Sunday, March 9, 2014
And we're back . . .
Movin' on up: Jason Savage, head of Gov. Paul LePage's political organization, Maine People Before Politics, is now the executive director of the Maine Republican Party.
Savage's political career has been on an upward trajectory since the former Marden's employee became an activist for LePage during his 2010 gubernatorial run. Savage is generally regarded as a smart, tireless advocate for the governor. Even most of his political opponents congratulated his move to party headquarters.
One wonders how former party chairman Charlie Webster is taking the promotion, or if he knew it was coming when he told the Press Herald in November that LePage's people were "going to run the party."
Webster and LePage were not especially chummy. LePage once compared his relationship with Webster to his relationship with MPBN reporter AJ Higgins, whom the governor once jokingly (?) said he wanted to punch.
There have been a bunch of rumored reasons for the chilled relations between LePage and Webster, which seemed to go cold right after LePage and Republicans swept into power in 2010. One of the rumors involves a dispute over Savage, whose organizing/advocacy skills seemed well-suited for the party.
Instead, Savage and consultant Brent Littlefield ultimately started Maine People Before Politics, a group that frequently mobilized the governor's supporters by sending email blasts urging them to contact lawmakers in advance of contentious votes or challenging unflattering press coverage.
The guess here is that Savage will now do similar work for the party.
Prediction: Much has been made over Gov. Paul LePage's decision not to meet with Democratic leaders in the Legislature. Republican House leader Rep. Kenneth Fredette, of Newport, told WGAN on Saturday that he expects what he described as a media-driven obsession to become a "footnote" -- and soon.
Fredette said predicted that a meeting between Democrats and LePage will happen "sooner rather than later" and that it should be a low-key affair.
Fredette also said that he meets with the governor regularly. He added that LePage had empowered he and Senate Republican leader Sen. Mike Thibodeau, of Winterport, to be the conduit between the governor's office and Democratic leadership.
Super spot: Those who watched the Super Bowl Sunday evening may have see a 30-second ad from the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun-control coalition.
According to the MAIG website, there are three Maine mayors who belong to the organization, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, Hallowel Mayor Charlotte Warren and Augusta Mayor William Stokes.
The Super Bowl ad advocated for background checks on all gun purchases.
Completely non-political item No. 1: A company in Las Vegas (of course) is attempting to make a business of treating hangovers (of course).
"The entry-level choice, the $99 Redemption Package, includes one liter of hydration fluid and one of the following: Zofran (for nausea), Toradol (for headaches), or a blend of vitamins and antioxidants. The top-shelf choice, the $199 Rapture Package, includes up to two liters of hydration fluid, Zofran, Toradol, Pepcid (for heartburn), vitamins and antioxidants, a 30-minute hit of pure oxygen, a Super B shot (billed on Hangover Heaven's website as "similar to a B12 shot, but five times better"), and antioxidant and vitamin pills to go."
Completely non-political item No. 2:
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.