LePage says he is moving out of his office

5:14 PM, May 23, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Thursday Democratic leadership told the governor to move a television his staff placed outside of his office at the state house, inside his office. Claiming he was being censored, LePage said he's moving his office out of the state house.

Governor LePage said "I asked them can we have a TV outside the door? They said no. They have to be inside the office. So we're not going to do that."

Justin Alfond says it's about following the rules. "Every person who has walked through this institution has followed the rules. This governor has decided he doesn't want to play by the rules."

So why is this TV so important? The governor put it in the reception area outside his office to welcome visitors. But his message also includes the number of days since he's proposed a budget, the number of days since he proposed a payment plan to the state's hospitals... and the words "What's the hold up?"

According to the executive director of the legislative council, that space outside of the governor's office belongs to the legislature. And without the permission of the bi-partisan legislative council - no TV allowed.

Justin Alfond says it doesn't matter what the message is on the TV he says it simply shouldn't be there. Democratic leaders say the rule is there to keep the walls of the state house free of partisanship.

The governor calls it a violation of his first amendment rights. He thinks it's the message - not the medium - that Democrats are objecting to.

LePage says "It's not a tv situation. It's a first amendment situation. I don't care about TVs, but I do care that Democrats are trying to stifle the voices of the Maine people.

The governor's also upset that he wasn't allowed to speak at Sunday's appropriations committee meeting. So he says - he's moving out of the state house.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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