With nothing more than a pen, Gov. LePage produced one of the most dramatic days in Maine gubernatorial history. Adding 21 vetoes in a single day to his previous record number of 57 vetoes, the man has out-no’ed any Maine governor in living memory. He has left all other Maine gubernatorial nay-sayers in the dust. (Take THAT, Gov. Longley.)
I have him here on Arnie’s body because I think only Gov. Schwarzenegger could truly empathize with how our own Gov. No is feeling right now. Schwarzenegger vetoed 414 bills in 2008. How life imitates art.
The Bangor Daily News scooped even the Maine.gov website in posting the identities of many of the vetoed bills. In the case of nearly all of the vetoed bills, the original vote was along party lines. There is no chance that they will be overridden. In these cases, Gov. LePage was simply serving as the party-brake, the minority party’s last word in a divided government. Minimum wage, limiting virtual education, not forcing individual municipalities to bear the cost for nearby charter schools – these are not issues with broad Republican support, as shown in the original votes.
At least two bills, however, bear careful watching in their override votes. LD 1181, a bill to strengthen Maine’s Kid Safe Product law, appeared to have had a veto-proof majority in both the House and the Senate. (It also had the committed support of concerned parents statewide.) LD 890, a bill to require the purchase of American-made goods whenever possible, had similarly strong support.
Given the recent divisions resulting from the governor’s colorful vitriol towards Sen. Jackman, it will be very interesting to see whether the governor will maintain his previous luck with getting Republican legislators to switch their votes in support of his veto. Moms and American-made products are some pretty steep symbols to go up against. I’m sure our Republican legislators will be thinking it all through quite carefully.