AUGUSTA – Earlier today, Gov. Paul LePage looked at his calendar for the week and muttered, “I might just as well take Friday off,” prompting a massive firestorm that continues to rage across the political spectrum.
“I’ve been wanting to get up to camp one more time this year,” LePage stated, briefly eyeballing his schedule for Friday. “I don’t see anything on here that can’t wait ’til Monday.”
He then added, “Maybe I’ll get a round of golf in.”
Democrats immediately criticized the governor’s plan for a long weekend. “This is not the time for our chief executive to shirk his duties,” said Sen. Barry Hobbins (D-Saco), noting that this would be LePage’s fifth day off or sick day in the past six months. “What kind of example does this set? If he keeps this up, pretty soon the legislature is going to start taking half the year off.”
MaineToday Media investigative reporter Colin Woodard published a scathing exposé on his blog, detailing how secret emails reveal numerous discussions about members of LePage’s staff occasionally calling in sick or asking to “go to a conference.”
Sources at the Portland Press Herald say an editorial is in the works condemning the governor for his hypocrisy.
LePage’s spokeshuman, Adrienne Bennett, said the governor can govern more effectively if he can occasionally get a break from governing to clear his mind. “It really shouldn’t take very long to do that, and then he’ll be back to work in a jiffy, don’t you worry.”