The events that led up to the Governor of Maine’s outburst about Maine’s workers need some explaining:
On December 3, 2011 the Governor met with out-of-work Mainers and Rep. Andrew O’Brien in an unscheduled meeting. Three unemployed Mainers, who had participated in a rally arranged by the Maine People’s Alliance which prompted the LePage administration to hold the meeting, described the meeting as a positive conversation. Rep. O’Brien was invited to the meeting because for months he had been requesting an interview with LePage to talk about the Governor’s insulting comments which had implied that the jobless were lazy or not looking for work.
At the unscheduled talk LePage declined requests to hold a public meeting with unemployed workers and refused to guarantee that he would not seek to apply new cuts and restrictions to unemployment insurance for those affected by the economic downturn.
When Capitol News Service reporter Mal Leary questioned the Governor after the closed-door meeting LePage-with other witnesses present- told Leary what he actually thought about the events that transpired.
“It’s all a big play and I think it’s bullshit,” said LePage pausing for a minute then adding slowly and deliberately, “Bull …. shit.”
Immediately after his comments his press secretary whisked the Governor away into his waiting SUV.
His exclamation stands in stark contrast to the press release sent out by the Governor’s office a short time later, which included a photo (above) of the governor shaking hands with the other participants and described the meeting in positive glowing terms.
“We had hoped that the tone of the meeting meant that Governor LePage might be open to reconsidering parts of his agenda, which up until this point has benefited mostly the wealthy and corporate interests,” said Maine People’s Alliance Communications Director Mike Tipping. “The insult from the Governor is troubling and may signal that he still intends to try to cut jobless assistance for Maine people who are out-of-work.”