A governor’s authority to name people to state boards gives him a lot of clout. Those he appoints can communicate his policy agenda, build support for his initiatives and cement relationships with interest groups and other elected officials.

So by withdrawing 21 of his own nominations to over a dozen state panels, Gov. LePage is voluntarily giving up a chance to influence policymaking. It’s an unusual decision, to say the least. But it’s hardly unexpected from a chief executive who’s more committed to making brash, adversarial statements than to getting things done.

The irony is that LePage took his ball and went home even when the game turned out his way. The governor’s spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett, said he yanked the nominations to protest a Democratic-led one-week delay in taking action on a Public Utilities Commission appointment.

But LePage announced his decision Friday – the day after the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee voted 11-2 to recommend his PUC nominee, economist Bruce Williamson. And in the Senate on Tuesday, Williamson’s nomination was easily confirmed.

LePage has accused Democratic lawmakers of “playing games” over the PUC appointment and politicizing it. Not surprisingly, legislators – Republican or Democratic – do tend to give extra-close scrutiny to appointments by a governor from the opposing party.

That said, there are legitimate grounds for taking time to evaluate PUC appointees. The three-member panel regulates electricity, gas, water and telephone utilities in Maine and authorizes energy and utility projects. In a state with New England’s highest per capita energy usage, their actions touch everybody’s lives.

Moreover, the PUC itself has stirred up a political firestorm this session, with its decisions to renegotiate already-approved wind power contracts and cut off $38 million in energy-efficiency funding because of a one-word typo in a complex bill.

Bennett said that LePage would consider reposting the withdrawn nominations after the Legislature has completed its session. That would be a welcome step in the right direction. But we’re not holding our breath. Once LePage’s legislative opponents have left Augusta for the year, there’d be no point in a move designed to highlight his magnanimity toward them.

Those who expect nothing won’t be disappointed – unless, of course, they wanted a chief executive whose goal is oversee a functioning state government.