July 1, 2015

Are Governors Paul LePage and Chris Christie soulmates or what? They're both bullies, insufferably pompous, and fundamentally evil people. They also love each other, with LePage being the first Republican governor to endorse a Republican primary candidate. Yes, that's right. LePage endorsed Chris Christie's bid for the GOP nomination today.

But LePage needs friends wherever he can find them, particularly since he has none in his own state right now.

There's a lot of strongarm politics going on, but LePage may just win the prize for the most overtly corrupt and evil award in 2015:

The Legislature’s watchdog committee voted unanimously Wednesday to investigate Gov. Paul LePage’s threat to withhold state funds from a school for at-risk children unless it withdrew a job offer to Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves.

The probe will focus on how state funding is sent to Good Will-Hinckley, a private school in Fairfield, and the effects of the Republican governor’s threat on a political foe, which rocked the State House last week and led some Democrats to call for the Republican governor’s impeachment.

It wasn't just Democrats calling for an investigation today. After Governor LePage basically told the legislature they couldn't investigate him for anything he did and so they could piss up a rope, the bipartisan committee unanimously voted to approve an investigation.

The committee acted in response to requests for a probe from several lawmakers, voting just hours after a letter from LePage’s chief legal counsel telling OPEGA that it doesn’t have the constitutional authority to investigate the governor became public. Cynthia Montgomery wrote to Beth Ashcroft, OPEGA’s director, on Tuesday, telling her that the agency has no oversight of the chief executive.

“As you are surely aware, OPEGA’s enabling statute clearly provides that OPEGA’s purpose is to provide ‘program evaluation of agencies and programs of state government,’ as well as other governmental and quasi-governmental entities,” Montgomery wrote. “Unlike such agencies, which exist via legislative enactment, the chief executive is a governing authority separate but equal to the Legislature itself.”

She added, “The governor and the exercise of his discretionary executive power are simply not subject to OPEGA’s jurisdiction and/or oversight. If members of the Legislature wish to ‘investigate’ the governor, they should look to the Constitution for the authority to do so.”

Shorter LePage: I'm the KING.

All of the conflict centers around Governor LePage wielding his gubernatorial sword of vengeance on the Democratic Speaker of the House:

>Eves has said the Good Will-Hinckley board told him that LePage had sent a handwritten note to chairman Jack Moore in which he threatened to pull $530,000 in state funding unless the school reconsidered its decision to hire Eves, who was supposed to start the $120,000-a-year job Wednesday.

LePage has acknowledged that he threatened to pull the funding for the school because he didn’t believe Eves, who has opposed charter school legislation, was the right fit for the private nonprofit and the charter school it operates, the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences.

Eves, who is considering a civil lawsuit against the governor, has said that LePage “used the machinery of government and taxpayer dollars” to intervene in his hiring by a private employer.

It's reminiscent of the same thing former Texas governor Rick Perry is under indictment for right now, actually.

Paul LePage is governor because an independent candidate forced a three-way race, meaning he was elected by less than 40 percent of the voters. Twice. And now they've got a raging bully in their statehouse making sure none of his political opponents get jobs they might actually be qualified for.

Bring on the impeachment proceedings. Let's televise them nationally, even, so everyone can see the naked corruption that national media calls the Republican Party.

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