New Maine Gov. LePage Makes Mark With Tough Stances

Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 04:47 PM

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Freshman Maine Gov. Paul LePage seems to be following the get-tough approach of another Republican, Chris Christie of New Jersey, and winning battles in his state. Christie has shown that blunt talk followed by decisive action resonates with the citizens of his state and with conservatives across the country. LePage is finding the same approach seems to be working for him as well, the New American  reported Wednesday.

Maine, Gov. Paul LePage, tough, Chris Christie
Gov. Paul LePage
He’s clear about his positions. He rails against the state’s permitting process to start a small business, which he says is too cumbersome and expensive. He’s also pushing to reduce auto registration fees by 20 percent.

LePage favors a school voucher system and connecting teachers’ pay program to their performance in the classroom. He’s not convinced that greenhouse gases are contributing to climate change. He also has plans to reduce significantly the number of state government workers. The governor has joined dozens of other governors in calling for repeal of Obamacare and has encouraged Maine’s attorney general to join the federal lawsuit challenging it.

Another of his positions is apparent in his order to remove an 11-panel, 36-foot mural from the state’s Labor and History Department because reflected poorly on the state’s business attitude, according to USA Today.

"The message from state agencies needs to be balanced," said LePage spokesman Dan Demeritt, who told the Lewiston Sun Journal that some business owners found the artwork offensive.

Matt Schlobohm of the Maine chapter of the AFL-CIO, said it was "arbitrary and mean-spirited" to remove the mural, which was installed in 2008.

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