Gov. Paul LePage of Maine, a Tea Party favorite, has decided that his administration will no longer respond to three newspapers in his state, even with public documents, because they have reported negative things about him and his appointees.
Gov. Paul LePage’s administration will no longer comment in stories published by the Portland Press Herald, the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.
The new policy follows the newspapers’ publication of a three-day series of articles this week examining LePage’s top environmental regulator and how her department’s actions have benefited her former lobbying clients in private industry.
LePage’s spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett, informed a Press Herald reporter of the new policy following a request for the governor’s public events calendar. Bennett would not provide the calendar, a public document, and said the administration would no longer participate in stories reported by the three newspapers.
Bennett said MaineToday Media, the newspapers’ parent company, “had made it clear that it opposed this administration.”…Another Press Herald reporter asked Bennett on Tuesday to comment on a story about Medicaid expansion. Bennett told the reporter she would not speak to the newspaper about the issue.
“Not to the Portland Press Herald,” she said.
These are the actions of a thin-skinned satrap, not an elected official who recognizes the importance of a free press. But it’s not at all unusual. I’ve had communications people from campaigns, administrations and government agencies screaming and threatening me with such actions after publishing stories they don’t like. But the Press Herald should be proud of themselves. It means they’re doing their job.