SCARBOROUGH — The state of Maine in 2014 is a better place to live, work and play than it was four years ago, when Republican Paul LePage was elected governor. This is a partial list of the promises he has made and kept:

He has signed into law the largest tax cut in Maine’s history, including the elimination of all state income taxes for 70,000 low-income Mainers.

He has reduced unemployment by adding some 20,000 more Mainers to the private-sector payrolls.

He has paid off the massive Medicaid debt to Maine’s hospitals ($737 million).

He has reformed welfare to encourage self-sufficiency and cut down fraud.

He has introduced new charter schools offering wider educational choices.


He has supported and funded programs against domestic violence.

He has lightened the business regulatory load.

By any measure this is a solid record of accomplishment, more than good enough in most precincts to ensure re-election.

LePage has governed for the greatest good of the greatest number of Maine citizens – his primary responsibility – without fear or favoritism. Throughout LePage’s first term as governor, his detractors have reflexively opposed every initiative he has offered. They were and are more interested in discrediting him than in being open to innovative solutions to persistent problems.

It’s a testament to LePage’s persistence and the courage of his convictions that he has accomplished so much in such a short time. But this is nothing new for him.

No public official can be all things to all people, as anyone who has been responsible for the fate of an organization can attest. In making tough decisions you make friends as well as foes; it goes with the territory. Perfection is an ideal, if unattainable, goal in governing or any other worthwhile endeavor.


For independent Eliot Cutler and Democrat Mike Michaud, the two wanna-be governors who have no record of political accomplishments to scrutinize, LePage is an easy target to criticize in hindsight for what they now say they would have or could have done differently if they had been in his shoes. It’s a familiar game if your record is little more than a blank page. Governing is not as easy.

Gov. LePage has extensive experience in commerce and government, having managed several successful businesses and served two terms as a city councilor and as mayor of Waterville for eight years.

He’s a man with the knowledge, skills and ability to get things done. He is his own man, an independent thinker who is oblivious to polls, special interests and media critics, of whom there are many.

His word is his bond – when he makes a promise, he does his damnedest to keep it. He is a careful manager of our hard-earned dollars and won’t raise taxes.

His personal life and family life are above reproach, and his administration is scandal-free. He is an honest, fair and caring man who once volunteered for many years at a homeless shelter and who took into his home and foster-fathered a black teenager from Jamaica. (Strength of character is revealed when there there’s no reward and no one is watching.)

He has disciplined himself to refrain from making off-color comments or using the coarse language that marked his first two years in office.


He says of himself: “I’m a man of action, not words,” who learned early in politics that it’s sometimes necessary to break a few eggs to make an omelet. He’s the kind of guy you can count on if things aren’t going well.

Paul LePage is a real-life, Maine-grown example of how to achieve the American dream through courage and determination against crushing obstacles – a vanishing breed.

This election is not the time to change horses in midstream. Go with the one who brought us this far and who still has much to offer. He’s the best man for a difficult job.

I have lived through the administrations of 13 presidents and have witnessed scores of politicians of all stripes come and go – some to jail. Most were more interested in the next election than in the next generation.

Despite LePage’s self-acknowledged imperfections and warts, he has demonstrated integrity, savvy and guts, what this generation calls “the real thing” and mine called “the real McCoy.” That’s as good as it gets.


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