Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mob Boss LePage.

I've never tried to keep it a secret - I think Maine's Governor, Paul LePage, is a goddamn lunatic.  He is better suited to running a branch of the mob than he is to running a state.  And my hatred of him really has nothing to do the fact that he is a Republican either.  Hell, our last governor was a Democrat, and he didn't do anything (go figure).

But I digress.  LePage has been the face of Maine for more than a year now, and it seems like every time I see my state on the national news, it's because of something idiotic he has said.  Sometimes, I admit, I avoid writing about it simply because it can usually be summed up in my earlier (and quite popular) LePage post.  But if anything gets me, it's the subject of education, and LePage decided to hold it hostage recently over a budget quandary.

I found this lovely little snippet over at AddictingInfo:

Maine Governor Paul LePage has threatened to close down schools statewide unless he is allowed to throw 65,000 people off of MaineCare, Maine’s version of MedicAid.
“Right now, in order to continue the way we are, I will close schools May 1 and use that money, because that’s where we are,” LePage said in an appearance in Lewiston on Thursday evening. “It’s a matter of not having money. It’s not a matter of policy. It’s a matter of when you have one hundred dollars in your checkbook and you’re spending two hundred, you’ve got a problem.”

Yeah, sure, why cut the tax breaks you've given to corporations here in Maine when you can just as easily cut schools?  I mean, kids don't need to be educated these days.  And those jobs?  You know, the teachers and faculty that run the school?  They don't need those either.

Ironically, the school faculty would probably end up on MaineCare if their jobs were cut. 

Here's my favorite part of the article, though:

The state’s Democratic Party seems somewhat confused by this ultimatum as the Governor does not actually possess the legal authority to carry out his threat.
The Maine Constitution is very clear that the authority to fund public education lies with the Legislature, said Rep. Margaret Rotundo of Lewiston, the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee.
“My understanding is that the Legislature would have to pass legislation not to fund the schools, and that’s not going to happen. It’s just not going to happen. So people don’t have to worry about the schools closing,” Rotundo said Friday.

This is very true.  Governor LePage doesn't have the power to just shut down schools.  If that were the case, most Republican-run states wouldn't have them.  Still, I find this to be quite telling of our governor.  Rather than cut the tax breaks he's given to Maine's corporations, LePage would cut the future's of Maine's children.

So yes, while education is safe from the mob boss (for now), rest assured that he will find something to cut - something that will affect the lower and middle classes far more than the upper.     

Both the quotes and the image above can be found at AddictingInfo.


allison said...

I'm glad someone realizes what a buffoon he is. How about focusing on such things as the Housing Authorities frivolous spending of taxpayer money for parties and massages! Also what would happen to the summer jobs available for college students if high school students were out of school a month and a half early?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Maine needs to find another Welfare state to become a member of...his analogy of having $100 versus having already spent $200 is MaineCare typical... They have the latest electronic gadgets and kids out the ass... "No worries, we'll cover you because you are Mainers!" This is directed at those that can but won't than those that actually deserve the assistance that has been Cart-Blanche from the Blane-House long before LePage was in office.....He happens the be the "Dude" in the seat when this has hit the wall! I don't agree with the methods but madness reeks madness...

A Sane Break said...

Agreed, Allison!

And Anonymous, I LOVE your comment, but I can't leave it up without a name attached to it. If you are a frequent reader, I ask that you please edit the name. If not, I'll have to take your comment down (see my blog post on commenting for more). I'll respond to you when you get a name! :)

Shane said...

Anonymous = Shane... :)

A Sane Break said...

Ah, of course, Shane! I'll respond to the first half of your comment (up until Cart-Blanche). I definitely agree that MaineCare has its flaws. And anyone that lives in Maine is aware (or should be aware) of how people exploit what could be a good system. Keeping their money out of bank accounts is one way to do this (stops the government from catching on to how much money you have).

Could 65,000 people be cut from MaineCare? Maybe. There are definitely people that need that assistance, and they would inevitably get caught in the cross-fire.

My concern - and ire - stems from the notion that LePage is using common extorting techniques to get what he wants. As the author of the article at Addicting Info wrote, "Give me what I want, or the kids get it!" It doesn't matter that the power to shut down schools is out of his jurisdiction - what matters is that he'd resort to such a threat just to get what he wants.

But you know that, Shane. I'm not trying to preach to you - this comment is more for people that aren't aware of the inner workings of MaineCare.

Brendan Grant said...

That's what our governor does best. Remember what happened when he tried to pass his first budget? If you don't I can remind you. He said,"If they bring me back the budget and it's been changed, I'm not signing it, because its not MY budget."

He seems to think that he runs the state by himself, and that everyone has to do what he wants. He repeatedly strong-armed both the House and Senate into passing what he wanted for legislation.

A Sane Break said...

Absolutely, Brendan. LePage is a child, and I'll be happy to see him go in... 2014. *Cries*

Shane said...

Clearly, our views are not representative of the Maine masses. Otherwise, LePage would not be there, right? "Bully-pulpit!" What really is ironic is that a solution - any solution - will take as long as the rest of his term to see if it even works! Money talks and craps walks (watered-down version)... Sometimes you have to be the A$$-hole - he is playing to role perfectly.

Shane said...

Also, the 65,000 number is derived from what is called the "Adult Childless Waiver" coverage. This was the Maine Legislature's answer to covering people that worked but could not afford Health insurance. At the inception of this coverage only a couple of thousand people were to be covered. Maine was applauded for stepping up with an innovative solution to the Health insurance problem. The moment Maine was granted authority by the Federal government the estimate grew to over 20,000..with a ceiling of 40,000... As usual, the math does not work out...