Know what you're doing

By AL DIAMON  |  November 11, 2010

Given the controversial nature of much of the new guv's platform — gutting the Department of Education, slashing environmental regulations, refusing to follow federal mandates — he'll need all the cooperation he can get from his partisan allies. But they'll have to be asked — nicely — rather than commanded. LePage may be able to cow the press corps by threatening to punch out one of its members, but Republicans in the Legislature have too many options at their disposal for thwarting him to be impressed with threats of fisticuffs.

LePage should be reaching out to key GOP legislators, such as budget experts and state representatives Patrick Flood and Kathleen Chase for advice on the two-year state spending plan the governor will have to present in February. If LePage wants to reform the welfare system, he could do worse than consult with state Senator Deborah Plowman, an experienced hand at dealing with the social-services morass. Tax cuts? Better talk to senators Richard Nass and David Trahan before going off half-cocked.

In the House, LePage will have to deal with dozens of new representatives, many of them as ill-prepared to contribute to the debate as himself.

Other than their ability to make rude noises with their armpits.

These novices will probably follow his lead on most issues if he asks politely. But if he comes off as a pompous ass, he may get a fart chorus in response.

A guy who got elected by promising to tell the president of the United States to "go to hell" can't complain too much about that.

Unless he's an idiot.

Veteran or novice, I hold your comments sent in equal esteem.

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