Mainers puzzle over how the partnership between the governor and the state Legislature became such a bad marriage. Now, the governor vetoes bills just for the heck of it, emotionally withholding from his government partner, the Legislature, who won’t give him what he wants.

But bad marriages take two. The Democratic leadership in the Maine Legislature has its own history of primitive strategies for dealing with a governor who does, says and believes things they don’t like.

In 2012, when the Democrats got the majority back in the Maine House and Senate, the tone and content that their communication staff presented toward the governor were sarcastic, condescending and arrogant, as if he’d go away so they could act as offensively as they wanted.

When the governor refused to meet with Democratic leadership, Senate President Justin Alfond offered to have dinner with the governor and his wife to smooth things over. Many Mainers were not surprised when the governor turned them down.

In 2014, the Democrats were actually surprised when they almost lost control of the Maine House, did lose the Maine Senate majority and a congressional representative and Gov. LePage was re-elected.

As in most bad marriages, things don’t improve until each participant takes responsibility for their own hostile communications and deeds. Please don’t tell me you’re surprised that in this marriage, neither of them has.

Neither Gov. LePage nor the State House Democratic leadership and their staff show signs of taking responsibility for arrogance in word and deed.

The Maine public pretty clearly voiced in the 2014 elections that the Democratic leadership and their hired communicators are no more polished, statesperson-like or worthy of the public trust than LePage. Maybe it’s time for new skill sets and new team players – both the elected and the hired ones.

Susan Cook

former secretary, Maine Democratic Party

Bath