April 14, 2011

LePage at 100 days:
A rework in progress

By Susan M. Cover scover@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

(Continued from page 1)

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A former business executive, Gov. Paul LePage has pledged to lower taxes and reduce regulations that burden businesses. But his goals have been overshadowed by his caustic comments and the continuing battle over his removal of a labor-themed mural from a wall in the Department of Labor's headquarters.

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"The first 100 days have been a disaster," said party Chairman Ben Grant. "Maine people elected everybody ... to help fix Maine's ailing economy and to provide jobs for Maine people. Instead, we're removing art from the walls, putting chemicals back into baby bottles and all kinds of nonsense issues that have nothing to do with job creation."

The 100-day benchmark -- first observed in the early 1930s, during Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency -- has been used by political writers to gauge the effectiveness of Maine's two most recent governors.

In April 1995, Gov. Angus King, an independent, was praised for his upbeat approach to the job but panned by others, who said he lacked a clear agenda, according to a story in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Eight years later, Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, earned high marks for getting strong bipartisan support for his two-year budget and gaining approval for a $60 million bond in his first 100 days.

When LePage took office, Democrats handed him and the Legislature's new Republican majority many problems that need to be fixed, said Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster.

"In 100 days, they expect us to fix what they took 35 years to destroy," Webster said. "Maine's a welfare state, we have a lousy business climate, we're among the highest-taxed in the country, and they expect us to change it in 100 days."

MaineToday Media State House Writer Susan Cover can be contacted at 620-7015 or at:

scover@mainetoday.com

 

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