July 29, 2012

Our View: LePage sends wrong message as chief marketer

The governor should consider how his political overstatements affect outsiders' views of Maine.

Maine should consider hiring a new head of marketing because the guy who has the job now, Gov. LePage, is doing a lousy job at giving the state some positive press. Sure, the sign on the Maine Turnpike that says "open for business" is a nice touch, but what has he done lately?

Last year, he told the world that we received a bad rating as a place to do business from Forbes Magazine because we had too many people on welfare. Not true, the Forbes editors said: Welfare was not a criterion in their rating, and our marketer in chief had just made that bad news up.

Then he used his public platform to announce that Maine's state workers were "as corrupt as can be," which not only has no basis in fact, but also is something that could easily scare away people who might want to do business here.

Last week, he announced to the world that our students are unprepared for college and they have a bad reputation with colleges.

"I don't care where you go in this country -- if you come from Maine, you're looked down upon now," the governor told potential employers everywhere.

So to sum up, this is what our head of marketing tells the world: Our people are lazy and won't work; our state employees are corrupt; everyone thinks our kids are stupid.

Even if those things were true, why would we pay someone to advertise it? And since they're not true, why pay someone to slander us?

As Gov. LePage should know by now, every time he opens his mouth he has the potential to make news across the nation, and quite often the message that he delivers is not the one that he intended to convey.

A lot of Mainers wish he would choose his words more carefully, at least as long as he's in charge of marketing.


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