Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ME's wingnut gov: 'Cut pensions for all but me'

It's hard to say which of our new corporate-owned governors is worse --  Koch whore Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker? Ohio Gov. John Kasich? Florida Gov. Rick Scott?

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is certainly a front-runner. He first came to national attention when he said the NAACP "can kiss my butt" for his refusal to attend Martin Luther King Day events. He later backed down, while making the strange claim that he has a black son -- a young man he met in Jamaica and never formally adopted.

LePage also told the Bangor Daily News that the worst thing about bisphenol A (BPA) is that it might make some women "grow little beards." Here's the exact quote:
The only thing that I’ve heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards.

LePage has plenty of support from large, out-of-state corporations that want more freedom to plunder Maine.  Maine Insights reports
If the governor is successful there will be no law stopping big box stores from informing communities about their intentions to build in their backyard, no law protecting at least three million acres of northern Maine for development, and no law requiring manufacturers to take back recyclable goods for disposal. His proposed rollbacks of environmental protections would also reverse a ban on the use of a toxic chemicals linked to cancer in children’s products, amongst a long list of other measures he said are designed to, “open Maine for business.
LePage actually told the Bangor Daily News
Wisconsin protests could come to Maine ‘once they start reading our budget’

Like Walker and Kasich, LePage is a clownish reverse Robin Hood who wants to cut taxes for the large out-of-state corporations that own him. Like Walker and Kasich, he wants working families to pay the price for those tax cuts.

But at least Walker had the wit to cut his own pay -- at least in the past -- while asking for others to sacrifice (not clear yet if Walker is taking a pay cut while destroying working families in Wisconsin).

LePage isn't even as smart as Walker. His proposed budget asks working families to bear the brunt of his cuts, while the wealthiest Mainers see a decrease in their taxes. ThinkProgress reports that LePage is planning to raise the retirement age for state government workers and teachers, freeze their cost-of-living adjustments and require that they contribute more into their retirement pension funds, from 7.65 percent to 9.65 percent.

Mike Tipping at the Kennebec Journal reports:
The governor has exempted himself.
So much for that “shared sacrifice” phrase LePage has been throwing around.

Teamster public employees in Maine are in a different pension fund than the teachers and state employees because they primarily work for counties and municipalities.

However, Kenneth Eaton, president of Local 340, which covers the state of Maine, had this to say about LePage:
LePage was mayor of Waterville, which is a highly Democratic city, but when they went into the Democratic caucus, they could only come out with one candidate. There were two running, so the other candidate ran as an Independent, split the vote and Paul LePage gets elected in a Democratic city.

Then, he did it again. It’s hard to get an incumbent out, so he runs for governor and won by 38 percent of the vote, of the voters that voted. If you take all the registered voters in Maine, he had eight percent of the vote and thinks he has a mandate.
I’m just appalled that this governor is trying to balance the budget off the backs of our state’s workers.
So are we all.