Frederic Hale Parkhurst served as Maine’s governor for 26 days. Photo credit: Library of Congress

Gov. Paul LePage said Friday that the transfer of power is one of the reasons he wants to change the Secretary of State position into a lieutenant governor. The Maine Constitution says that the President of the Senate assumes power in the event that a sitting governor resigns or dies. This is a problem, LePage said, particularly if the Senate leader happens to be from the opposite party as the governor.

Senate presidents have assumed the governorship in Maine from time to time. In fact, the shortest term as governor belongs to Nathaniel Haskell, who held the post for 25 hours in 1953, according to records from the Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library. Haskell kept the seat warm for Burton Cross, the governor-elect who could not take office until his Senate term expired (Cross now has the misfortune of having his name affixed to the monolithic, Stalinesque building across from the State House.).

Governors have died in office since 1820, but not often.

Republican Joseph Bodwell didn’t quite make a year in office before he died in 1887. Democrat Clinton Clauson had nearly the same misfortune, passing away in December of 1959 after having taken his oath in January.

Edward Kavanaugh, a Senate president, became governor after Democrat John Fairfield resigned to serve in Congress. Kavanaugh himself resigned Jan. 1, 1844, citing poor health. He died 19 days later.

Enoch Lincoln died in office after serving between 1827 and 1829.

Frederic Hale Parkhurst, pictured, maintains the distinction of having serving the shortest term not shortened by resignation or the ill-timed transfer of power. According to the Library of Congress, Parkhurst collapsed his first day in office and died 26 days later of pneumonia.

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The LePage administration is taking to Facebook to make its pitch for his two-year budget. While the budget and its big tax overhaul are receiving a lot media attention, the administration is trying to simplify the message for a complicated plan with one-sheet explanation pieces.

Alex Willette, the spokesman for Richard Rosen, the governor’s budget chief, said last week that the administration will roll out other information, such as how the tax changes could affect individual Mainers, in the coming weeks.

On that note, colleague Craig Anderson broke down some examples of how the governor’s plan could affect Mainers. Be sure to check it out.

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LePage isn’t the only Republican governor eyeing a tax increase this year. A New York Times story published Sunday provided a number of examples of GOP governors who have proposed raising taxes to pay for education, raising gas taxes to fund roads and bridges, taxing electronic cigarettes and more.

According to the Times:

“By most accounts, the proposals emerging from state Republican lawmakers seem like acts of pragmatism rather than shifts in philosophy for the Republican Party. In Washington, Republicans, who control Congress, have made clear they will block a series of tax increases proposed by President Obama.”

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The Maine Democratic Party elected a few new leaders over the weekend:


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The people of Bangor are sick and tired of being sick and tired that some people are unable to properly pronounce their city’s name. And honestly, how do you get “Banger” out of Bangor? I’m not even from Maine and I don’t screw it up (Obviously, I’m the wrong guy to conduct a gentle public relations campaign, too.).

Anyway, a marketing company cobbled together a video, which features former state lawmaker Emily Cain. Cain, as State House denizens recall, can sing a little.

Scan to :48 to see her in action, or watch the entire clip to see how nice people educate the masses in the art of pronunciation: