“Get out of my face,” yelled an angry Governor Paul LePage at this blogger today, although this blogger was not in his face. Just an easy target for this bully. That remark was followed by a shove on the shoulder that caused this blogger to loose her balance, but it did not deter her from yelling back at him. “Please keep your hands off me.” And a moment later – You are a pig!” LePage stormed out of the State House toward the Blaine House for his lunch – it was around 12:30 pm.
A gaggle of press – print, television and radio personalities and photojournalists from Portland – had gathered across the hallway from his state house office – hoping to catch him as he left for lunch at the Blaine House across the street and get a comment on his latest controversy – a common habit of the press. The gaggle was trying to get his reaction on the Superior Court’s decision that he was overreaching in his effort to shut-down the Downeast Correctional Facility in Washington County. An irritated LePage danced around the issue with all men from MPR, NBC and ABC tv news and a reporter from “The Portland Press Herald” – telling them that he had not read the Court’s decision. He said he’d been told by the court -the decision was in the mail. “I haven’t read it,” he insisted over and over to a press pushing him hard for a story for their news outlets. Suddenly, he whirled around – 180 degrees to confront this blogger and dumped his temper tantrum on my left shoulder! Everyone scattered! LePage being LePage.
At a late morning press conference on the third floor of the statehouse, Quaker Leslie Manning said: “This bill is corporate welfare. General Dynamics does not need our tax money. Manning, one of the speakers at the press conference. Mark Ronan, (See above right photo, R, in Blue) “I am against a tax break – a BIW deal for $45 M to handle a cash flow problem. Before the Tax Committee, it refused to disclose its financial cash flow situation. I look around and see all the unmet needs here.”
Tom Ryan said: ” I joined the service to make this country better. Our taxes need to go for human welfare – not for corporate welfare. I will continue to fast until this is over.” He’s been fasting for eleven (11) days.
Bruce Gagnon, who has fasted for 32 days in support of no tax credits for General Dynamics, owner of Bath Iron Works, said he is weak, but doing alright. He has several friends with medical backgrounds who check on him frequently.
The 5th largest manufacturer of defense weapons in the country, asked for a $60 M tax credit. Recently, the Taxation Committee voted overwhelmingly to support a $45 M tax credit. The vote from the entire legislature has not yet been scheduled, but could take place within a week or so. Gagnon challenged the media across Maine to report to voters the incremental decreases and to keep up their pressure on legislators to vote against any tax giveaway to GD/BIW.
Attorney General Janet Mills said that she was pleased with the ruling of the Superior Court accusing LePage of overreaching to stop funding the Downeast Correction Facility in Washington County in a press release issued today. “We have argued that the action of the administration in closing the facility violated the separation of powers provision of our state constitution,” said AG Janet Mills. “This would be an appropriate time for the executive branch and members of the legislature to determine both the short term and the long-term future of the Downeast Correctional Facility.” AG Mills is running for Governor to replace LePage in November 2018.
Mission Accomplished: Oink! Oink !
(note: 3/16/18 Thank you for the many kind remarks I’ve received about my exchange with Governor Paul LePage yesterday at the Statehouse. First, I was at the State house to cover another matter on the third floor at 11:00 am. I heard there was a buffet lunch on the second floor near the Governor’s office. The servers there told me it was open to the public. I was not there to interview the Governor. I decided to stand with the other members of the press only to try to get a photo of him AND to listen to what he had to say about the Court’s disagreement with his effort to shut-down the Downeast Correctional Facility. Clearly, he was angry about that Court ruling. I NEVER asked him ONE question at all because I was unfamiliar with the subject the press wanted to question him about. It was lunch time (12:15 – 12:30 pm) and I was partaking of the buffet that had been set out for public consumption close to the Governor’s office by a credit union. A lot of people do eat lunch during lunch time!
Furthermore, I am not a writer, journalist, or author. I’m a blogger as I’ve said repeatedly elsewhere in my blog for the last ten years. Actually, during most of the time, LePage was standing with his back to me – talking to the other news media who were asking him questions. The photo of me eating was unfortunate. But I think it says more about the priorities of the local press than it does of my priorities. As reported by the LePage office, no security person ever approached me and identified himself as security. Someone approached me as I was leaving and asked for whom I write. I jokingly told him “The New York Times” and laughed.** That is just some of the the spin coming from LePage’s staff.
While eating with my mouth open may be a concern to a handful, I do think there are far more serious issues before the country tonight. Like the firing of Andrew McCabe by AG Sessions who I think is trying to hang onto his job to protect the Mueller investigation. Also Trump’s threat to sue Stormy Daniels for $20 M. It’s important to try to keep life’s non-events in perspective! Please try!
By the way, where is your sense of humor, Governor?
** My above reference to “The New York Times” is not such a joke. Two of my cousins were long-time employees of “The New York Times” years ago. Joan McCracken Whitman was an editor of the womens’ page and her husband Alden Whitman, wrote the obits for many years. Both were well-respected for their work at that iconic institution.
Please see previous post herein on the General Dynamics/BIW Tax Giveaway dated March 12, 2018.