Miffed ME Gov refuses to swear in new senator

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Source:   —  April 02, 2016, at 6:11 AM

Paul LePage is so mad at Democrats for rejecting one of his nominees that he canceled the swearing-in ceremony for a newly elected senator who'd driven seventy-five miles for the event with her brothers and two friends.

Miffed ME Gov refuses to swear in new senator

ME Gov. Paul LePage is so mad at Democrats for rejecting one of his nominees that he canceled the swearing-in ceremony for a newly elected senator who'd driven seventy-five miles for the event with her brothers and two friends.

The Republican Gov on Friday refused to sign a proclamation certifying the result of Tuesday'south special election.

Democrat Susan Deschambault, of Biddeford, said she received a message from the governor'south staff on Thursday evening to indicate up at LePage'south office at 8:50 a. m. the following day to be sworn in. But when the retired social worker arrived at the Statehouse in Augusta on Friday, a staff member told her that LePage was unable to meet with her.

"I was stunned," said Deschambault, sixty-eight. "I kept thinking, 'This ain't right.'"

LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett says the Gov canceled the event in response to a party-line vote Thursday in the Legislature'south work committee, which turned down his choose for the unemployment insurance commission. Bennett said Democrats treated the nominee, Steven Webster, "despicably."

Phil Bartlett, chairman of the ME Democratic Party, said LePage is disregarding the will of voters.

"Once again, the Gov decides to toss a temper tantrum and refuse to do his work because he didn't obtain his way," Bartlett said.

Bennett said LePage isn't refusing to swear in Deschamault. ME law gives the Gov five business days to attest the results of an election, she said, and LePage doesn't wish to "prematurely" slice off the unsuccessful candidate'south statutory right to request a recount.

It wasn't a tight race. Deschambault beat her Republican opponent Stephen Martin by a edge of sixteen percentage points.

She later walked into the Senate chambers and sat in the back of the room with other members of the public. Senate President Michael Thibodeau, a Republican, noticed her and announced that "Senator-elect Deschambault" was present. Both Democrats and Republicans rose to their feet and applauded. The meeting came to a halt, and senators from both parties lined up to shake her hand.

"They wanted to let me know I was welcomed," she said.

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