I eagerly clicked on Alan Caron’s July 24 column (“LePage’s base of support developing cracks – but where do his backers go?”), thinking I’d be treated to another insightful, balanced opinion piece from Mr. Caron. I believe the piece falls short on several counts.

Caron refers to Gov. LePage as a “consistent bulldog when it comes to reducing spending in government and in welfare.”

LePage IS concerned about spending – unless that spending includes taxpayer monies spent on a plagiarized report commissioned to back up his lack of support for Medicaid expansion, or the monies wasted on an incompetent vendor while trying to privatize the MaineCare rides program, which had been functioning successfully.

Caron refers to “tons of people who’ve made playing the system a career path.” LePage hired eight new fraud investigators costing Maine taxpayers $700,000 a year, yet there have been very few incidents of fraud reported. So where’s the evidence for those “tons of people” Mr. Caron refers to?

Finally, Caron believes that LePage’s appeal is rooted in his willingness to speak “truth to power,” yet he admits that the governor is “not overly concerned about facts.” The governor appeals to his base by giving voice to their fears and biases.

What’s tragic about the LePage tenure is the opportunities the state has lost because of all the irrelevant distractions that have characterized this administration.

If the governor had been a “consistent bulldog” in seizing opportunities to grow the economy of Maine, maybe Maine wouldn’t be way behind most other states in jobs recovered since the recession.

Then we’d have the resources to support our citizens in appropriate ways and to ensure everyone had a chance at a productive life instead of being mired in these endless discussions about who’s worthy of help.

Maryann Larson
New Gloucester