For well over 40 years I have been a proud member of the Republican Party. Today I intend to re-register as an independent. I can no longer support a party that continues to make excuses for Gov. LePage. I am tired of hearing the Republican Party leaders make excuses for his talking and acting like Archie Bunker.

Calling all Mainers who don’t agree with him idiots and then last week calling government middle managers corrupt was the last straw. The governor feels many teachers are not qualified to teach. Look at what he is teaching the children of Maine. (Bullying and calling people names is not what a person in his position should be teaching our children.)

In Maine you have to earn someone’s respect. You cannot, as he seems to think, demand it. As a Mainer, I do respect the office of governor, but not Gov. LePage or the Republican Party that defends his every action. Only a few Republicans have had the guts to speak out; however, it is too little too late for me.

David H. Crockett


Poor Gov. LePage. His detractors are merciless.

The governor wasn’t questioning the integrity of any individual but the system of power leverage known as bureaucracy. Elected officials are easy to get rid of: Simply vote them out.

However, bureaucracy, once entrenched, stays entrenched. And, as an entity, bureaucracy dicates expansion in both positions and revenue, all paid for by the taxpayer.

Sad, but the mind-set is nothing new. Lord Acton (1834-1902) probably said it best: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Most likely, Acton was familiar with Cicero (Roman lawyer), who 2,000 years prior quipped: “The more laws, the more corrupt the people.” The theme is universal. The Hindu slant is quaint. They write, “Corruption is nothing more than knowledge come too soon.” Whereas, a definition in Webster cites corruption as “a departure from what is pure or correct.”

Maybe Gov. LePage chose the wrong word to express his insight. If he said “incompetent,” now that would be a sting.

Robert Denbow


Why would anyone be amazed at the rash comments of Gov. LePage? Those comments are consistent with those of conservatives and tea party members whose operational method is to demonize others in the search to pin the blame for the perceived problems of our society.

Liberals, Democrats, unions, public employees, the poor, the disabled, women are all fair game in the disgraceful campaign to implant conservative values in our society. It is mean-spirited, and it serves mostly to deflect attention from the fact that the right has no solution for the issues at hand other than to justify turning their backs on them.

LePage doesn’t operate in a vacuum. He had the support of 39 percent of those who voted. The tea party is a viable political movement. The blogs and letters in local papers are filled with equally offensive comments.

I believe the majority of Mainers and Americans want solutions to problems. That’s why we bother to vote, not to verify nasty comments, narrow-minded political philosophy and negative views of fellow human beings. Solutions can only be accomplished when all those involved are willing to work together and realistically assess and formulate solutions.

It’s time to change the political culture in Maine and across the nation. All need to stand up against the type of trash talk that political rhetoric has sunk to.

Howard Hanson


Our governor may not score well with style points (“State workers ‘corrupted by bureaucracy,'” April 28), but he is on to something in terms of the potentially stifling environment of public agencies. In the absence of inspiring and introspective leadership, those bureaucracies can become havens for employees whose main goal is survival until retirement.

With no inherent incentive for efficiency or accomplishment, it is easy to accept a humdrum routine where waste is condoned and initiative and whistle-blowing discouraged. The operative rule of personal conduct is to avoid criticism.

There is no better example to date than the Maine Turnpike Authority. Who was the more “corrupted” — the now-convicted man at the top or those in the ranks who knew of the boss’s profligacy but chose to be blind and silent? Was that an isolated case?

An overtaxed public must be convinced that government has minimized wasteful practices before there can be credible talk of higher taxes or more fees. We don’t mind paying, but we do resent many dubious uses of tax dollars. Heads of administrative agencies can’t address that issue effectively without visible support from the elected governor and legislators.

Whatever the unfortunate choice of off-the-cuff language, it’s up to those atop the hierarchy of authority to review what their employees are or are not doing so as to eliminate unproductive expenditures. Though “corrupt” is an understandably offensive term to the preponderance of conscientious state workers, the turnpike authority symbolizes why taxpayers and elected representatives from both parties should insist on stronger oversight of public-sector bureaucracies.

George C. Betke Jr.


As a now-retired teacher, reading specialist and school administrator, I was appalled by Gov. Paul LePage’s usage of that most pervasive form of bullying, “name calling,” in his references to the Legislature as the “biggest adult day care center in the state” and government middle management as “corrupt.”

In his Jan. 25, 2012, State of the State address, Gov. LePage stated that he was implementing a “strict no-bullying policy.” The Legislature is addressing the issue of bullying, and schools statewide are re-doubling their decades-long efforts to eliminate it.

Despite these endeavors and his own statements, Gov. LePage engages in bullying tactics. He gives new meaning to the usage of the governorship as the “bully pulpit.”

Carol Eddy


The latest ignoring of the facts of life written by the Portland Press Herald include the April 28 editorial on the bureaucracy in Maine.

It does not take a Ph.D. to understand that the bureaucracy is like a cancer. It spreads fast and wide, and the politicians do not or cannot or will not stop it. It keeps growing and growing, and it is very costly. I am surprised the editors of the Press Herald do not recognize this.

The lack of recognition, along with Bill Nemitz’s ranting and raving, is poor reporting to the Maine taxpayers and is costing us big bucks.

Richard G. Lamb


I am stunned by the recent accusations by our governor that his own middle managers are corrupt and beyond his control. The governor made these accusations without providing a shred of evidence to support them. Who are these corrupt employees and just how are they corrupt?

Instead of wringing his hands and whining about how he cannot do anything, he can investigate these employees and, if such charges are substantiated, terminate them. My guess is that the governor has no such evidence. He would rather blame the bureaucracy than provide the leadership that supports and encourages the best from each employee.

Gov. LePage speaks about the “bureaucracy” being in the way of his creating a new culture in state government. What kind of culture does he want to create? Does he want to model this new work culture on the values of the private sector with managers prepared to do anything for profit?

Remember Enron, Goldman Sachs and the infamous Bernie Madoff? Government is not a business, and it cannot be run like a business. Government is not about profit. Government is about service.

Contrary to the governor’s belief, our state government is filled with talented and dedicated public servants who did not go to work at the state for the money or status or, God knows, appreciation for the myriad of public services they provide for the citizens of Maine.

In fact, their own boss felt he had the right to publicly humiliate them. Many of our state employees are committed to performing their jobs well despite the daily intimidation, ridicule and bullying that is Gov. LePage’s style of leadership as he works to create his “new culture” of state government.

Gail Mackinson