Friday, December 20, 2013
Gov. Paul LePage and communications staff frequently complain that Maine reporters don't give the governor positive coverage. The Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel are a frequent target of such complaints, but our competitors have received limited access to the governor, too, presumably for the same reason.
Just today, after Press Herald reporter Randy Billings covered LePage's unannounced town hall meeting with members of the city's Sudanese community, the governor's spokesman Peter Steele turned down Billings' invitation for a video interview at Press Herald HQ (It's a real pressure cooker.), saying the administration had difficulty obtaining favorable coverage from the paper.
And Friday, in his weekly radio address, LePage said that Maine reporters would rather "tweet than write an investigative report." The governor also listed eight economic development achievements, most of which "received not so much as a byline."
Is that accurate? Nope.
Let's take each of the projects one by one. The links are to stories by MaineToday Media:
• "Barclaycard announces job additions in Wilton." KJ story here.
• "Irving Forest Products adds jobs and $30 million sawmill." PPH story here.
• "Maine Wood Concepts, expands adds jobs." MS story here.
• Ameridial facility in Fort Kent adds 90 jobs. It appears LePage is right about this one.
• "Global company that makes surgical dressings" -- it's called Molnlycke -- expands. The PPH didn't covered company's recent announcement that it's seeking a tax break for expansion, but the PPH covered its plans to add 50 jobs here and its expansion at Brunswick Landing here.
• "Allagash International sent its first shipment ... using Eimskip container service." No coverage for Eimskip? In the PPH here, here, here, here, here and here. Additionally, LePage's willingness to prioritize Eimskip's need to expand rail service in his $100 million transportation bond was covered here, here and here. The PPH also told readers that Eimskip president said LePage was the reason the company chose to come to Maine.
• LePage ships lobsters to 49 governors to promote industry. PPH coverage here.
The list goes on, as does the administration's unsupported claim that the Maine media won't cover stories that put him in a positive light.Tweet
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.