The Universal Notebook: A laundry list of LePage lapses

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On May 19, Gov. Paul LePage released a 20-page booklet, Making Maine Prosperous, detailing what he views as the accomplishments of his first 500 days in office.

As an addendum to Gov. LePage’s checklist, allow me to submit my own bill of indictment, detailing some of the reasons I believe we would all be better off if Paul LePage were not governor of Maine.

1. He falsely claimed Democrats attacked him for being Franco-American.

2. He falsely claimed he was being accused of being a “tax cheat, draft dodger and sexual harassment person.” Still wondering what’s behind that whopper. Or was it?

3. Celebrated his nomination at a notorious bar in Waterville, where he hung out all the time until the spotlight was turned on him.

4. His wife took a homestead exemption and in-state tuition for their kids in Florida.

5. He threatened to punch a reporter who reported the Florida tax situation.

6. Said he was worried that Libby Mitchell was too old at 70 to be governor.

7. Declined to attend Martin Luther King Day dinner and then told NAACP to “kiss my butt.”

8. To counter charges of racism, falsely claimed his Jamaican caddy’s son was his own.

9. Bragged he would “Tell Obama to go to hell.”

10. Without ever seeing it, ordered Maine Labor History Mural removed as too pro-labor.

11. Called those who defended the mural “idiots.”

12. Tried to repeal Child Safety Act, claiming that the only problem with the chemical BPA was that it might give women “little beards.”

13. Filled his transition team with American Legislative Exchange Council and Maine Heritage Policy Center ideologues.

14. Hired his daughter to serve on his staff at $41,000 a year.

15. Gave a job to his brother-in-law. (Well, that’s two jobs he’s created).

16. Nominated developer Darryl Brown as head of Department of Environmental Protection. Brown was forced to resign when the attorney general found him “unqualified” due to conflicts of interest.

17. Nominated Philip Congdon to head Department of Economic and Community Development despite the fact that Cogndon admitted he he didn’t know anything about community development. Congdon was forced to quit after telling the people of Aroostook County to “get off the reservation.”

18. Accepted Norman Olsen’s resignation as head of the Department of Marine Resources. Olsen resigned of his own free will, claiming that the vindictive governor didn’t want the DMR collaborating with the city of Portland because Portland didn’t vote for him.

19. LePage spokesman Dan Demeritt bragged that LePage would have 11,000 state bureaucrats working to elect Republicans. Demerrit then resigned because his own businesses were failing.

20. Nominated Bruce Poliquin as state treasurer. Poliquin, too, should have resigned when it was revealed that he had been doing private business while serving as treasurer, a clear violation of the state Constitution.

21. LePage and Poliquin led the GOP witch hunt that forced Dale McCormick to resign as head of the Maine State Housing Authority. An Office of Program Evaluation & Government Accountability audit then determined that McCormick had done nothing wrong.

22. Supports the conservative attempt to get rid of the Land Use Regulation Commission.

23. Tells Mainers on welfare to “get off the couch and get a job.”

24. Supported rolling back Child Labor Laws, saying, “Work doesn’t hurt anyone.”

25. Charged that state workers were “as corrupt as they can be.”

26. Tried to eliminate the state appropriation to MPBN.

27. Tried to cut 65,000 Mainers from MaineCare.

28. Did cut 1,550 legal immigrants from MaineCare by imposing a five-year waiting period.

29. Meanwhile, his Department of Health and Human Services mistakenly paid benefits to 19,000 ineligible recipients.

30. Eliminated MaineCare benefits for 19- and 20-year-olds and senior citizens’ drug prescriptions.

31. Senate (35-0) and House (124-16) had to override LePage veto of MaineCare services for people with special needs.

32. While claiming to be all-business, he vetoed a $20 million Maine Technology Asset Fund research-and-development bond that had broad bipartisan support in the business community.

Clearly, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Paul LePage is a governor with no foresight and no real concern for anyone who didn’t vote for him.

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Freelance journalist Edgar Allen Beem lives in Yarmouth. The Universal Notebook is his personal, weekly look at the world around him.

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