Here's our second Gubernatorial Scorecard, in which we score Governor Paul LePage on political savvy, and on whether what he's trying to do is good policy. Note the running total.
SHORT-TERM FISCAL SENSE | LePage's supplementary budget included $70 million in state payments to hospitals for care provided between 2006 and 2009, triggering $178 million in federal matching payments.
POLITICS • Paying old debt is a good GOP move | 9/10 POLICY • Provides much-needed cash to hospitals, which can slow health-care price increases | 9/10
LONG-TERM FISCAL SENSE | LePage's biennial budget mostly preserves education funding, cuts income taxes, sharply reduces social-service funding, slashes state-employee pension payments, and outright bans borrowing without legislative approval.
POLITICS • Aggressively fiscally conservative in tough economic times | 6/10 POLICY • Tea Party principles — and lack of understanding and foresight — plainly in evidence | 2/10
REGULATORY SENSE | He has rolled back some of his most controversial environmental-protection rollback proposals, reserving the right to implement them in the future. This may include politicizing the Department of Environmental Protection, and playing a heavier hand in the rule-making processes that put laws into action.
POLITICS • Finally, he takes some fuel off the fire — without actually backing down | 7/10 POLICY • Still the same goals, just better hidden from public view | 2/10
SCIENCE SENSE | LePage made nationwide headlines by minimizing the dangers of BPA, a plastic additive that may cause long-term hormone problems, in a vivid way: "the worst case is some women may have little beards."
POLITICS • Even supporters aren't likely big fans of bearded ladies | 3/10 POLICY • That's actually a pretty good argument for why BPA should be banned | 5/10
PERSONNEL SENSE | Dr. Dora Mills, a longtime state public-health official, was fired as part of the realignment of the Department of Health and Human Services. The move, and official statements suggesting the administration was trying to keep a lid on the news, drew outcry from people who complained that Mills is very qualified.
POLITICS • Firing a longtime Baldacci crony is a good move | 7/10 POLICY • Baldacci's Health and Human Services operation was a management and fiscal disaster; cleaning house is very smart | 10/10
This month's total | Politics 32/50 | Policy 28/50 | Last month: Politics 24/50 | Policy 19/50 | Overall: Politics 56/100 | Policy 47/100