Republican Gov. Paul LePage today announced that he’d issued a warning to Maine’s libraries to immediately remove all books by Stephen King from their collections, or face the loss of public funding. LePage said he was taking this action because King contributed to liberal candidates and causes, and his writing featured “bloodthirsty vampires, illegal space aliens and evil clowns – three groups that have always been mainstays of the Democratic Party.”

LePage added that using taxpayer dollars to purchase King’s works amounted to “corruption of the vilest sort, a bald-faced attempt to indoctrinate our youth into believing in the supernatural and other failed policies that have kept Maine from achieving its economic potential.”

The governor had previously made the false claim that the famous horror writer, who has a home in Bangor, didn’t pay income taxes in Maine. Reminded of that comment, LePage said, “Even if King does pay taxes here, it’s not enough to cover what his books cost. If I could force him to leave the state – and I’ve asked the State Police to look into that – I’d do it in a heartbeat. Anyway, once I eliminate the income tax, what I said will be true.”

LePage recently used his power over discretionary educational funds to force the Good Will-Hinckley school in Fairfield to fire Democratic Speaker of the House Mark Eves as its president because Eves voted against charter schools (and most of the rest of the governor’s agenda). Now, he said he was examining other cases in which taxpayer dollars may have been spent to further ideologies with which he disagrees.

As an example, he cited motion pictures, many of which are produced using tax credits from the states where they’re filmed. “In the movie ‘Jurassic World,’ the dinosaurs crush what appears to be a charter school, while carefully avoiding stepping on a bunch of welfare recipients, many of whom were probably gaming the system,” LePage said. “This form of left-wing propaganda won’t be tolerated in Maine theaters that want to keep their licenses.”

The governor did concede that not all his efforts to purge the state of his political foes have been successful. Since the Maine Turnpike is supported by tolls rather than tax dollars, there was no way he could keep the Lewiston legislative delegation – which LePage had previously suggested be rounded up and executed – from using the pike to travel to Augusta. “But if they set foot on Interstate 295,” he said, “I might be able to put that plan into effect.”

Asked by reporters if his actions could be seen as dictatorial, LePage denied it. “Dictators get things done,” he said. “I haven’t been able to accomplish anything since I got in office because the Legislature and the courts keep getting in my way. If I was a dictator, those people would have been arrested and sent to re-education camps.

“I’ll have to see if the new president of Good Will-Hinckley is interested in starting one of those.”

A spokes-underling for LePage later clarified his remarks. “The Exalted Ruler was merely exercising his supremely clever sense of humor,” the minion said. “Those who chose not to laugh have been observed on hidden cameras and will be dealt with in an appropriate fashion.”

A coalition of LePage’s critics immediately condemned his efforts to suppress dissent. Attorney General Janet Mills, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, the Maine People’s Alliance and the Official Stephen King Fan Club issued a joint statement calling his actions an “abuse of power.” Or something like that. Nobody actually read the thing. Too boring.

In the wake of this latest round of gubernatorially inspired chaos, a poll commissioned by the National Association of Poll Commissioners found that LePage’s unprecedented actions hadn’t damaged his standing among his core supporters. Forty-seven percent of respondents approved of the governor’s performance, about the same percentage that voted for him in the last election. As one pro-LePage voter told a pollster, “I never read Stephen King, anyway. Too many big words.”

Buoyed by that news, the governor announced he was ready to take action against the city of Portland for defying him by continuing to provide general assistance payments to immigrants applying for asylum. “If they like asylum seekers so much,” said LePage, “they can join them. I’m signing an order today expelling Portland from the state. Those liberal big-spenders can ask Massachusetts for assistance. Or how about Russia.

“After dealing with me, negotiating with Vladimir Putin should be a breeze.”

If you think this column is weirder than the truth, think again. Then, email me at [email protected]

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