Andrew Ian Dodge

Andrew Ian Dodge

Augusta is all aflutter with a flush of confusion about Gov. LePage’s latest pronouncement.

It was quite a thrusting move to call a “civil emergency” when there is no actual physical danger facing Mainers.

LePage continues to mention Maine state workers and making sure they are paid, but specifics are very loose. The lack information and details make this move seem like an idea that was spawned in a late-night drinking session and announced by mistake. The announcement was poorly written and garbled.

Nothing has changed.

For the Democrats and those not intimate to the details, the move came as a shock. Those of all sides are still confused about what LePage is up to.

It doesn’t help that LePage’s defenders are using words like “conspiracy” to describe those who question the move. No one questioning this has used that word; however, if you were to look up its technical definition this certainly qualifies.

Far be it for the citizens of Maine to question the wisdom of making this kind of declaration and suspending an unknown number of laws on the books. Even the least politically aware will assume that an “emergency” is an event when people are actually threatened with bodily harm like the ice storm — under then- Gov. Angus King — and other natural disasters.

Almost no one in Augusta was made aware of this move before it happened, adding to the mystery of the whole thing.

People are quite rightly asking, Who told him this was a good idea? Which part of his staff was intimately aware of this unprecedented move to suspend certain laws? How is that the only state to take this extreme step is Maine? Is it because Maine is that addicted to federal funds that it can’t survive financially as a state if the federal teat is taken away? A cynic might suggest this means that Maine is not really a state anymore … merely a possession of the federal government, like D.C. or Puerto Rico.

It remains to be seen if the worry of the unions will be calmed by anything LePage says over the next week or so. Considering there is not much information going about the whole affair, that seems unlikely.

The fact Democrats are having more meetings goes to show that they are fishing for crumbs to assuage the worry of their supporters.

Meanwhile, Republicans have remained sadly silent on this issue of governance.

Even the so-called liberty candidates like Eric Brakey and Blaine Richardson have remained silent about this epic power grab from LePage. Surely those tea party-courting candidates realise the tea party movement began to call out this sort of governmentlevel machination.

To me, this smacks of fluffing LePage’s ego and far less about the federal shutdown.

ANDREW IAN DODGE is a libertarian former U.S. Senate candidate and writer who lives in Harpswell.


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