... LePage -- a pugnacious, hot-headed, sometimes vulgar Tea Party-style conservative -- is facing a bipartisan investigation into potential abuse of power, a nascent impeachment effort by opponents in the lower State House chamber, and a federal lawsuit by the outgoing Democratic House speaker, who has accused the governor of blackmailing a non-profit school into revoking their job offer to him. Meanwhile, leaders of the Republican-controlled state Senate and many Republicans in the House have turned on the governor,helping overturn hundreds of his vetoes and line-item vetoes in lightning-paced voting sessions, sometimes at a rate of one every 25 seconds. His veto of the bipartisan budget was overturned, narrowly avoiding a state government shutdown. An aggressive attempt to appropriate wider veto authority for his office has been rebuffed by lawmakers and legal experts, but still threatens to plunge the state into a constitutional crisis.
The Maine House and Senate both ignored dozens of vetoes delivered Thursday by Gov. Paul LePage, all but ensuring that a weeklong dispute over those vetoes will be decided by the Supreme Judicial Court. It was the latest development in a bizarre dispute that has enveloped Augusta for a week. LePage held 71 bills for longer than the 10 days normally afforded him to veto legislation, prompting many lawmakers and the state's attorney general to declare the bills had become law without the governor's signature.