Over the weekend, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) secretly removed from a state building an 11-panel mural depicting working families’ history. Like Republican state legislators in Wisconsin who passed a bill killing collective bargaining through a series of dirty tricks, Maine’s Republican governor operates away from the public eye—despite being an elected official accountable to taxpayers.
LePage resembles Wisconsin Republicans in another way—giving jobs to personal connections, in this case, his daughter. LePage made sure his 22-year-old daughter got an entry-level job in the governor’s office paying $41,000—$10,000 more than those who pass teacher and police tests. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s top aides found a comfy job—with a $12,000 raise—for the girlfriend of one of his staunchest allies.
Like Walker, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and other newly elected Republican lawmakers, LePage turns his nose up at democracy. During a rally Friday in Maine to protest the removal of the mural, an artist at the rally suggested:
that people form a human chain to block the mural’s removal. When asked what he would do if that happened, Governor LePage said, “I’d laugh at them, the idiots. That’s what I would do. Come on! Get over yourselves!”
Last week, LePage sparked outrage in the state and across the nation when he ordered the removal of a 36-foot mural depciting the state’s labor history from the Department of Labor. The mural, in part, depicts a 1986 paper mill strike and “Rosie the Riveter” at Bath Iron Works.