Paul LePage has been governor for less than two years, and the negative publicity he generates is unprecedented.

He routinely makes headlines in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post for insulting the president, state employees, the Maine Education Association, women, Jewish people, the NAACP, labor unions and poor people. When a majority of citizens perceive LePage as an intolerant hothead, he loses credibility and the governor’s office is demeaned.

What will it take for his closest inner circle of advisers to rein him in?

Will it be the moment his infamous short fuse is lit by a prying reporter and LePage implodes?

He’s a bully whose leadership skills are emulated by Republican leaders in Maine’s Legislature.

Moderate Republican legislators — unsung heroes — were threatened by party leaders after initially opposing the “party line” on the LURC Reform Bill (L.D. 1798) and other LePage-proposed bills in the last legislative session.

Divisiveness and irreverence have overtaken compromise and common sense since LePage took office.

Two examples highlight the governor’s close-mindedness and lack of vision.

The fiscal conservative approved $300,000 in public money to fund an economic feasibility study of a proposed privately owned east-west highway.

The toll road would spawn gas stations, hotels and paved roads in the Maine woods.

Conversely, LePage categorically opposed a federally funded economic feasibility study of a proposed publicly owned Maine woods national park.

Unlike the governor, many of us with concerns about a new park consider additional information invaluable to making informed decisions.

The governor is increasingly seen nationally as an embarrassment, a buffoon.

He should be the state’s biggest promoter.

Instead, the most abrasive, polarizing governor in recent memory is a growing liability to Maine and his party.

Ron Joseph


Reader questions judgment of members of the PUC

I’m starting to wonder whether we need to inquire into the competence of the PUC.

It is supposed to be composed of three intelligent, capable lawyers, but they have not exhibited these characteristics lately.

Recently they ignored the recommendation of their staff regarding a big wind project, instead allowing the deal to go through with numerous conditions that they have absolutely no jurisdiction to require or police.

Were they trying to improve their job security with the governor by approving any deal that is favorable to business, even though consumers may be hurt by it? So now the ratepayers must pay for the appeal.

Now the PUC has been ordered by the court to hold hearings on smart meter safety because, despite having both a mandate to make findings regarding their safety before approving them and an opinion from our CDC in the winter of 2011 that they are safe, the PUC decided not to bother making these findings when they decided to allow people to opt out in 2011.

Just missed that little detail, didn’t you?

All of those people paranoid about new technology are totally thrilled to have the opportunity to spend their time and the ratepayers’ money to testify about all of the psychosomatic symptoms they cause.

Where were they when the PUC approved them three years ago?

Please, PUC, start using some common sense and don’t waste too much of our money doing this!

There are tons of studies out there already conducted by other states and nations (Michigan is the most recent, finding negligible danger), and nothing you do will placate the fanatics who believe the meters are part of the evil empire.

Laura Simmons


Views on gay rights likely to evolve over time

M. D. Harmon’s column “Comments from the past hold true to the present.” (July 27) made me recall a conversation I had with a Catholic priest about 25 years ago.

He said of gays, “I can’t imagine a just and loving God creating an entire group of people who could not love and be loved in the manner natural to them.”

He said, “I took a vow of celibacy voluntarily. Can we impose that on them, who are as God made them?”

Remember, there was a time in this country when women couldn’t vote and blacks were counted as two-thirds of a person in a census.

In my lifetime, in some places a woman couldn’t buy a home or a car without a male co-signer.

We’ve overcome those prejudices.

The Boy Scouts of America is a private group, in which parents and pastors can organize as they choose, certainly a right.

Perhaps, what they want to avoid is the whole sex issue for their young and adolescent boys, an unsettled scene today, in which present mores often lack a moral component.

However, the words of the priest are compelling.

Gays are as God made them.

It will take time, as it has for women and blacks, for that truth and reality to settle in.

Jane Merchant


Votes by Collins, Snowe ignore average Americans

Well, our two esteemed “moderate” senators did it again, fighting hard for the rights of multimillionaires to keep secret their attempt to buy elections.

Their Senate minority leader from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, once championed disclosure when it was a choice between disclosure or donation limits.

Now that limits are gone, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court justices that our two Maine senators so willingly approved, the Republicans now want it all.

What does Maine gain by this vote?

Nothing but further shame from our “moderate” senators.

We would be no better off if we were represented in the Senate by McConnell and his Kentucky colleague, Rand Paul.

At least they make no attempt to hide their contempt for average Americans of modest means.

Steven Freedman

Cape Elizabeth


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