“Get out of my face,” yelled an angry Governor Paul LePage at this blogger today, although this blogger was not in his face. Just standing in a line with other members of the press and thus 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 telling him. “Please keep your hands off me.” And a moment later 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. 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 members of the press from MPR, NBC and ABC tv news and a reporter from “The Portland Press Herald.” LePage repeatedly told them 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.
(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 any questions, because I was unfamiliar with the subject – closing the Downeast Correctional Facility. 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).
Please see previous post herein on the General Dynamics/BIW Tax Giveaway dated March 12, 2018.