Politics

December 13, 2013

Maine lawmaker: Truckers probably don’t have a lot of brains

Democratic state Rep. Brian Bolduc demanded that Auburn police patrol his street and issue citations against truck noise.

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A Democratic legislator from Auburn is under fire for an error-riddled email to the Auburn Police Department in which he complained about trucks using loud compression brakes – or jake brakes – as they drive near his home.

State Rep. Brian Bolduc, D-Auburn

Courtesy Maine.gov

In the email sent in November, Rep. Brian D. Bolduc demands that police establish a routine patrol near his home on Riverside Drive to enforce an ordinance prohibiting the use of jake brakes in the residential neighborhood.

“You would think the drivers would have enough common courtesy not to do this in front of residential homes but then again one look at them and you can see they probably don’t have a whole hell of a lot of brains in their heads,” Bolduc wrote.

The email was obtained by the Maine Republican Party, which redacted the recipients and the top portion of the missive. The Sun Journal in Lewiston confirmed that the email was sent to the Auburn Police Department and Mayor Jonathan Labonte, and that Bolduc had previously written to the city to complain about truck noise.

On Thursday, Bolduc issued a two-sentence written apology in response to media inquiries. It read, “My email was over the line. I apologize for expressing my frustration in such an inappropriate manner.”

He did not respond to subsequent requests for comment from the Portland Press Herald.

Republicans pounced on his comments and members of the House were calling for his resignation. Rep. Corey Wilson, R-Augusta, who is a truck driver, as is his father, tweeted that Bolduc’s comments were offensive.

Others said that Bolduc, serving his third term in the House, appeared to be using his status as a lawmaker to demand that police patrol his road. Bolduc sent the email from his private account and signed it with his first and last name; he did not identify himself as a state representative.

“I want something done about it pronto,” he wrote. “I want a cruiser stationed on this road (you can use my driveway) every day between 630 am and 8pm (wich (sic) is when the traffic is running) for a week and i (sic) want to see citations stacking up or ill (sic) have every damned resident of this town who lives on a busy road in that city council chamber!”

Bolduc’s legislative biography lists him as a certified secondary school social studies teacher. However, he does not have a full-time teaching job, but works primarily as a substitute teacher. He holds no seats on high-profile committees. Legislative records show that he participated in 53 percent of roll call votes this year, a relatively low percentage.

His email was laden with misspellings and errors.

“We need more police survalence (sic) to crack down on this (expletive). They rumble past our homes before they get to the bridge and to turn onto mill street (sic) especialy (sic) those god damed (sic) lumber trucks. They release those breaks (sic) and our floors and windows rumble and the sound scares pets and children in our homes. You would think the drivers would have enough common courtesy not to do this infront (sic) of residential homes but then again one look at them and you can see they probably dont (sic) have a whole hell of allot (sic) of brains in their heads.”

Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine Republican Party, blasted Bolduc in a press statement.

“Representative Bolduc demonstrates a level of disrespect in this email that I believe the hard-working people of Maine will find shocking. Not only is Representative Bolduc clearly bullying the recipients of the email, he also takes a deeply offensive shot at hard-working Mainers who drive (a) truck for a living.”

Bolduc’s comments mark the second time this year that an elected official in Maine has been forced to apologize for disparaging blue-collar workers. In June, Gov. Paul LePage made a crude sexual remark about Senate Democratic leader Troy Jackson, of Allagash, and said that the professional logger had a “black heart” and was ignorant.

“People like Troy Jackson, they ought to go back in the woods and cut trees and let somebody with a brain come down here and do some work,” said LePage.

The governor later apologized to loggers, but not to Jackson. He said he never meant to equate loggers with Jackson.

“It was never my intent to ever, ever suggest that the loggers of the state of Maine are in the same league as Troy Jackson,” LePage said. “I owe that apology.”

Steve Mistler can be contacted at 791-6345 or at:

smistler@pressherald.com

Twitter: @stevemistler

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