Gov. Paul LePage would ignore the law regarding confirmation by the Legislature of cabinet appointees, to insulate from unfriendly questioning his choice to run the Department of Education.

He would retain Bill Beardsley as deputy commissioner, while himself acting as commissioner. Such single-minded determination suggests either an extraordinary conviction that his man is wholly above criticism (but then why a reluctance for Beardsley to appear before the Legislature?) or a fanatical insistence on having his way, the law and established procedure be damned.

Now, he has tried to appoint a sheriff for Kennebec County. The appointment is illegal, and the governor’s motives are less than admirable. Sheriffs in Maine are elected. That post in Kennebec County needs to be filled. The previous incumbent was a Democrat, and the law calls for the Kennebec County Democratic Committee to present to the governor one or more names to fill the vacancy until the next election.

With ample precedent, the committee provided the name of an eminently qualified individual. LePage refuses to act, insisting that he should be given more names. The law needs clarification, but it is clear LePage is up to familiar tricks. He demands his way, not least in order to thwart Democrats’ efforts to have in place a well-qualified individual who would be an outstanding candidate for sheriff in the fall.

For this governor, disrupting the Democrats comes before the public interest.

These are just two instances in which LePage displays his contempt for law and is unfit for public office. The day we see the back of him will be a better one.

Ed McCarthy


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