been most snug whereas he’s on the offensive. He appears to be solely ramping up as Election Day approaches.
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We hope this is useful. Right here is your soundtrack.
— Maine’s candidates for governor lastly wrapped up their lengthy debate season. However issues did get a bit testy throughout Thursday night time’s debate as Moody requested Mills for an apology whereas she questioned whether or not ladies might belief him to equitably symbolize their pursuits if elected. The digs got here in response to questions on current assault advertisements, which spurred unbiased Terry Hayes to assert that voters ought to elect her if they need to keep away from all that negativity.
— A Maine senator stated he would return a marketing campaign contribution from an oil firm. Maine Public reviews that U.S. Sen. Angus King, an unbiased who caucuses with Democrats, will return a $5,000 marketing campaign contribution from Exxon Mobil. King made that call after being prodded to achieve this by Democratic candidate Zak Ringelstein throughout debates this week. “I think the check has been cut, and nobody buys my vote, but Zak was just hitting me over the head with it, and I think it was a red herring and the easiest way to take care of it would be to say, ‘OK, we’re gonna not do this,’” stated King, who is operating for a second time period in a three-way race towards Ringelstein and Republican state Sen. Eric Brakey.
— Maine’s election czar urges voters not to fret concerning the safety of their ballots this yr. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap stated his workplace has been in “constant contact” with federal businesses about election safety and is working intently with Fb, which has “really tightened up its rules” about sharing marketing campaign and election info. He reiterated that Maine’s use of paper ballots primarily eliminates the probabilities that hackers might tamper with election outcomes and urged voters to take considerations about Election Day irregularities to ballot staff or his workplace.
— The Democrat holds an enormous fundraising lead within the race to function district lawyer for 4 coastal Maine counties. However the race has been usually low-key and civil. Republican Jon Liberman turned district lawyer for Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties after the longtime DA there, Geoff Rushlau, turned a decide. Liberman, who is operating to retain the seat, faces a problem from Waldoboro lawyer Natasha Irving, who, in accordance to marketing campaign finance reviews from the Maine Ethics Fee, has acquired simply shy of $50,000 in marketing campaign contributions. Liberman, in distinction, has raised roughly $7,600. Irving has pointed to that huge money benefit as a sign that she would give you the option to rating grant cash to help fund restorative justice and different packages aimed toward rehabilitation. Liberman has emphasised his prosecutorial expertise and work to develop a toddler advocacy middle.
For the eighth — and remaining — yr, LePage and his spouse, Ann, will open the governor’s mansion to guests as a part of a comestibles assortment to profit Maine meals pantries and shelters.
Individuals can convey meals donations to the Blaine Home between 1 and three p.m. Sunday, or between 9 a.m. and midday Saturday, Nov. 10. The governor will lead excursions of the mansion, and lightweight refreshments will probably be provided. Meals donations will go to the Good Shepherd Meals Financial institution, which can distribute them to individuals in want.
Take a break from the stress and rancor of this marketing campaign season to cease by the Blaine Home, donate meals, thank the LePage household for his or her management in this nonpartisan act of generosity and perhaps even see if you will get the governor to be a part of you in a verse or two from immediately’s soundtrack. — Robert Lengthy
At the moment’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd, Alex Acquisto and Robert Lengthy. In case you’re studying this on the BDN’s web site or have been forwarded it, click on right here to obtain Maine’s main publication on state politics by way of e mail on weekday mornings. Click on right here to subscribe to the BDN.