LePage becomes subject of second partisan book; pro-Cutler court ruling likely to benefit LePage, Michaud

lepage book coverCall it the year of the political thrillers in Maine, though how thrilled you are probably depends on your political persuasion.

Ray Richardson, a conservative talk radio host on WLOB, has announced the imminent release of a new book titled “Governor Paul LePage: Rebuilding Maine’s Future.” That’s what it says on the book’s cover, though according to Maine GOP Chairman Rick Bennett in a Wednesday morning press release, the title is “Rebuilding Maine’s Future: The Untold Story of Gov. Paul LePage.”

UPDATE (9:40 a.m., 8/28/14) The title of the book is as Bennett put it. I’m told the full title is on the inside title page.

Anyway, Richardson promises that the book will detail LePage’s policy achievements during his first term and shed light on the governor’s thought process and overall vision for Maine.

“I write this book as someone who knows LePage personally and professionally,” said Richardson in Bennett’s press release. “I talk to him about the ideas and what drives his thinking on issues. His critics cannot say that. In most cases, they have never even spoken to him.”

Richardson’s book, which will begin to be shipped next week to anyone who pays $10 for it, will likely serve as a counterpoint to many of the criticisms of LePage’s leadership style and ideology. Those criticisms were detailed in withering fashion earlier this year with the publication of another book, “As Maine Went,” by liberal BDN blogger and Democratic activist and Maine People’s Alliance spokesman Mike Tipping.

Both books will provide fodder for and against LePage going into the November election and I’m assuming Richardson’s book will be heavy on research as was Tipping’s. Considering the day jobs of the authors, though, neither will strike a balance between giving LePage both the credits and demerits he’s earned during his first term.

Maine Ethics Commission to provide clarity in pro-Cutler court ruling

The Maine Ethics Commission will convene this afternoon in Augusta to, among other things, provide clarity on a U.S. District Court ruling last week that will allow donors to independent gubernatorial candidates to contribute up to $3,000. Until now, independent candidates, who because they are not part of one of the major political parties don’t participate in primary elections, have been limited to collect $1,500. Four Cutler supporters contended in a lawsuit earlier this summer that the system is unfair to independents and U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby agreed.

Jonathan Wayne, executive director of the Ethics Commission, wrote in a memo to reporters on Wednesday morning that the ruling would likely also benefit LePage and Democratic nominee Mike Michaud because they will be able to collect the full $3,000 from new donors, even though the primary election has already passed. That scenario would still benefit Cutler more because the independent would be able to go back to big-money individual donors who have already supported his campaign with the $1,500 limit and ask for more, whereas LePage and Michaud’s increased collections would come predominantly from new donors.

Watch www.bangordailynews.com this afternoon for additional coverage.

Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.