Friday, October 29, 2010


When I crossed the threshold into my grandparents farm home in Carmel, Maine as a child I was always greeted by warmth. There was warmth in the kitchen where perpetual cooking scented the air with the aroma of home cooked stews, breads, and pies. There was the warmth of nonjudgmental affection. I felt secure in the knowledge that it was a place that focused positive energy and support on a future that mattered to me.

It is time for Maine voters to come on home.

The tea party sideshows and the politics of selfishness offered by Paul LePage are a cold level of extremism that will not serve Maine citizens well in the short or long run. Moderate Republicans know that his angry confrontational style will sideline appropriate necessary collaboration to serve Maine citizens. His energy is destructive and divisive.

We have learned that Eliot Cutler is not all that 'independent' when it comes to hauling in millions from China lobbying work and sitting on the Board of Directors of a company deeply at fault in the recent mortgage meltdown. His 'independent' positions either mirror those of Paul LePage in some instances or are carefully crafted to present him as "not one of the other two". His resume does not offer us the type of skills and experience that we need in Maine.

Only a few days remain in this campaign and the din of commercials, up and down polls, flyers, charges, and countercharges will make it harder to hear convincing arguments for why a particular individual is best suited to help our state navigate beyond the national economic storm that was brought on by Wall Street greed and unchecked corporate power. In truth, Maine's economy, state revenues, services, and constructive perceptions about the role of governing have all been victims of a crisis largely outside our borders.

Despite repetition distorting reality by the Maine press and her opponents, Libby Mitchell does not hail from the fringes of the Democratic Party. She has been a moderate, pragmatic leader who reflects Maine citizens' concerns about small business, the environment, energy conservation, and education.

Libby Mitchell has a long history of service as a town official, a legislator and a community volunteer. She has an established record of collaborative leadership and working thoughtfully across the aisle to seek solutions to challenging Maine issues. And Libby Mitchell has the experience of serving as a leader in positions of authority as Speaker of the House and Senate President who is considerate of broad input, willing to act on a bipartisan basis, and focused on serving all Maine citizens with the very best reasonable and positive outcomes.

Maine has been an example of fiscal restraint and bi-partisan government. The current state budget is the same as it was in 2001; there have been no major tax increases over the past nine years. The state budget has received support from Democrats and Republicans. Libby Mitchell has been a leader in this fiscal environment.

In our state, we can be proud that we value good governance beyond the influence of corporate and individual wealth through a strong clean elections law. Over 75% of candidates running for the legislature (and almost 70% of Republicans) run with clean election funding. They are joined by only one gubernatorial candidate, Libby Mitchell, in keeping the focus on issues not fund raising and special interests.

Letting last minute polling snapshots in this tumultuous election determine one's vote and not voting one's conscience can lead to terrible outcomes. In the end, this is not a game of endorsements, momentum, and polling points leading to a final score representing dollars spent. This is about Maine's future and the issues. It is about each candidate's capability in that future and how each will handle the issues most dear to us.

It is time for Maine voters to come on home to good stewardship of our natural environment for people, employment, and pleasure. It is time to come on home to make public education a real priority and not shell parts of it out to private interests. It is time to come on home to develop small entrepreneurial success that leads to good jobs with futures and not bare subsistence jobs that primarily serve out of state shareholders. It is time to cross the threshold into the voting booth and support Libby Mitchell and the issues we share caring about with her.


I wonder how Paul LePage would see the world if his childhood family had gotten the intervention services it desperately needed.

Does Paul LePage believe that the welfare that he claims he was on was justified or not? And since LePage says he got himself off welfare (* just like 96% of those in Maine) why does he denigrate its temporary use?

Or does Paul LePage believe that today a family of 18 within an immigrant community with an abusive parent does not warrant intervention and that a young child should seek his own solutions by his own means on the street and just hope that fortune might take him in?

* Kennebec Journal:

Four percent of TANF cases exceed five years, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Most of Maine's long-term cases involve disabilities, according to the state.

The average time spent on TANF is 21 months, and 85 percent of families leave the program within two years, according to the agency.

