A letdown from local legislators

Dear Editor:

Three Hancock County Democratic representatives, Hubbell, Kumiega and Luchini, helped defeat even an examination of the evidence/allegations of gubernatorial misdemeanor in office. Were they firefighters in their towns, imagine the townspeople’s reaction if they had justified their failure to respond and investigate by saying, “Well, we only saw smoke”! On failing to hold LePage to account, they have failed us, too. Only House District 133 Rep. Ralph Chapman voted to hold LePage accountable.

The Jan. 14 vote on Ben Chipman’s resolution to establish a special study committee has been persistently billed as an impeachment vote. It was not. It was a vote to create a mechanism to see whether there were any grounds for bringing an impeachment action forward. For the Legislature to vote to refuse to study something, anything, some might say is an aberration in and of itself. But it happened. Arguably the most ethically challenged of legislators still in office defended his own vote saying that LePage’s actions did not rise to the level of impeachment. As if that was what he was being to asked to vote on. And how could he possibly know (or in his case, even recognize it)? How could any of them know? They hadn’t even looked at it, and, just as bad, they have, at least for now, precluded the possibility that they will.

This will be revisited. The Governor, short of a road to Damascus experience, is going to do something again … or anew. The speaker himself encapsulated the current climate, unchanged by Thursday’s vote, by three times describing how, because of the Governor’s actions, legislators have been “looking over their shoulders” each time they cast votes. Sooner or later the House will have to change its mind, examine and act on the Governor’s executive inadequacies. That is, after all, their constitutional obligation to us. I am confident that Messrs. Hubbell, Kumiega and Luchini, representatives who have served the people of Hancock County in exemplary fashion, will be presented another chance to examine how best to serve simultaneously both their policy obligations and their constitutional ones.

Hendrik D. Gideonse



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