ME Sen. Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) Re GOP LePage: “Governor Is Upper Management And I Am Working Class”
While Governor LePage was speaking at an Americans for Prosperity rally in the Maine State House’s Hall of Flags threatening to veto the budget and shut down the Maine state government, Senator Troy Jackson was chairing the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry committee.
As such, Jackson was unable to hear the Governor’s highly offensive comments about him, as reported by multiple local media sources (WARNING: Not safe for work). Via WMTW’s Paul Marrill:
“Sen. Jackson claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.” LePage added, “He is bad. He has no brains, and he has a black heart.”
Bangor Daily News has a video compilation of the comments of both Senator Jackson and Governor LePage, as well as these additional quotes:
“If I get a little upset with Troy Jackson, who sits up in Aroostook County and does nothing for Maine people, look, this man this year tried to take my pension away, tried to sell the Blaine House, then he realized he didn’t own it, that’s the kind of guy he is. Let’s get beyond that and bring me someone that really wants to talk,” LePage said. “People like Troy Jackson, they ought to go back into the woods and cut trees and let someone with a brain come down here and do some good work.”
Jackson, who serves in the Senate as Assistant Majority Leader, was joined after the conclusion of his 11 am meeting by Majority Leader Seth Goodall (D-Sagadahoc) for a 2pm press conference today.
Here is the clip:
“I don’t know if it’s where I’m from or the way I speak or something, but it comes up that maybe I’m not the smartest guy. I don’t know if I am or not. Maybe I am the country bumpkin, but that doesn’t bother me. What’s in my heart is good and I feel comfortable about that. I’ll go back in the woods any time I have to. That’s where I made my name in my district. … I feel comfortable that my district supports that. He just keeps going on with things that don’t seem to be accurate and [are] delusional. When he talks about working class people, I think that I represent working class people because that’s who I am. People I know very well are concerned very much about what the governor’s budget is going to do to them.”
“We don’t condone that on the schoolyard. We don’t condone that at the kitchen table. Surely we don’t condone that from our governor. This is just a really disappointing day.”
Perhaps First Lady Ann LePage’s oft-quoted story of her father’s horror about Paul is applicable here:
The tour reminded her of the nearly 14 years she worked at Scott Paper in Winslow, she said, where she met her husband, who at the time was a consultant.
“He was what my dad always called a ‘white collar,’” she said, smiling. “My dad said, ‘Ann, for god’s sake, he’s a white collar. He doesn’t know how to work.’”
More local responses denouncing LePage’s statements have been released this afternoon. (NOTE: This will be updated as more are made available. ~AP)
Maine Speaker of the House Rep. Mark Eves (D-Berwick):
“This sort of outrageous and obscene language has no place in State Government. Governor LePage’s language today crosses a new line — even for him,” said Eves. “I would not want my children to hear these vulgar comments from the highest official in our state on the evening news.”
“The governor has done a disservice to Maine with his crude remarks. His behavior threatens to make a laughingstock of our state. We need our chief executive to put Maine in the headlines for the right reasons. We must do better.”
House Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan):
“The governor’s outrageous statements were disrespectful not only to Senator Jackson but to all rural Mainers, especially those who make their living by working in the woods. The governor owes Senator Jackson and all of Maine a public apology. This is not the way we should conduct the people’s business. Maine people deserve better.”
Maine Womens Lobby President Eliza Townsend:
“In the midst of a heightened awareness of and fight against the culture of rape that is rampant in the United States, it is unacceptable that the governor of our state would make public comments such as those made by Governor LePage earlier today about a state senator. It is more than just being crass.
To make a public statement about rape as a metaphor for political disagreement is disrespectful to victims of sexual assault and feeds into our society’s dangerous rape culture. The person who holds the highest elected office in our state should think more carefully about the words he chooses to use and the impact they have on victims of violence and all the people of Maine.”
U.S.Congressman and potential 2014 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud: (Email blast)
“By now you’ve heard the latest tasteless and offensive comments Governor LePage hurled toward Sen. Troy Jackson today. Let me just say that crude comments like these have no place in public discourse. I am appalled. Troy Jackson is a dedicated public servant and hard-working Maine logger. These attacks are a sad reflection on our governor’s commitment to working Maine people. A big part of the reason I’m considering running for governor is to restore dignity and respect to the Blaine House. Maine needs a leader.”