Just wondering.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

LePage Lies - One Last Time

One last time addressed by this writer before the election that is. Paul LePage is surely going to go on and on and on making up false statistics, perpetuating myths, and engaging in outright lies. In last night's gubernatorial forum sponsored by Prepare Maine, created by The Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education he told another deceptive whooper:

"50% or better of our families have one parent"

Number of families in Maine 351,646
Number of single-parent headed families in Maine 74,903
Using a calculator vs. pulling a number out of thin air yields 21.3%.
Source (PDF):
National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies

Nitpicking and carping is the countercharge by LePage supporters anytime this stuff comes up. His supporters call him refreshing and say they like it that he is off the cuff, blunt, unpolished, and will "tell it like it is". But he doesn't actually "tell it like it is"; he's perpetually caught using bogus numbers to back up his assertions and claims.

We need to confront reality. How will Paul LePage serve us as Governor if he believes only what he wants to believe? Will false assumptions and presumed numbers become the basis for budgets and laws in Maine? Can a liar be trusted with your future, your children's future, and the state's future?

The core supporters of Paul LePage have given him a pass on every lie he has uttered. His tea party backers accept lies that fit a world view that gives them the pretext to reshape social policy and slash taxes by heaping derision, based on made up facts, upon everyday workers, the poor, state employees, teachers, and public servants in the state of Maine.

Somehow I still want to believe that moderate Republicans, who seek conservative fiscal prudence, will not accept purposeful gross inaccuracy as a basis for setting priorities and making policy. Somehow I want to believe that a vast majority of independents will not accept a leader who seeks scapegoats and freely uses false assertions as Governor.

The LePage tea party core not only accepts Paul LePage's lies but promotes, perpetuates, and exaggerates these deceptions. This election is not just about defeating a liar, it is also about defeating a very far fringe right wing movement based on dishonesty. Our vote for Governor in 2010 is our moment of truth.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

LePage: Lie + Lie = Truth

Today in the Kennebec Journal:

Paul LePage, in a statement released by his campaign, said Florida officials were now backing up what his family claimed in the first place.
"Tax officials in Florida have verified what we have said all along," he said. "They have closed their investigation. The homestead exemption on the Florida property that Ann bought to care for her mother during the winter remains in effect."

Yesterday (9/10/10) in the Kennebec Journal:

Ann LePage, the wife of the Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage of Waterville, received permanent resident tax exemptions in 2009 on homes in both Maine and Florida, a violation of statutes in each state.
The LePage campaign admitted the violation on Thursday, calling it a paperwork error. A spokesman said Ann LePage had been unaware of the discrepancy and would remedy it.

So essentially, they did or did not know what they did or did not qualify for but it was a "paperwork error" that did or did not occur. Glad that cleared up Paul LePage's approach to honesty and transparency.

Friday, October 8, 2010

LePage Lie Enabling

I have not been shy about saying that Paul LePage engages in deceptions, is a myth spinner, and lies. The capacity for his followers to ignore gross mistruths as some sort of badge of the kind of non-intellectual, gritty streets, common man-common sense they think is needed in Augusta is amazing. Having fanatic followers that will swallow many mistruths and forgive outright dishonesty in hopes of getting their taxes slashed seems a bit like shoplifting at Marden’s – there is a guilt free self-justifying need in one’s mind that motivates the act but you still end up with junk.

However, even more disturbing is the ongoing enablers of the lies and myths perpetuated by Paul LePage. Today’s following excerpt from LePage’s hometown newspaper, the Morning Sentinel, is a good example of lying to support the liar telling further lies:

Mary-Anne Beal, a Waterville City Council member, said per-pupil spending has increased in Waterville under LePage.

"He's increased spending per student by 30 percent since he's been mayor," said Beal, who added she was a Democrat who recently enrolled as an independent because of false attacks made on LePage. "Under Mayor LePage's leadership, we've provided strong support for academic programs and extracurricular activities. Not a single program has been cut."
How can this City Council member walk the streets of Waterville without embarrassment? She is saying that education support has increased under the leadership of a weak part-time ceremonial mayor without any budget creation or management authority whatsoever, who threatens vetoes of any increase in property taxes, who along with all Waterville residents relies on the school funding variables of state educational subsidies to determine largely the direction of the school budget and taxation, and who has been directly contradicted by individuals within the school system itself.

