June 24, 2018
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LePage has a storm, possibly involving a brain

Chris Busby
By Chris Busby

Last week, Gov. Paul LePage told Republican big wigs at a brew pub in Bangor that he plans to call a special session of the Legislature to vote on an extra special proposal. LePage declined to reveal specifics, but promised the measure would set Maine on “the right track” for the next decade and infuriate Democrats (again).

Ever since the private remarks went public, Mainers have been wondering what piece of doo-doo our fearless leader is preparing to toss into the proverbial fan this time. I may have found the answer.

At the bottom of a dumpster behind Sea Dog Brewing Co.’s Bangor pub, I discovered a wide-ruled, yellow legal pad with the name of the law firm Pierce Atwood embossed on its spine. The pad contains what appear to be notes from a brainstorming (sic) session LePage had with his staff shortly before he addressed the beery donors and power-brokers.

Scribbled in black magic marker (a telltale sign of LePage’s authorship), the notes contain a list of envelope-pushing ideas that would indeed infuriate Democrats were they to be enacted into law. I’m convinced that one of these ideas is the basis of the governor’s secret plan, but which one?

1. Use state liquor revenue to pay the governor’s bar tab.

2. Give the southern tip of Maine, from Portland down, back to Massachusetts in exchange for a cash payment that can be used to pay down the state’s debt to hospitals owned by chains based in the Bay State.

3. Grant state troopers authority to demand proof of citizenship from people in the small western Maine town of Mexico to make sure they’re not actually from the other Mexico.

4. Mandate that any future contract disputes with state employee unions be settled by rock, paper, scissors, and be it further resolved that the state wins all ties.

5. Require voters to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, backward, before being allowed to cast ballots.

6. Mandate a minimum soft-drink size of 16 oz. at all Maine restaurants.

7. Use state lottery revenue to gamble at Hollywood Casino; use winnings to cover the governor’s gambling debts.

8. Fast-track construction of a privately owned and operated Northwest-Southeast Highway to transport tanker-truckloads of tar-sands oil from Canada through downtown Portland to the marine terminal in South Portland.

9. Take fetal “personhood” laws aimed at criminalizing abortions prompted by unplanned pregnancies a step further by legally declaring that life begins after the third round of cocktails.

10. Impose huge tax increases on bowling and bowling alleys, thus “putting the screws to” state Sen. Justin “Spoiled Brat” Alfond and Charlie “Spawn of Libby” Mitchell, co-owners of Bayside Bowl in Portland, as well as multi-millionaire everyman Angus King, who claims to enjoy the pastime.

11. If gay marriage is legalized, make gay divorce illegal, thus persuading most gay couples not to take the chance of being stuck with the wrong mate for life.

12. Executive order: “Bring me Bill Nemitz’s head on a sterling silver platter.”

13. Use tobacco settlement money to buy big cigars for “job creators.”

14. Beginning in 2013, any vehicle with a “LePage 2014” bumper sticker automatically passes inspection.

15. Spend $1 billion to send a busload of Maine’s lowest-performing high school graduates into orbit so they can “ look down on everybody else” instead.

If any of these ideas become law this fall, remember: You read it here first!

Chris Busby is editor and publisher of The Bollard, a monthly magazine about Portland. His column appears here weekly.

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