October 13, 2017

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Latest News, Maine

With Collins Out, Maine Primary Full of LePage Wannabes and Clones

Mayhew, Mason, Fredette Fighting for Far-Right Vote

With news out today that Senator Susan Collins is not running for governor in Maine, the Republican primary field is now filled exclusively with LePage acolytes who want to continue his agenda:

Mary Mayhew, LePage’s former HHS director, declared herself the frontrunner this morning after the Collins news. Mayhew fashions herself as the “heir to the LePage legacy” and has pitched her candidacy, “to continue the work she and…Lepage started.” That “work” hasn’t turned out great for the people of Maine. As the Press Herald noted in a scathing editorial, Mayhew promoted “convenient fiction” to cut services for older and poorer citizens, leaving them “worse off as a result.”

Mayhew’s opponents, Garret Mason and Ken Fredette also helped LePage push through his far-right agenda. Mason, the Senate Majority leader, is championing the “incredible strides” LePage made in slashing government services. Fredette, the House Minority leader and “arguably one of Gov. LePage’s staunchest allies,” is also running on a platform of more of the same.

“The Maine Republican primary is now just a bunch of LePage imitators,” said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “Mayhew, Mason, and Fredette were all instrumental in enacting the governor’s disastrous agenda, and Mainers have suffered. Without Collins, this primary will now be a full-on race to right.”

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Fredette was “Arguably One of Gov. LePage’s Staunchest Allies.” According to the Bangor Daily News, “A veteran lawmaker who has been arguably one of Gov. Paul LePage’s staunchest allies in the Legislature has announced that he will run for governor as a Republican. House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, said he is launching an exploratory campaign as of Wednesday but that he intends to continue his candidacy through a Republican primary election in June.” [Bangor Daily News, 9/6/17]

Mason Praised LePage’s Tenure and Declared Maine Had Made “Incredible Strides…the Work Is Not Done, In Fact, In Many Way’s It’s Just Beginning.” According to the Sun Journal, “In the seven years since LePage won office, the state has ‘made incredible strides’ by reforming welfare, cutting tax rates and straightening out government finances. But, he said, ‘the work is not done. In fact, in many ways it’s just beginning.’ Mason said Augusta has too many politicians who bring “pride and arrogance” to the task of making Maine a better place to live.” [Sun Journal, 9/28/17]

In June 2017, Mayhew Said She Was Running “To Continue the Work She and Gov. Paul LePage Started.” According to the Portland Press Herald, “Mayhew addressed a group of workers and a gaggle of reporters during a news conference at Dingley Press in the Androscoggin County town of Lisbon, saying she is running to continue the work she and Gov. Paul LePage started, including reforming welfare programs and improving Maine’s economy. LePage, a Republican, will complete his second and final term in 2018.” [Portland Press Herald, 6/7/17]

Portland Press Herald Editorial Headline: “Mary Mayhew’s History of Misplaced Priorities; the Department of Human Services Cut Its Budget by Spreading Suffering. That’s Not Reform.” [Portland Press Herald Editorial, 5/28/17]

  • Portland Press Herald Editorial: “Maine is Less Healthy and Less Humane After Mayhew’s Tour as the Official in Charge of the State’s Health And Human Services.” According to a Portland Press Herald Editorial, “Mayhew called all this “welfare reform,” but that would be accurate only if tearing down a house could be called “remodeling.” Maine is less healthy and less humane after Mayhew’s tour as the official in charge of the state’s health and human services.  Using the phrase ‘truly needy’ was one of the ways that Mayhew pitted Mainers against each other. She and her boss, Gov. LePage, were able to exploit the notion that rampant welfare fraud was responsible for the high cost of human services, feeding prejudice against the poor.” [Portland Press Herald Editorial, 5/28/17]
  • Portland Press Herald Editorial “Instead of Being an Advocate for People in Need, She Became Their Chief Accuser.” According to aPortland Press Herald Editorial, “she promoted the convenient fiction that providing basic services like food and health care was bad for people’s character, and would prevent them from making themselves self-sufficient. Instead of being an advocate for people in need, she became their chief accuser.” [Portland Press Herald Editorial, 5/28/17]