Masking lies with more lies is a disservice of the highest order by any public official. Conservative, moderate, or liberal, we all need a Governor who will not lie and surround himself with those who will be enablers of dishonest government.

Paul LePage is not fit to be our Governor due to his background…as a liar.

And now for a commercial break:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

LePage - Pants on Fire #3

Please consider the number "3" used in the above title merely a posting count of this latest series and no where near the expansive number of deceptions, exaggerations, tall tales, fibs, myth makings, and outright lies by Paul LePage. Taking him to task on the ongoing duplicity that he engages in is extremely important because it gives us an advance look at both the personal character and the character of an administration led by him potentially as Governor. And no matter how one cuts it, Paul LePage being “truth challenged” is a compelling and imperative reason to use in asking fellow citizens not to elect him. He cannot be trusted to tell the truth by unenrolled voters, Republicans, Democrats, or even tea party adherents.

Paul LePage is either a pathological or professional liar. Which is unimportant at this time; just protecting Maine from fraudulent leadership is a vital concern of the moment. His personal downfall can simply take its course after an election defeat if he is a deliberate liar or those who care about him can help him seek treatment at that time if he suffers from some delusional disturbance.

Most astounding is that for the many claims that Paul LePage makes from buffalo count fantasies to what actually appears as words on a page to his own taped appearances is how completely the actual evidence debunks whatever he says. The counts were not required, printed facts absolutely dispute his claims, and, most glaringly of all, his own recorded words counter his false assertions. Paul LePage has been doing this for a long time and to a degree that it casts a shadow on his alleged on-the-streets upbringing, his educational struggle claims, his time living abroad, his personal ethics, and his hazy professional resume.

While he puts himself at the center of many of his wild leaps of his imagination, he is prone to drag in others through smear to boost claims of his being victimized and standing up to his enemies. He did that this summer by asserting that Arden Manning called him unfit to serve as Governor because of his ethnic background. This was simply unfair, untrue, and strategically stupid because of its utter disrespect of the intelligence of Maine voters. All the instances documented in these posts and the numerous ones recorded elsewhere strongly indicate a pattern that says buyer beware.

Any review of his video taped remarks generally uncovers some unsubstantiated remark that his most adamant adherents take as fact. This goes back to his tea party courting roots. Like accusing a reporter of dropping the “F bomb” or Arden Manning saying that he is unfit for office because he is Franco American, in this pre-primary video Paul LePage insinuates that Governor Baldacci swore at him.

This is a smear of John Baldacci’s character by Paul LePage to further his own personal political ambitions, enlarge his mythical fight against those he opposes on behalf of the tea party, and to elevate his own sense of self-righteous victimhood. Both those who know Governor Baldacci as a decent human being who would not call Paul LePage “some very choice words” and even those who know him as an opponent certainly understand the political instincts of the Governor would be to not foolishly commit such “choice words” to the emails Paul LePage claims he can show us.

Paul LePage cannot show us those emails based on the fact that the emails never existed at all. He lied. He lied to perpetuate his myth. He lied to gain false credibility. He lied because he is an impulsive liar.

I took the trouble to make the following Freedom of Access request of the Governor:

Please consider this my formal Freedom of Access (FOA) request for any emails sent from the office of the Governor or the Governor addressed specifically to Paul LePage as Mayor of Waterville or as an individual as the email's primary recipient during Governor John Baldacci's two terms in office.

The purpose of my request is to prove or disprove a claim by Mr. LePage that he can show the public emails from the Governor in which the Governor (or his official representative) called Mr. LePage "some very choice words" because Mr. LePage [allegedly] refused to spend some state provided money and "got under his [the Governor's] skin so bad".

