Franklin Countys First News

Politics & Other Mistakes: Go south, old man

Al Diamon

Outgoing Republican Gov. Paul LePage has issued a warning that if he doesn’t like the way incoming Democratic Gov. Janet Mills handles the job, he’s prepared to run against her in 2022. We can be sure LePage means what he says, because he never makes these kinds of stupid promises without following through on them.

Except.

When he announced shortly after his election in 2010 that his administration would be “the most transparent in Maine’s history.” Since then, he’s routinely ignored requests for public documents, concealed details of contracts the state negotiated with private vendors and kept his schedule of public appearances a deep secret (possibly because his trips out of state sometimes included pricey stays at Trump hotels).

Except.

When he repeatedly threatened to run against independent U.S. Sen. Angus King in 2018 if GOP challenger Eric Brakey’s campaign didn’t catch fire. It didn’t and he didn’t.

Except.

When he proclaimed just before the November election that he was planning to leave the state. “I’ll be a resident of Florida if Janet Mills wins. I can promise you that,” LePage told reporters. “I am done with politics.”

Just for the record, residents of Florida aren’t eligible to run for governor of Maine.
LePage has said the accomplishment he’s proudest of is getting the state’s fiscal house in order by cutting spending and reducing taxes. But his pride only goes so far, stopping just north of the bulge in his pants that conceals his wallet. “I’ll tell you very, very simply,” he explained. “I have a house in Florida. I will pay no income tax, and the house in Florida’s property taxes are $2,000 less than we were paying in Boothbay. At my age, why wouldn’t you conserve your resources and spend it on your family instead of on taxes.”

Maybe because the optics of abandoning the state you led for eight years would be bad for your legacy.

Having thoroughly trashed Maine as a place to retire (and done a pretty decent job of making the state appear unattractive to younger people considering relocating here), LePage will exit stage right, somehow convinced he’s done his public duty by promoting the virtues of the Sunshine State.

If there were any justice in the world, he’d get eaten by an alligator.

Assuming Florida’s gators have more refined palates than that, what are the odds LePage might stage a triumphant return to the Blaine House in 2020?

Near zero.

Four years is an eternity in the current political climate, and by the next election, LePage’s base of support will likely have eroded significantly. In his absence, lots of old, white, delusional cranks will have died of apoplexy over the actions of a Democratic administration, while some of those who survive will have been lured away by candidates who appeal to even baser instincts than the LePage agenda could offer. The ex-governor would have to start from scratch to find supporters. Except maybe for Shawn Moody.

Also, the election would be held in November, not a month conducive to the return of Florida snowbirds.

There will be no LePage reboot, no matter how much he seethes and sputters from afar. Maine conservatives will have moved on, either because they learned their lesson about the drawbacks of embracing an incompetent extremist, or because they decided they need somebody even more incompetent and extreme. After all, there are plenty of alt-right neo-Nazis kicking around the hinterlands just waiting for an opportunity to sneak into the mainstream by persuading impressionable Republican voters they’re more LePage than LePage could ever be.

The departing governor’s years in office did plenty of damage to Maine’s image as a welcoming place governed by rational human beings. He won’t have that problem in Florida. No one considers that state’s government to be even remotely rational, and many observers believe it’s being operated by space aliens.

For those reasons, LePage’s relocation is unlikely to harm the reputation of his adopted home. In fact, it might even improve it. Hard as it is to believe, this Maine transplant is more honest, more sensible and more likeable than the average slimy Florida politician.

Looking at it that way, it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that LePage could spend 2020 running for governor.

Of Florida.

Pythons, huge roaches and the Miami Marlins are just some of the reasons you should never venture south of Georgia. If you have others, email them to me at aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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20 Responses »

  1. OK Al... or I was told ...to call you Mr. Diamon.... You have been around for awhile.. but, I am sure not as long as me... Do you really believe everything that anyone involved in politics sez or tells you? I think not .. you are smarter than that..

  2. The number one reason to move to FL is you won’t bump into Mr. Diamon spewing his always positive and uplifting messages. Hoping a fellow being gets eaten by an alligator?
    Merry? Christmas!

