Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gubernatorial scorecard: LePage’s numbers

Published in the Portland Phoenix

This week, we introduce a regular feature, Gubernatorial Scorecard. We'll evaluate Governor Paul LePage's recent moves. We'll score him from 1 to 10 on his political savvy, and on whether what he's trying to do is good policy, and keep a running total. This first marking period, LePage got 43 out of 100 possible points. For a minority governor who garnered only 38 percent of the vote, that might not be too bad.

RACE RELATIONS | LePage has rhetorically run roughshod over the state's minuscule but vocal population of African Americans — it will be a long time before anyone forgets his "kiss my butt" moment with the NAACP.
POLITICS • Making enemies unnecessarily | 3/10 POLICY • Anti-equality | 1/10

BUSINESS RELATIONS | LePage has made no secret of the fact that he's going to be a pro-business, pro-industry governor. That includes courting wealthy out-of-state interests (many of which bankrolled his election campaign). He has promoted business-centric industry insiders to every cabinet post yet announced, and proposed environmental-protection rollbacks that please the chemical industry.
POLITICS • Doing exactly what he said he would | 4/10 POLICY • A scorched-earth job-creation effort | 4/10

MEDIA RELATIONS | LePage made a joke out of a claim he doesn't read newspapers. He has previously said he doesn't care about editorials.
POLITICS • Good play to his base, but overlooks that supporters too can use the media | 7/10 POLICY • Palin-like wilful ignorance is silly | 1/10

FEDERAL RELATIONS | For a guy who said he would tell President Obama to "go to hell," he's certainly asking for a lot of federal money, including disaster-relief funding that could give four Maine counties more than $1 million in federal cash to recover from December flooding.
POLITICS • Mixed message: Sensible people will applaud but rabid Tea Partiers might be disappointed | 7/10 POLICY • More help cleaning up rural Maine is always welcome | 10/10

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS | LePage has complained that some people he approached with offers of government positions declined because the pay cuts to move from the private to the public sector would have been too steep.
POLITICS • Not getting who you need could have consequences down the road | 3/10 POLICY • A pre-emptive defense that the best people won't serve? | 3/10

Running total | Politics 24/50 | Policy 19/50