Politics

October 18, 2013

Bill Nemitz: Visit to ramp shows LePage really governs state of denial

By Bill Nemitz bnemitz@pressherald.com
Columnist

(Continued from page 1)

No sir, let’s get right to the heart of the matter here: LePage was irate because Mike Michaud, his Democratic challenger in next year’s re-election bid, is not the boss of the boat launch!

“It appears that after my administration raised this issue on behalf of local fishermen, Congressman Michaud has announced federal agents will stop enforcing their barricade,” huffed LePage. “There has been no official announcement that fishermen will not face legal ramifications if they cross this barricade. Mr. Michaud is not the president and he does not direct this federal department.”

(No way to know for sure, but do you think Second Lt. Onoda had days like this?)

LePage, to be fair, isn’t the only Republican who tried to make political hay (no wait, that’s seaweed) out of the closed-but-now-open boat ramp.

State Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst, joined the governor at the site Thursday morning and, in a statement released later in the day, asked, “If low-level federal bureaucrats can be so petty and vindictive as to stop people from going to work, then what’s going to happen when they control access to your health care?”

(Good point. Time to dig a moat around your nearest Rite Aid.)

Also getting into the act was former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, who’s hard at work trying to replace Michaud in Congress and thus is the “Where’s Waldo” in the background of any and all future Ted Cruz photo ops.

In a statement released hours after Congress signaled its standoff was over, Poliquin lamented that keeping the by-now-open Edmunds boat launch closed “could force our fishermen to traverse the dangerous waters of Reversing Falls to reach their fishing grounds.”

(Props to Poliquin on his newfound mastery of Maine coastal geography. If I were his media guy, I’d also be scrambling right now to get some B-roll of Capt. Bruce, as he steers the USS Prosperity straight into the teeth of Reversing Falls, bellowing, “Damn you, political currents!”)

So how long might this foolishness go on?

Hard to say, although we should note that LePage has yet to lift the state of civil emergency that he – and only he – declared at the height of the shutdown.

“The civil emergency is effective and will be used as an administrative tool in an effort to ensure an orderly transition back to normal government operations,” LePage’s spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett, said in an email Thursday.

Normal government operations? Geez, couldn’t that take decades?

Just ask Second Lt. Onoda, who finally came out of the jungle in 1974, after his old commanding officer traveled all the way to the Philippines and personally relieved Onoda of his duty.

“We really lost the war!” Onoda later wrote. “How could they have been so sloppy?”

It happens.

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

bnemitz@pressherald.com

Twitter: @billnemitz

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