Politics

June 17, 2013

State House Notebook: LePage 'cordial' in talks on key bills

While public bickering remains intense, he shows restraint in meetings with House and Senate leaders.

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com
State House Bureau

(Continued from page 1)

LePage encouraged lawmakers to consider the story when voting on the budget and future education funding matters.

WHY PORTLAND?

So why did Eimskip, the Icelandic shipping company, choose Portland as its North American headquarters over the two other ports it was considering, Everett, Mass. and Davisville, R.I.?

One reason, according to the company's president, Gylfi Sigfusson, is Gov. Paul LePage.

Speaking at the International Trade Day in South Portland two weeks ago, Sigfusson said LePage and other local and state officials went out of their way to recruit Eimskip.

Portland, he said, had a "positive atmosphere from the governor on down. The governor was very open, compared to others," said Sigfusson, according to Atlantic Northeast Rails & Ports, a trade publication.

He added that he had "never seen a politician like him. He came to a (trade) show in Boston, shook hands at our booth." In Rhode Island, "it was very hard to get an appointment."

Eimskip is based at the International Marine Terminal, which is owned by the city of Portland but managed by the Maine Port Authority, a quasi-state agency that works under the Maine Department of Transportation.

PEW: MAINE LOSING JOBS

Just in time for a ramped-up governor's race, the Pew Charitable Trusts released a graphic showing job growth in the states between April 2012 and April 2013.

The graphic was based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It showed Maine was one of three states to lose jobs between 2012 and 2013. Wisconsin and Wyoming were the others.

The table shows a loss of 1,500 jobs in Maine. Texas and North Dakota led the way in job growth, which Pew partially attributed to those states' oil riches.

It didn't take long for the graphic to become a political statement on Gov. Paul LePage's policies.

Danny Kanner, the communications director for the Democratic Governors Association, quickly tweeted the link to the graphic to LePage and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's Twitter accounts.

"Care to explain?" Kanner tweeted.

Staff writer Tom Bell contributed to this report.

Steve Mistler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at:

smistler@mainetoday.com

Twitter: @stevemistler

 

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