Flushing out legislators raises ire

 

Democratic leaders aren’t happy with comments Gov. Paul LePage made at the end of the jobs workshop he hosted in South Portland on Wednesday.

I covered the workshop, top to bottom, and this is from my story, referring to Gov. LePage:

— snip —

Businesspeople also stressed to him that broadband Internet needs to be rolled out across the state, faster than it is now.

And, he said, he heard that some state legislators aren’t being responsive to business concerns. He urged those in the crowd to call his office, regardless of the legislator’s party, if phone calls were being ignored.

“You let me know. We’ll flush them out really quick,” said LePage. “We’ll let the people who vote know who they are.”

— unsnip —

In a press release sent out late Thursday, Maine Democratic leaders Sen. Barry Hobbins, D-Saco, and Rep. Emily Cain, D-Orono, called those comments by Gov. LePage “harmful and unproductive:

 

“The governor’s attacks and mudslinging toward legislators does nothing to solve the real concerns of Maine businesses,” said Hobbins, in the release. “It is our hope that instead, the governor will show leadership by bringing together legislators to deal with the real issues, like how to sustain and attract new business in to the state.” 

 

 And Cain said: “This exactly the kind of rhetoric people are sick of hearing from politicians – deflecting responsibility, instead of getting work done. Why threaten lawmakers when you have a perfect opportunity to lay out a plan to create jobs? The truth is that legislators listen and respond to business owners all of the time, and we listen to the people that show up to work at large and small businesses everyday. In fact, we get requests for help from people losing their jobs, their health care, their homes, and their livelihood – and we respond to them all.”

Cain added, “We also regularly hear from people who say the governor’s extreme policies are harmful to our state.  Last month, we learned that small businesses in rural Maine could see their health care premiums increase by more than sixty percent because of his reckless health care overhaul. Hundreds of businesses came to the State House last session to oppose his radical proposals to undermine the state’s investment in alternative energy sources and his harmful proposals to undercut the natural resources our economy depends on. Worse, the Governor has undercut our effort to deliver immediate job relief and to improve our roads by refusing to make critical public investments in our communities. In the last two weeks, there have been hundred of job losses announced in our state. The governor should be focused on working with legislators from both parties to help our constituents that will now feel the brunt of those losses.”

It should be pointed out, of course (by me) – that Gov. LePage did say it didn’t matter what party the unresponsive legislators were in. I’m anxiously awaiting the release from the Republican leaders ….