I thought Gov. LePage could sink no lower in his constant war against Maine’s poorest, until he proposed eliminating General Assistance to those immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. (Maine Department of Health and Human Services Rule 17P).

I was flabbergasted that anyone could be so mean-spirited. Asylum seekers can wait a year or more to receive a work permit, and in that time they are not eligible for state welfare. So how else are they to start a new life other than through General Assistance?

Then I noticed that the LePage administration didn’t know how much money this would save, and it immediately became apparent this proposal had nothing to do with saving money. Rather, it’s simply a ploy in LePage’s re-election campaign.

If the proposal goes through, LePage can use it as an indication of how he’s saving tax dollars, while not indicating that the “savings” are minimal compared with other state support for the poor and disabled.

If, however, this proposal is reversed by the Democratic majority in the Legislature, LePage can then use that action to indicate to his tea party base that Maine’s “bleeding heart liberals” are sucking them dry. He gets a check mark in his campaign either way.

To use the plight of a comparative handful of deserving immigrants as a plug in his re-election is the height of arrogance and conceit. LePage is a bully, striking at the weakest to further his own interests.

This immoral proposal to cut off support for those escaping dictatorial governments deserves to be overturned, and LePage deserves to lose the next election. I will do what I can to see that the latter comes to pass.

Bruce Bartrug


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