March 30, 2011

LePage critic creates video sendup of mural decision

By Tom Bell
Staff Writer

Geoffrey Leighton, owner of Leighton Images, a video and multi-media production company in Durham, has produced this visual commentary on Gov. Paul LePage's decision to remove the labor mural at the Maine Department of Labor.

"I wanted to do something," Leighton said of his video, which he posted on Youtube. "It is strange how few people understand what the labor movement has meant to workers in Maine"

Leighton, 58, who has owned his production company for 21 years, is a Democrat but not politically active.

He said he worked for two days to produce the video, which alters the mural depicting Maine's labor history to include the faces of some of the nation's most notorious capitalists, including Ken Lay, best known for the corruption scandal that led to the downfall of Enron Corp., and Henry Clay Frick, a ruthless industrialist who used violence to break strikes. Frick played a major role in the formation of U.S. Steel.

LePage said he removed the mural because some businesspeople complained that it was offensive and that he wanted artwork that presented a more balanced view of history.

Leighton said the images give LePage the balance he is looking for.

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