Saturday, December 7, 2013
By Emma Bouthillette firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Moore and her family were looking forward to visiting Maine for a second time this summer, but after hearing of Gov. Paul LePage's decision to remove a mural depicting workers from Labor Department headquarters, they decided to vacation elsewhere.
In an open letter to Maine's Republican governor, Moore of Menlo Park, Calif., wrote, "Because you have chosen to jump on the national Republican-led, business-inspired bandwagon attacking working people and the middle class, we have decided to go somewhere else this summer."
The cross-country letter shows how much attention LePage's order has received, propelled by Internet blogs of every political stripe and coverage by major media outlets including The New York Times, "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC and Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show."
The news has generated heavy traffic on websites and generated a flood of online comments.
Moore said in a phone interview Friday that she wasn't trying to tell Mainers or their elected officials what to do, but said that how people spend their time and money reflects their values.
"We value working people," she said. "A governor attacking working people for political gain, I can't reward that behavior with my money."
Brian Duff, associate professor of political science at the University of New England, said it is too early to tell how much fallout the decision might generate.
"Maine is going to become a lightning rod for certain debates about the role of government," Duff said. "What is really unique is we have a governor that comes at these things from an unusual way."
Adrienne Bennett, LePage's spokeswoman, said the governor decided to remove the mural "based on his belief that the decor of the agency must not give an impression of bias" favoring labor over business.
Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at: email@example.com