Say what you want about Paul LePage, he’ll do what he wants before you’ve finished your sentence.
Maine’s governor strikes while the iron is hot and isn’t afraid to lose any one battle because he will start and fight so many more. Of course he’s got a stable of nimble attorneys and staffers to do the heavy lifting, but when it comes to pulling a trigger, LePage doesn’t hesitate. Shooting himself in the foot on occasion is a calculated risk.
Legislators in Maine know their enemy, and it isn’t Governor LePage. Well-bred allegiance to decorum and civility prevent swift and decisive counter-attacks. Commitment to exhaustive process is also a weakness in this peculiar relationship, complicated by a lack of battle-ready lawyers frothing to take the gloves off and fight — knowing the outcome is uncertain but the exercise just.
There is no doubt the last thing Maine needs right now is another Office of Program Accountability and Government Oversight report, and the second-to-last thing is an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office. Both would be so time consuming and fraught with process and “conflict” crises, by the time any watered-down reports are printed finding the restrooms will be a higher priority for newly-elected lawmakers called upon to read them.
Governor LePage himself likely prefers a debate and vote on impeachment articles in the House over muddling a legislative study by OPEGA or obstructing an investigation by Janet Mills.
Whether the numerous acts committed by the Governor of Maine rise to the level of “misdemeanors in office” that the constitution says are grounds for impeachment we will never know unless House lawmakers vote to have the Senate answer the question.
A shot in the foot is different than a shot in the dark. Instinct and a commitment to good governance in this case should trump etiquette and good form.