June 24, 2013

State House notebook: Override of budget veto in spotlight

By Michael Shepherd mshepherd@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

(Continued from page 1)

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As of Friday morning, the three parts of Woodard's series combined had 3,050 shares on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, compared with 5,927 shares of the gag-order story, a version of which was featured prominently on the MSNBC show of liberal pundit Rachel Maddow on Thursday night.

"It's totally counterproductive," Bailey said of the gag order.

And in a strange coincidence, 3,050 shares was the exact number the newspaper's story got on LePage's now-infamous "Vaseline" comment Thursday, directed toward Assistant Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson, D-Allagash.


LePage's sexual reference to Jackson's fiscal policy sparked colorful conversation among legislators on social media.

"I realize the governor has been pushed by the media and by a hostile Democratic party, but we are all called to be polite or at least decent even when we bitterly disagree," Rep. Amy Volk, R-Scarborough, wrote Friday on Facebook.

And Rep. Lisa Villa, D-Harrison, posted a picture of herself holding a bottle of Vaseline lotion, sitting on the steps in front of the State House. She used the photo caption to criticize LePage also for vetoing a bill that would have expanded Maine's version of Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor.

"Here(,) Gov. LePage, is (70 ounces) of Vaseline Intensive Care, better care than (70,000) Mainers will receive without expanding Medicaid."

On his Facebook page, Rep. Lance Harvell, R-Farmington, noted LePage's reference to Jackson, a logger, in which he said Jackson and others like him "ought to go back in the woods and cut trees and let somebody with a brain come down here and do some work."

Harvell wrote Friday that he was "trying to find a group (LePage) didn't insult," saying it was offensive to the religious right, loggers and legislators. He also referenced LePage's gag order against the Press Herald and sister papers in light of the Jackson comments.

"Last week the governor said he wasn't going to talk to the reporters. (If) only he had kept his word," Harvell wrote. 

Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 370-7652 or at mshepherd@mainetoday.com

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme


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