January 14, 2013

State House Notebook: Sticking to his gun – for waiting period

From staff reports

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

Former Rep. Gerald Talbot, now 81, recently returned the inoperable .38-caliber revolver – a so-called Saturday Night Special – he borrowed from Portland police several decades ago for use as a prop in his unsuccessful campaign for more stringent gun laws. The renewed controversy over gun control reminded him he still had it tucked in a bureau.

Photos by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

Asked about that possibility, Mills said, "I could have a beer with him."

It's a date!


That's a tricky issue for the governor's staff. On one hand, the governor has been known to distract from his own message with impolitic comments. On the other hand -- even many of his opponents agree -- he can be a captivating and engaging speaker.

His staff has tried to deliver the governor's message with scripted video addresses and interviews, but there seems to be general agreement that those don't quite capture the true LePage. On tape he looks uncomfortable and stiff.

It will be interesting to see if his staff makes him more available to the press. After all, as political consultant Dennis Bailey noted recently on WGAN-AM, the governor can't do public relations "by hologram."

LePage probably can't run for re-election via "hologram" either.


Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, posted on Facebook Friday that he and Democratic leaders would be meeting with the governor and his staff to discuss the budget.

It looked as if Alfond and LePage might finally have the face-to-face conversation that LePage abruptly canceled in December after complaining that Democrats had hired a tracker to videotape his public appearances.

But, as it turned out, LePage wasn't in the room when his budget proposal was presented to lawmakers. His budget chief, Sawin Millett, handled the duties.

We weren't really sure, anyway, if the budget briefing would have counted as the meeting that Alfond and Democrats have been looking for.

Alfond wasn't the only one who might have been disappointed that LePage didn't show up.

The Democratic tracker was there with his video camera.

State House Bureau Writers Steve Mistler and Michael Shepherd and Staff Writer Matt Byrne contributed to this report.

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