May 24, 2013

Bill Nemitz: LePage's tempest in a TV-gate

By Bill Nemitz bnemitz@pressherald.com
Columnist

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Gov. Paul LePage says he'll move out of the Maine State House because he can't have a television with a political message in the Hall of Flags.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

I've got to tell you, Governor, you don't seem distracted to me at all. Borderline sociopathic, maybe, but otherwise as focused as you were back in February when you showed off your concealed-weapons permit or, a few weeks later, posed for St. Patrick's Day with that silly leprechaun hat perched atop your head.

In fact, TV-gate didn't divert you from vetoing the Legislature's bill, passed Thursday morning, that simultaneously expands Medicaid coverage for 60,000 needy Mainers and pays off the hospital debt. .

Heck, the Dems hadn't even delivered the actual legislation to you before you signed your veto message with a flock of very skittish-looking Republican lawmakers lined up behind you. ("Don't make any sudden movements – he's on a hair-trigger," you could almost hear them whispering to one another.)

So let me get this straight, Governor.

You trotted out your rogue TV, rules be damned, to show how long it's been since you submitted your hospital payment plan.

The Legislature has now passed that plan with the Medicaid expansion attached.

You immediately vetoed the whole package because, much as you want to pay the hospitals, you don't want to give out any more of that "welfare Medicaid" because you're sick and tired of all those people who are sick and tired.

And now you're moving out because nobody's going to tell you where you can plug in your Samsung.

Hold on a second, Governor. My inner journalist just asked me if perhaps all this theater of the absurd is really your attempt to pull our attention away from a very serious public-policy issue – Mainers who desperately need health care and the hospitals that provide it – and make it, as usual, all about you.

I just told my inner journalist to stop being such a buzz kill and start scouting the Augusta area for vacant commercial real estate.

My editors, meanwhile, are hard at work planning a snazzy, online multimedia package complete with pull-out profiles of your packers and interactive graphics comparing the square footage of your stately office with a very affordable retail space up by Kmart.

We're even planning a special pull-out section for our print product entitled: "LePage: The U-Haul Edition."

Just do our visual folks a favor, will you, Big Guy?

Get Glenn Beck to drive.

Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at:

bnemitz@pressherald.com

 

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