Friday, March 7, 2014
Catching up, circling back on the State of the State . . .
The ha-has: Gov. Paul LePage tossed out a few zingers during his State of the State address. A sampling:
- "Tonight, I am here to update you, the people of Maine, on the condition of our great state. Everything is fine. Thank you for coming. Good night."
- "That's why I'm angry: education, domestic violence, energy. But I'm doing better. I'm working on it."
- "Wow, that's a familiar number for me, 39 percent." (After citing statistics that only 39 percent of eighth graders read to proficiency standards. It's a bit of an inside joke, but it's the same percentage of the vote that LePage won in 2010.).
Coordinated effort: The LePage administration took the unprecedented step of tweeting excerpts of the speech in advance of the governor's address.
The administration also used department Twitter accounts to tease the speech. The Maine Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Labor Department and the Department of Education were among the agencies that tweeted previews of the governor's remarks.
Dill 2014? U.S. Senate candidate Cynthia Dill has been debating the the 2014 gubernatorial race with fellow Democrats Steve Woods and Ethan Strimling. The Twitter conversation may lead one to ask whether Dill is considering a run for the Blaine House.
She says via message "Well, I'm not thinking about anything like that right now."
Nonetheless here's the conversation for those who missed it:
Speaking of Dill, Woods: Those who followed the U.S. Senate race last year will remember that Dill and Woods didn't always get along. Rarely got along, actually. Woods didn't take kindly to Dill's comments about "rich, white guys;" Dill suspected that Woods was playing the role of enforcer for Angus King.
Baldacci announcement: This just in from colleague Jessica Hall: Former Gov. John Baldacci will decide sometime in April whether or not he'll run for governor.
Budget push: If could be a long day, and night, for the Legislature's budget-writing committee. Lawmakers are hoping to vote out the governor's supplemental budget to close a funding gap in the current two-year budget. Democrats said Wednesday that they hope to get the budget to the floor of the House by next week. That budget committee is also hoping to beat the snowstorm barreling down on the state.
Completely non-political item: It's coming! Grab the canned goods and candles! (H/T David Epstein for the scary graphic)
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.