Handwritten note from LePage seizes #mepolitics spotlight

Good Monday morning. 

You know it’s slow season in Augusta when the buzziest piece of political ephemera is a letter from the governor to a retired librarian in Cape Elizabeth (who happens to be the mother of Reuters reporter Andy Sullivan).

Sullivan says his mother, Louise Sullivan, sent Gov. Paul LePage a letter asking him to resign. As you might imagine, and the governor didn’t like that (I mean, who would, though?). LePage, who has a penchant for handwritten notes, responded with a short rant about southern Mainers, which whipped progressive activists and the liberal wing of the #mepolitics Twitterati into a social media frenzy.

“I bet you would like to see me resign,” the note reads. “You live in the south who exploit those who are not so fortunate, or understand the level of corruption that southern Mainers ignore and welcome!”

As for the resignation? A post-script reads “Not going to happen!” You can see the note from LePage on Sullivan’s Facebook page.

Anyone paying attention to Maine politics in the past few years should know that southern Maine — and particularly Portland — is a common object of LePage’s ire. Perhaps not all politicians hand-write notes to constituents, but the content of this one doesn’t seem to be worth the hand-wringing it’s inspiring online.

In other news, attorneys for the governor and lawmakers are busy preparing response briefs for the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which on Friday will hear oral arguments following LePage’s request that the justice weigh in on an ongoing dispute over 65 vetoes.

And a group pushing campaign finance and clean elections reform is planning its referendum campaign launch, scheduled in Augusta tomorrow. — Mario Moretto, BDN.

LePage proclaims today Maine Korean War Veteran Recognition Day

Citing their participation in a conflict long regarded as the “forgotten war,” LePage has proclaimed July 27 to be Maine Korean War Veteran Recognition Day.

“Their legacy of patriotism and dedication to country is an inspiration to all Americans,” LePage said in a written statement. “This is a war that many consider the “forgotten war” so it’s important that we remember and honor our veterans for their service and sacrifice.”

Thirty-eight Maine soldiers were POW/MIA during the conflict, and another 245 were killed in action, according to a release from the governor’s office. — Mario Moretto, BDN.

Reading list

Demeritt pens rave for ‘caveman’ diet

Followers of Maine politics will remember Dan Demeritt as the campaign spokesman-turned communications director for Gov. Paul LePage, or as an independent consultant — the role he took on after leaving the governor’s office in 2011.

Later comers will know him as the spokesman for the University of Maine System, a post he’s held since last year.

Now Demeritt can add one more role to his resume: “Paleo lifestyle” advocate. In a contributed health column to the BDN, Demeritt writes about how the diet and exercise regime helped him shed 150 pounds and released him from “food jail.”



Mario Moretto

About Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto has been a Maine journalist, in print and online publications, since 2009. He joined the Bangor Daily News in 2012, first as a general assignment reporter in his native Hancock County and, now, in the State House. Mario left the BDN in 2015.