By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,710)
With the recent vulgar language, threatenng of a Westbrook state representative and profiling of non-whites by Governor Paul LePage very much on the minds of Maine residents, about 200 people showed up for a Portland Democrats forum this evening. Part of the billing said the forum would focus on LePage’s “outrages” as well as the larger issue of racism in Maine. But surprisingly nary a word of his “outrages” or even his name came up during the two-hour forum. The well publicized forum was held at Reiche Elementary School on the West End of Portland.
Some of the Dems billing said in part: “…the panel will discuss the Governor’s latest outrages and steps we can take to hold him accountable, as well as the broader issue of race in Maine.” The tightly structured forum left no room for anyone to stray from the topic assigned to discuss although some admitted after the forum that the politics of LePage were very much on their minds during the Forum.
Following the Forum, its moderator, Dean Danielle Conway, said the reason not to discuss Governor LePage is that: (See above right photo.) ‘We have to have a big peripheral vision on hot button issues.” Emily Figdor, president of the Portland Democrats said that the event had been planned several months ago. It was intended to coincide with shootings of black men across the country. That was long before Governor LePage’s vulgar outbreak at a town hall meeting. Figdor had no explanation for the misleading billing that no doubt exponentially increased attendance at the Forum, but did not mesh with the Forum itself.
There were to be seven people on the panel including Figurehead Mayor Ethan Strimlng. However, he cancelled earlier in the day because of an “upset stomach.”
editor’s note: It is this blogger’s observation that Figurehead Strimling prefers to read prepared statements rather than speak in an impromptu and “off-the-cuff” manner.