July 14, 2013

Dan Demeritt: Session had plenty of winners on both sides of the aisle

The state's hospitals won big, too, giving Gov. LePage a victory on his most prominent pledge.

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As I predicted, they also found ways to reach agreement and bipartisan solutions on the budget, a comprehensive energy bill and other matters of importance. Win for them. Win for me.

I think Democratic Legislative leaders, led by Senate President Justin Alfond and House Speaker Mark Eves, won as well. The Legislature is a slow moving institution comprised of 186 lawmakers with thousands of priorities. The presiding officers presided over a relatively smooth and productive session. Well done.

There are examples of entities or persons who interests were not well served by the First Regular Session of the 126th Legislature. The one that comes first to mind for me is potential independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler.

A state shutdown was long a concern given the political makeup and personalities at the State House. The closure of state offices and temporary suspension of state services would have sent a clear message of dysfunction to voters. The last and only time Republicans and Democrats failed to keep state government operational the voters elected independent Angus King in the subsequent election.

Cutler's bid for the governor's mansion would have gotten a big boost had a standoff between the two major parties shut down state government. I would never suggest Cutler wanted a shutdown, but it would have sharpened his point concerning a need for a new approach.

Dan Demeritt is a Republican political consultant and public relations specialist. He is a former campaign aide and communications director for Gov. Paul LePage. He can be contacted at:

dan@win207.com Twitter: @demerittdan


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