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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Governor Paul LePage - two BDN points of view

A letter writer complains to the Bangor Daily News (BDN) about unfair press treatment of Maine's Governor LePage. Although the author of the letter points fingers at Maine media, the writer doesn't take into account the national coverage.  As a matter of fact, it's not just the Maine media who're labeling Governor LePage with uncomplimentary adjectives.  Unfortunately, the author of this defense letter about the Governor doesn't explain how it's somehow unfair for the media to ignore comments like telling the NAACP to "kiss my ass", because he didn't want to attend the Martin Luther King breakfast in Portland; or to tell a legislator how he'd "given it to the people without vasoline", because Senator Troy Jackson didn't support his tax plan. In fact, this is what the governor said, later in the same interview: LePage said, “Dammit, that comment (i.e. 'without Vasoline') is not politically correct. But we’ve got to understand who this man (i.e. Jackson) is. This man is a bad person. He not only doesn’t have a brain, he has a black heart. And so does the leadership” in the Legislature.

So, to dear writer Jane Newcomb of Owls Head Maine - "what goes around comes around". Your defense of Governor LePage is truly without merit. There simply is not enough evidence to support your point of view.

Meanwhile, in the same letters to the editor feature, another writer complains about Governor LePage acting, more or less, like a dictator, because he'll oppose his own Republican party legislative candidates, unless they support his plan to eliminate the state's income tax.

Here's the defense position, from Jane Newcomb, who writes in the BDN:

Unfair to LePage

I like what Gov. Paul LePage is doing in Augusta. All I read is a litany of disparaging remarks from the BDN, the “liberal” Courier Gazette and the Portland Press Herald. Media have been bullying LePage insidiously and outwardly for years, the latest being the unfair accusation that he has bashed his beloved French culture of which he is so proud.

For the media to jump on his off-hand attempt to be funny and self-effacing is silly, and to blow it way out of proportion and carry on about it, only to ruffle feathers and stir up trouble, is mean spirited.
How about a more balanced approach from the press? Perhaps tell about some of the wonderful things he’s done for our state?
I learned long ago not to believe anything, except from the horse’s mouth; no gossip, no hearsay or secondhand stories. I challenge the press to attempt to hear LePage speak, perhaps at a meeting or on the radio.

I understand his heart, and he cares for the whole state. LePage has the ability to get things done, looks to the future of Maine and keeps plugging away, despite the constant barrage of negative comments from the media.

Our so-called “wild and out of control governor” is so much more than we read about. I challenge the press to get the whole story.
Jane Newcomb
Owls Head

And here's another point of view from Steven Calhoun, from Addison:

LePage’s mistaken policy

Unfortunately, it is apparent to me Gov. Paul LePage is mistaken on one central point of his administration’s public policy. Just one.

According to news reports, LePage has made it clear he would not support members of his own party in their re-election bid if they do not support his position on eliminating state income taxes. What a devastating loss. The good governor seems to say, in effect, it’s my way or the highway.

Even if we disregard this blatant attempt to widen the political gulf among Maine voters, we must ask ourselves what it is that motivates a legislator’s votes — that is, is it his or her personal belief, his or her constituents’ wishes or blind adherence to party doctrine?

There can be no doubt that representatives in Augusta are more in touch with how the constituents in their districts feel, so their votes ought to reflect their conscience, which is a manner of their neighbors’ faith in them. That is the basic nature of democracy.
Maine is not a dictatorship in which the man at the top tells everyone not only how they must act and vote but what they should believe, the will of the people be damned.
Steve Colhoun

Maine Writer cannot find any credibility in Jane Newcomb's letter. Indeed, if Jane knows the Governor's heart, she needs to provide more evidence of his sincerity, to help all Maine people, than what we've seen from his management style including firing people and name calling others.

As for Steve Colhoun, it seems to me a leader who acts in the style of a dictator, is insecure. 

Regardless of how some people continue to (try to) support Governor LePage's bursts of unpredictability, the fact is, his unorthodox behaviors have brought more unfavorable publicity to Maine than any other politician has, in recent history.

And worse. There's been no apologies. Therefore, the Governor has failed as a role model for civil behavior and polite discourse.

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