Gov. LePage writes off half the state of Maine
In a personal note he wrote in reply a Cape Elizabeth constituent who had asked him to resign, Governor Paul LePage has declared Mainers from the southern part of the state to be corrupt and exploitative.
The note, which is dated from July 16th and is written in LePage’s own hand on the stationery of the Governor’s office, reads as follows:
I bet you would like to see me resign.
You live in the south who exploit those who are not so fortunate, or understand the level of corruption that southern Mainers ignore and welcome!
Governor Paul R. LePage
P.S. Not going to happen!
Tortured grammatical construction aside, LePage seems to be leveling some serious charges against roughly half of Maine’s residents.
There has long been some political and cultural discomfort around Maine’s urban/rural, North/South divide, although the differences are much more complicated than the often-used “two Maines” shorthand might imply.
In one of the most extreme examples of this division, a Republican House Member once proposed that the Northern and Western parts of the state secede, with the Southern region being renamed “Northern Massachusetts.”
This is not the first time similar sentiments have been ascribed to LePage. In 2011, LePage’s Department of Marine Resources Commissioner, Norman Olsen, penned a resignation letter in which he accused LePage of refusing to work with the City of Portland because of a personal, political vendetta against that part of the state. LePage denied those charges at the time.
It’s not clear on what basis LePage is claiming that Southern Mainers commit exploitation. The Portland area alone now generates more than half of the state’s gross domestic product.
Andy Sullivan, a D.C.-based political reporter for Reuters, said his mother, a retired librarian, received the letter from LePage after writing the following: “Dear Gov. LePage, please resign. You will save yourself time and embarrassment. You will save our state time and money. Sincerely, Louise Sullivan.” His photo of the note has been shared more than a hundred times on Facebook.
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