  3. I for one (old, white, delusional cranks) don't plan on dying before 2022.

  4. Politics (and political commentary) is at its worst when it's about personality instead of policy. But I suppose policy driven commentaries don't sell as many advertisements. Merry Christmas!

  5. There goes a bitter old man writing this vindictive column.
    Al DiamonD,, Grinding his axe.

    Hey Al,. Paul won't notice your bitter goodbye present.

    Mr LaPage is a winner in my books.
    Thanks Gov. !!

  6. Crack pot policies tend to have crack pot authors/proponents; it's difficult to separate most of the time or other wise be too charitable/objective

  7. Chuck, Al doesn't make policy. He only writes crackpot articles about his crackpot ideas. If he and others paid attention they would realize that while the governor hasn't been the most eloquent speaker, his actions have helped Maine tremendously. People like al are too caught up in their hatred to see reality. I hope that governor Mills will step back from her past partisanship and not undo the great work of the last eight years.

  8. LePage is a moron, on top of that I'm doubtful he will even make it to 2022. So thankful this state is moving on without him. B'bye DB you won't be missed.

  9. Excellent essay, Mr. Diamon. Thank you.

  10. Oh please Eddie. Gov. LePage has been the angriest, most partisan governor of this state since the Civil War. And you expect Janet Mills to be non-partisan? At least she's smiling, which is a refreshing change from Governor Lepage's pugnacious grimace. For the record, Al Diamon writes satire, a literary form that is perhaps more complicated than extremists on both the left and right can appreciate due to the dulling effects of ideology. Governor elect Mills will get skewered too. You can count on Al for that.

  11. Oh please History Buff,,
    Tell me YOU are not partisan as well...

    The ones that justify their partisan puke with "at least the side I support is better" comments.... Well, they can't be taken seriously..
    An honest hater has credibility.
    "At least".... Lol

    Gonna miss the honest and politically incorrect Gov LePage.
    Thanks for providing a breath of fresh air.

  12. The best thing Al Diamon has, or did have, was his great 3rd baseline seat at the Sea Dogs. I haven't been for awhile, but when I was there for 15 or 20 games a season, he always had the same seat. Good pick Al.

  13. Like I said, he's not an eloquent speaker. But governor LePage has DONE great things for our state. If you're content with someone who is going to smile while they stick it to you, (if you're working for a living) then by all means vote for the liberal politician. Otherwise pay attention to substance over personality issues. Most of the criticism about governor LePage is personal not based on what he has accomplished for our state. Just read the comments. He's mean, he's angry, he says stupid things........ None of that matters. I'm better off than I was 8 years ago and I'm sure most working class mainers are as well.

  14. Al, your line about your soon to be ex-guv running down here in Florida in 2020 shows that he is, as we have long known, a waste of time and resources. The next race for Governor in Florida will be in 2022.

    And no, we don't want him as a governor, or even a neighbor. We're dispatching our gators and iguanas to go take up residence on his lawn.

    Maine needs to cowboy and cowgirl up, and keep his sorry carcass in the deep freeze. Y'all do that for us and we'll send you a well tanned and well trained Red Sox team at the end of March. Deal?

  15. Some old men were meant to run the state, other old men were meant to write halfassed attempts at political commentary for a Franklin county news site.

  16. Ahh, yes, Paul LePage. Came up to Farmington to honor an outstanding UMF President but stooped to a childish, immature temper tantrum instead. Good riddance to him.

  17. @Hrtlss Bstrd....Like!

  18. @Hrtlss Bstrd.. I double "like" your comment.

    Happy Trails to our fine Gov.
    Many Thanks for a job well done.

  19. How many times did conservatives suggest to soon to be ex-governor LePage that he should "step back from partisanship" ? Leadership isn't all about policy. He accomplished some good things with the tax cut in his first term and he did some pretty stupid things like the vetoes of legislation that even his own party supported. Fifty years from now, Paul LePage will NOT be among the group of great Maine governors. Great leaders bring citizens together to achieve common goals. That's never been LePage's strong suit.

  20. @History Buff...and I prognosticate neither will Mills.

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