Gov. LePage seems to have a real, pathological issue with the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and I can’t for the life of me understand why.

LePage was elected by the narrowest of margins by the votes of rural Mainers, many of them living in towns that saw their glory days back when “Hee Haw” was on TV. They voted for the “businessman” governor because they were tired of desolate main streets, derelict mills and the vicious cycle of poverty, addiction, welfare, brain drain and dysfunction that blights their towns.

So why does LePage continue to have this personal vendetta against Katahdin Woods and Waters?

Let’s be clear: Unless by some miracle Canada and the Pacific Northwest run out of trees, the relentless march to “paperless” e-books, email, e-everything inexplicably ends and forestry technology goes backward to the hundred-men-with-crosscut-saws work crews of the 1920s, the forestry jobs of yesteryear are never, ever, coming back in numbers great enough to make a real difference.

Logical thinking leads us to the conclusion that other ideas are needed. So why has the governor reacted with pure, uninhibited petulance at every turn, including his latest tantrum of refusing to put up signs giving directions to the monument? (FYI, they have this thing called GPS now, Governor, so people can get around fine without road signs.)

I’m starting to believe that rural poverty and desertification are what the governor wants. Is he making the ghoulishly cynical bet that hopeless voters will remain reliable Republican voters?

Jeremy Smith

Old Orchard Beach