Somewhere in the dark recesses of the State House, there’s got to be a personnel policy for this sort of thing:

What do the good citizens of Maine do when our state treasurer develops a man crush on our governor?

You read that right, folks. Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, the fast-talking, self-promoting, glory-grabbing candidate for the U.S. Senate, is officially infatuated — and not just with himself this time.

He’s in love with the Guv.

“Governor LePage is enacting conservative reforms and Bruce Poliquin has been at his side the whole way,” boasts a 30-second television spot, released last week, that shows Poliquin and LePage slapping hands and wrapping each other in a bear hug (not that there’s anything wrong with that) seconds after LePage swore in Poliquin as treasurer back in 2010.

The TV spot was just the beginning. This week, Poliquin sent out a mailer showing his smiling face overlapping LePage’s beneath the headline “Paul LePage and Bruce Poliquin — Two Conservatives Fighting for Maine’s Future.”

“Ally of Governor LePage,” proclaims the flier’s flip side. “Bruce campaigned to elect Paul LePage, works with him as State Treasurer, and has advanced their conservative agenda.”

A political odd couple of the highest order? Poliquin wishes.

“As June 12th nears, I want to make it clear to Mainers that I’ve decided not to endorse a candidate in the Republican race for United States Senate,” LePage said in a terse statement even as Poliquin’s fliers were landing in Republican mailboxes all over Maine. “Republicans have six well-qualified candidates to choose from. May the best person win.”

Translation: Easy, there, little buddy. That semi-manic twinkle in your eyes is starting to creep me out.

How these things happen is anyone’s guess.

Two years ago at this time, Poliquin was busy spending a substantial chunk of his vast wealth to win the GOP nomination for governor. As Primary Day approached, he put himself among the top three in the crowded seven-way race — far ahead of that wannabe from Waterville named LePage.

But then, lo and behold, LePage won. And Poliquin, with just under 5 percent of the vote, finished a distant sixth.

Two weeks later, at a make-nice reunion of all seven candidates, Poliquin couldn’t even bring himself to mention LePage by name. Yet there Poliquin stood that November, positioned perfectly in the background as LePage reveled in his eye-popping election to the Blaine House.

Then came Poliquin’s rapid ascension to treasurer, thanks in no small part to LePage’s vocal support. And finally (cue the slow motion), Poliquin bagged the bear hug.

No fool, that Bruce Poliquin. Unable to beat the Big Guy, he simply latched on to LePage and held on for the ride.

And now, try as the governor might to maintain a little respectable distance between himself and his self-appointed wing man, we have Poliquin portraying himself and LePage as the reincarnation of Starsky & Hutch.

No wonder others in the GOP race aren’t, shall we say, feeling the love.

“Throughout this campaign, Bruce Poliquin has attempted to ride the Governor’s coattails and claim as his own the successes of the Republican administration and Legislature,” fumed Attorney General William Schneider in a prepared statement. “In fact, all Republicans have contributed in large measure to our successes.”

Schneider called Poliquin’s mailing “remarkable in its bold attempt to imply an endorsement by the Governor” and urged Poliquin “to focus on his own record and be straight with Republican voters.”

Yeah, right. In a statement released Thursday, Poliquin spokesman Tyler Harber called Schneider’s protest “desperate and incorrect.”

“Mr. Schneider,” sniffed Harber, “is trying to get his name in the paper by attacking the frontrunner over nothing more than a superior strategy, message and history of reform.”

Enter Secretary of State Charlie Summers, who complained that “we’ve all got pictures with the governor … but we’re not all trying to take credit for things.”

And former Maine Senate President Rick Bennett reminded us that he served as “an official Member of Governor LePage’s Transition Team as he built his new administration.”

Bennett also noted that his campaign brain trust now includes LePage senior political adviser Brent Littlefield, LePage transition team co-chair Ann Robinson and LePage best-friend-forever Charlie Gaunce, a Waterville auto dealer.

“I am happy to have their support and (that of) many other LePage campaign leaders who have joined my campaign,” said Bennett.

(Is it just me, or is this starting to feel like a squabble in a junior high school cafeteria?)

The genius behind Poliquin’s joined-at-the-hip strategy is that he now has everyone abuzz over whom LePage likes best. And the more Maine’s Republicans focus on that, the less we’ll hear about Poliquin’s continued flaunting of the Maine Constitution with his private business activities, his questionable use of Maine’s tree-growth exemption to avoid paying his local property taxes, his exploitation of his constitutional office to pursue a blatantly political agenda. …

Of course, all of that will be fair game should Poliquin actually win the primary — and lest we all forget, stranger things have happened.

What’s more, if Poliquin indeed emerges as the GOP’s choice to take on independent Angus King and Democrat (fill in the blank), don’t be surprised if his posture toward LePage suddenly shifts from “He couldn’t have done it without me!” to “Paul who?”

But that’s the stuff of bare-knuckle, fall campaigns.

For now, it’s springtime in Maine — and there’s bromance in the air.

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

[email protected]