5/10/18, by James Mosher,
Governor Paul LePage delivered quite a speech at the GOP Convention regarding the history of his administration. But you wouldn’t know it judging from the lack of coverage it received from the progressive rags that self-identify as newspapers here in Maine.
I listened as the Governor spoke, but also took the opportunity to pass a clipboard through the rows of delegates, hoping to garner support for Maine First Project’s initiative to end illegal immigration in Maine.
While gathering signatures, I bumped into a gentleman who was shooting footage of the Governor’s speech. He asked me matter-of-factly what I thought of LePage as he held his camera steady for my reply. I responded that I liked the Governor for many reasons. All I could offer at the time was that he fights for those who pay the bills and that history will attest that Paul R. LePage was one of Maine’s greatest governors.
The truth is that there is much more to say than that, but because of my finite broken mind, the aforementioned was all I could provide at the time. For now, I aim to take the opportunity to expound upon my answer to the question posed by Aaron Chadbourne, the man to whom I spoke last Saturday and former senior policy advisor to Governor LePage.
So, what do I think of Governor LePage?
I appreciate the fact that he is a fighter, not the bully portrayed by the Left, but a much-needed scrapper when civil discourse degenerates into bureaucratic brawling. Maine progressives and RINOS have had quite a time during LePage’s tenure because of his stark resistance to their agenda. In the political arena of preening Poodles, LePage is a Pitbull. No matter the issue, from drugs to Medicaid Expansion, the Governor has been at the forefront. He is a happy warrior who has taken many slings and arrows for commoners like myself.
I admire Governor LePage for modeling the art of perseverance. His has been an utterly lonely road, one with way more followers than leaders.
During his Saturday speech at the GOP Convention, LePage said, “These past four years, folks, there’s been an absolute vacuum of leadership on the third floor in Augusta. We have a Speaker of the House that is totally incompetent and should not be there.”
He mentioned that communication between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch has been nonexistent. He rebuked both House Speaker Sara Gideon and Senate President Mike Thibodeau for their unwillingness to dialogue stating, “I have gone four years without having anyone to talk to because they all want to have their own little cake and eat it. Nobody wants to negotiate.”
He also pointed out that despite tremendous opposition from Janet Mills his administration has been successful:
“We have lowered the taxes for hardworking Mainers. We cut the pension deficit by nearly half. We paid off the hospital debt. We reformed welfare, and we did it despite the fact that we have an Attorney General that is — as Peter Steele calls it — ‘morally flexible with the truth.'”
The Governor is a staunch advocate in Maine’s war on drugs. He has been ridiculed by Maine progressives for correctly assessing a major source of the problem: drug dealers from out-of-state. He has emphasized a serious and heart-wrenching ramification of this war: the children fathered by these deadbeat doers of dirty deeds. It is a sad truth that many of them become wards of the state.
Leftist legislators have taken liberties in labeling LePage and criticizing him for denoting the demographic distinctions of the drug dealers in his infamous “binder.” One such legislator, Rep. Drew Gattine (D-Westbrook), who provoked the Governor by expressing that LePage’s comments regarding drug pushers from Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts were “racially charged,” was blasted by LePage in August of 2016. The Governor labeled Gattine a “socialist cocksucker” and challenged him to a duel.
Last Saturday, LePage had this to say about his effort to remedy the destruction of Maine families/communities caused by illicit drug use:
“We hired more state police, more drug agents. We have an opiate problem, but we’re working on it as hard and as fast as we can. But let me tell you something, if we let our kids go to work, maybe they wouldn’t have enough time to get into drugs.”
Governor LePage has challenged proponents of Medicaid Expansion, progressive legislators and hospital CEO’s, who advocate for the amplification of the health care entitlement at great expense to Maine taxpayers.
Regarding Medicaid Expansion, his assessment is spot on:
“Hospital CEOs claim the federal government will pay 90% of the costs of Medicaid expansion, but it’s not true. The 90% only covers a portion of those who would be added to Medicaid roles: able-bodied adults without children.”
