February 4, 2014

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Latest News, Maine, Red Gov Watch

No Speech Can Change Fact That LePage Is A National Embarrassment

For three long years, Maine Governor Paul LePage has embarrassed the people of Maine with his absurd antics, insults, and recklessness. During his tenure, he’s attacked a lawmaker in vile sexual terms, threatened to “blow up” a major newspaper, compared the Affordable Care Act to the Holocaust and the IRS to the Gestapo, told the NAACP to “kiss my butt,” and claimed that President Obama hates white people. The list goes on and on.

LePage’s political handlers must understand that repeating his view that “47 percent of able-bodied people in the state of Maine” are lazy moochers who “don’t work” in tonight’s State of the State address won’t be an ideal way to kick off his reelection campaign – so he’ll pay lip service to the economy, jobs, and reforming government. But the people of Maine are smarter than that and won’t buy his attempt to make himself over in an election year.

Governor LePage has repeatedly proven to be too committed to right-wing ideology and too hostile and angry to effectively serve as governor of Maine. No single speech can change that.

Unlike the governor they have now, Mike Michaud will make Mainers proud. He’ll work in a civil, bipartisan way to create jobs, improve schools, expand access to affordable healthcare, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, strengthen the middle class, and  protect Maine’s environment.

As Governor LePage’s handlers put the finishing touches on his State of the State address, here are a few examples of how he has repeatedly humiliated the people of Maine during his tenure:

2012: LePage Called the Maine Press Liars. LePage said, “The press. Reading newspapers in the state of Maine is like paying somebody to tell you lies,” in March 2012 to a student “who asked him what he didn’t like about his job during his appearance as keynote speaker at a Career Conversations event at Waterville Junior High School.” [Bangor Daily News, 3/30/13]

LePage Ordered Administration to not Talk to Maine Press. In June 2013 LePage ordered his administration to stop speaking to the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Waterville Sentinel. [Bangor Daily News, 3/30/13]

HEADLINE: “LePage Says He’d Like to Blow up Press Herald.” “Gov. Paul LePage made his dislike of the Portland Press Herald abundantly clear Friday while sitting in a fighter jet simulator: He said from the cockpit that he would like to blow up the newspaper’s building.” [Portland Press Herald, 8/9/13]

LePage Compared the Health Reform Law to Holocaust. In 2012 the New York Times noted that LePage “compared the health care reform law to the Holocaust,” yet “signed a budget bill in May that will reduce or eliminate existing Medicaid coverage for 21,000 people.” [New York Times, 7/18/12]

…By Likening the IRS to the Gestapo. “‘We the people have been told there is no choice,’ LePage said, referring to the individual mandate portion of the [health care reform] law. ‘You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo — the IRS.’” [Bangor Daily News, 7/9/12]

Bangor Daily News Editorial: Comment Embarrasses Maine. “It’s not unusual for Gov. Paul LePage to say something offensive off-the-cuff. But what’s disturbing about his most recent blunder, calling the Internal Revenue Service ‘the new Gestapo,’ is that it wasn’t a slip-up. He purposefully put the language into his Saturday radio address after it was drafted… comparing the IRS to Nazi Germany’s secret police force is both reprehensible and inaccurate… the Gestapo comment was planned insensitivity. It did nothing to further real debate about the Affordable Care Act and brought embarrassment to the state.” [Bangor Daily News, 7/9/12]

LePage Said 47% of Able-Bodied Mainers “Don’t Work.” Bangor Daily News’ Mike Tipping reported on a recording of Governor LePage: “’About 47% of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don’t work,’ said LePage. On the recording you can hear a member of the audience ask ‘what?’ LePage repeats himself: ‘About 47%. It’s really bad.’” [Bangor Daily News Tipping Point Blog, 10/22/13]

LePage Supported 12 Year Olds Being Able to Work in Maine. The Portland Press reported, “Gov. Paul LePage told attendees of the 73rd annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show… that 12-year-olds should be allowed to work in Maine.” The Bangor Daily News reported that LePage said “I’m all for not allowing a 12-year-old to work 40 hours… But a 12-year-old working eight to 10 hours a week or a 14-year-old working 12 to 15 hours a week is not bad.” [Portland Press Herald, 1/8/14; Bangor Daily News, 12/2/13]

LePage Reported as Saying President Obama “Hates White People.” The Portland Press Herald reported, “Gov. Paul LePage told a group of Republicans last week that President Obama ‘hates white people,’ according to two state lawmakers who say they heard the remark directly. The governor made the comment during a Maine Republican Party fundraiser on Aug. 12… The lawmakers, both Republicans, confirmed the comment when asked by a Portland Press Herald reporter but asked that their names be withheld for fear of political retribution.” [Portland Press Herald,8/20/13]

LePage To NAACP: “Kiss My Butt.” LePage said “Tell them to kiss my butt,” in January 2011 “to reporters in response to suggestions from NAACP members and others that his decision not to attend ceremonies honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was part of a negative pattern.” [Bangor Daily News, 3/30/13]

LePage Accused Lawmaker of Giving “to the People Without Providing Vaseline.” The Bangor Daily News reported LePage “said a Democratic lawmaker, Sen. Troy Jackson of Aroostook County, ‘claims to be for the people but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.’ LePage also said that Jackson has a ‘black heart’ and that he should go back in the woods and cut trees ‘and let someone with a brain come down here and do some good work.’” [Bangor Daily News, 6/20/13]

LePage Called Independent Lawmakers “Idiots.” LePage said “You guys, you’re idiots and you’re just as bad if not worse than those other guys,” in January 2013 when “comparing independent lawmakers to Democrats during a meeting with three independent legislators on alternate approaches to balancing the state budget.” [Bangor Daily News, 3/30/13]