The Governor’s office complied, searched their records, and provided four documents. Three are constituent emails on various topics on which the Governor and Mayor LePage were both included and in no way, shape, or form can be construed as a communication between the two nor do these emails contain any choice words directed at LePage. The fourth correspondence consists of an email from Paul LePage on June 5th, 2009 at 12:24 PM urging the Governor to veto the tax reform bill and stating that he [LePage]:

“…would rather see a temporary increase in income tax on those of us who are higher wage earners rather than expand the sales and use taxes on the less unfortunate [sic] in our state.”

To this email, the Governor’s office responded on the very same day at 3:18 PM. This is the sole email from both terms of the Governor between the John Baldacci’s office sent directly to Paul LePage. Now we come to the “choice words” and I quote the Governor’s email in its entirety:

Dear Paul;

Thank you for contacting Governor Baldacci. I am certain he will appreciate hearing from you. I have printed out your message and placed it in the Governor’s in-box.

With best wishes.


Tammy Quimby
Deputy Director
Constituent Services
Office of the Governor

There you have it. The awful language of “thank you”, “appreciate”, “best wishes”, and “sincerely” were used. The emails Paul LePage refers to are completely made up. He wants to give an impression of an inflated prosecution of himself by those he opposes. The problem is that he attacks those he disagrees with lies that go infinitely further beyond stating his opposing views, he places fictional disreputable words in the mouths of his opponents to demonize them and booster his own reputation as a combative hero.

Would the dishonesty and lying abruptly discontinue if Paul LePage was elected Governor? Could we trust the state’s new chief executive to tell us the truth? Could we count on him to work honestly on our behalf rather than invent excuses for his failings by blaming others falsely? A single “no” means that a no to Paul LePage is absolutely vital to good, fair, and honest governing in the next four years. Spread the word. Buyer beware. We cannot afford a liar in the Blaine House.

Monday, October 4, 2010

LePage - Pants on Fire #2

It is time to say to Paul LePage: “Prove it!”

One feature of this campaign has been Paul LePage’s constant falsehoods that he seems to hope his closest followers will believe because the comments sound so darn good that they must be true. Furthermore LePage must also hope that these fabricated statements will attract others to his candidacy. It doesn’t seem to be working according to the latest poll that follows a couple of week of sharper focus on LePage’s problems with truth, angry rhetoric, and honesty.

From buffalo, black fly, salmon, and fee word counts that might just be over active imaginary exaggerations to “ I never had [name on Waterville home] it on”, they [tea party] sought me out, and “That’s what [Franco American slur] I’m saying” that qualify as outright lies, the examples that litter his campaign trail are really beginning to pile up. Yet even more outrageously Paul LePage even says things on tape, like his WRKO fabrication (at 7 minutes) of a reporter dropping the F-bomb and himself not swearing when actually caught on camera doing so is utterly incredulous:

Even beyond the material that can be debunked by mere follow up inquiry or any citizen’s ears and eyes, lays another concern: the unsubstantiated charge. I content that this activity is another deliberate attempt by Paul LePage to deceptively manipulate his angry message. Listen closely to LePage’s response when asked to talk about his contention about business interests and Maine government being an adversarial relationship in this interview from mebizsunday on September 11, 2010:

In one swoop, Paul LePage makes a wild claim that the host does not even pretend to follow up on by asking for the facts. Instead of laying out his contention in a manner to argue policy like a serious candidate, LePage makes a totally unsubstantiated charge of how he personally was unfairly persecuted by some unnamed shadowy members of the majority party. While it is indeed pitiful to see LePage play the self-pity card again, the real question ought to be - is this another legendary LePage lie? I contend that it is and that there are many other examples to be exposed as well.

If members of the controlling party [Democrats] actually called the Marden’s board of directors and told them to fire Paul LePage or there would be a boycott their stores; that would be a serious attempted abuse of power. A bully saying he was bullied is the oldest game on the playground. So Paul LePage, prove it. If the inevitable “no tracks were left” counter comes from LePage, then he ought to get individual board members to swear out legal affidavits backing him up. Until then, his unsubstantiated charge and smearing insinuation stands as another Paul LePage example of making things up and lying.