“Since hospitals are non-profit organizations, they don’t have to pay taxes on much of their vast real estate holdings. Mainers do not have that luxury—in addition to paying their own high premiums and deductibles; they will have to pay to give ‘free’ healthcare to adults who should be working.”
“As I always say, ‘free’ is very expensive to somebody. If hospital CEOs have their way, that somebody would be Maine taxpayers.”
Medicaid Expansion became law last year, yet Governor LePage is still working to protect taxpayers, ensuring that legislators don’t bust what he has worked diligently to resuscitate, namely Maine’s economic viability.
Under LePage’s tutelage, Maine has climbed out of abysmal poverty, to noteworthy prosperity. His diligence has resulted in record-breaking savings: a sizeable stash of roughly one billion dollars. There are a number of reasons for this.
Since taking the helm in 2010, there has been a concerted effort every budget cycle to decrease the “structural gap” (the gulf between the cost/expenses of state government and projected revenue). The end result has been a steady decrease in the disparity of dollars between revenue and expenditures. Under LePage, the fiscal fissure has shrunk significantly from $1-Billion (during the Baldacci administration) to well under $200-Million today.
In 2013, the $490-Million Medicaid debt owed to Maine hospitals was repaid. The state was able to afford the repayment by selling a liquor revenue bond for over $200-Million and receiving matching federal funds of over $300-Million. Thank you, Governor LePage!
In 2015, the Governor employed his prerogative to protect Maine taxpayers and pumped the brakes on a sweet gig that former House Speaker and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Eves had secured for himself at Good Will-Hinckley: a job that would have paid Eves $120,000 per year. Smelling a rat, LePage put the kibosh on Eves’ endeavor by threatening to withhold roughly $500,000 earmarked for the school. The Governor, well aware of Eves’ ineptitude for the job as president and of the Speaker’s steadfast opposition to charter schools in general, saw right through the arrangement facilitated by Bill Brown, Eves’ staffer.
Brown, compensated by Maine taxpayers, to the tune of $90,000 per year. was also chairman of the board during the selection process at Good Will-Hinckley. Brown provided the connection that Eves needed to procure the position at the school. Everything was golden until the Governor impeded progress by obstructing the cash flow.
In lieu of a commendation for exposing the corruption, House Democrats proceeded with a motion to impeach the Governor. The move was spearheaded by Reps. Evangelos (I-Friendship), Chipman (D-Portland), and Warren (D-Hallowell). In 2015, Eves filed a lawsuit alleging “abuse of power” and “blackmail.” Although the suit was dismissed in Maine by a federal judge, it was resurrected this year by the 1st US Circuit Court.
Yet another reminder that no good deed goes unpunished!
The Governor has also taken steps to address the problems related to illegal immigration in Maine. He has battled progressives like Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling over General Assistance benefits and failure to enforce federal immigration law.
There have been several bills since 2016 attempting to address the potential threats and burdens posed by Harboring Havens, or so-called “sanctuary cities.” Progressives in the legislature have consistently thwarted efforts to safeguard Maine.
Governor LePage concluded his speech on Saturday by stating that he has been “honored and blessed” to serve. He vowed to work until 11:59 a.m. on Inauguration Day. The electorate has without a doubt received an excellent return on their investment.
I may have inadvertently left out some significant accomplishments of the LePage administration, but as far as I can see, the aforementioned is what endears the man to me.
Roughly four years ago, Jay Nordlinger, senior editor for the National Review, had this to say about our Governor in a piece entitled Maine Journal, Part III:
“He is the most controversial, colorful, and quotable governor in America. His political incorrectness is spectacular. The liberal press doesn’t know whether to be outraged or amused”.
It is safe to say that God broke the mold when He created Paul R. LePage!
James Mosher is a husband, father, veteran and patriot who appreciates the cost of freedom. He sees the storm clouds on the horizon and writes so that others may be prepared.
If you would like to reach James about The Mosher Minutes, e-mail Maine First Media at; [email protected]