(UPDATED x3) Governor LePage’s “Notes From The Edge”: A Compilation
UPDATE X2: A LePage letter to now House Majority Leader Rep. Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan) is being added to this post. Frankly, with the two different pens and more scribbled appearance, it is harder to read than some of the others, but is related to bonds similar to that of the harshly worded one to Senator Patrick.
You are a bald faced liar and cheat! Character eludes you. It is up to the Governor’s discretion on when bonds are sold, he has up to five years.
(With apologies to Carrie Fisher et al)
Sometimes it is simply better to let the content tell the story.
1. First is this recent letter from retired librarian Louise Sullivan of Cape Elizabeth to Maine Governor Paul LePage, which read:
“Dear Gov. LePage, please resign. You will save yourself time and embarrassment. You will save our state time and money. Sincerely, Louise Sullivan”
The governor wasted no time with his reply.
2. For handwriting comparative purposes, there is this 2013 note sent by the governor to Rep. Brian Hubbell (D-Bar Harbor).
3. Governor LePage to supporter Victor Lister of Athens, dated July 6.
Mr. Lister had sent a copy of a published LTE to the governor:
“It’s time for the media to take the Constitution seriously. The paper has tyrannically silenced too many voices for too long, and it should watch its language.
Why is Gov. Paul LePage called “bombastic”? I hear him denounced regularly, and I can’t figure out why.
I don’t approve of “taking care of” legislators by making them heads of educational institutions.
I’m a veteran and profit mightily from being one, but I question its cost to our nation.
Clearly, we’ve entered the “Bread and Circuses” stage of decaying empires, and, though I personally profit from it, I think it is social diabetes. LePage is doing his darndest to put Maine on a diet; the least we can do is recognize the need.
Victor Lister, Athens”.
4. A rather informative look at the sharp-toned division between Governor LePage and GOP legislative leaders are apparent with this note, sent to Senate President Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo):
5. Lest one think that the governor incapable of being polite to legislators, we have this note directed to Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst). Seems Governor LePage thinks more of Lockman’s potential leadership qualities than those GOP leaders currently serving:
6. Sometimes the meaning of the governor’s words has been lost upon the audience, in this case, Maine principals. From September 2012:
Jonathan Nass, LePage’s then senior policy adviser, had sent the above image along with a letter to some Maine high school principals, which read:
- “Governor LePage was recently given the attached cartoon and asked that I forward it along to all of the state’s high school principals. You will see that the governor added a hand-written note. Thank you for your time and best wishes for the new school year.”
Some reported reactions:
Deborah Migneault, principal of Portland High School, said her first thought was: What did the governor pay for postage?
“If he sent that to all principals, it seems like an incredible waste,”she said. “We have enough to think about. I don’t think that cartoon motivates us.”
Christian Elkington, principal of Massabesic High School in Waterboro, said he understood the governor’s point that vocational and technical education should be encouraged as an option, but disagreed with the assumption that schools don’t do that already.
“We aren’t forcing kids down one path or another,” he said.
LePage press secretary Adrienne Bennett attempted to clarify that “career and technical education has not been given the recognition it deserves.”
“The governor is simply saying let’s do better, let’s provide students with the choices that will provide successful outcomes,” she wrote. “Every child learns differently; our teachers recognize this and so does the governor.”
7. Finally is this note from Governor LePage on his 2014 re-election campaign letterhead to then Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook).
As the two share a “history”, no explanation from Bennett or anyone else on the second floor is needed, and unlike the above notes to Ms. Sullivan and Mr. Lister, this was not in response to a letter from Senator Jackson, but rather the governor taking the initiative to write first.
Until you’ve walked in my shoes you have no idea what abuse and poverty is. I’ve never attempted to throw your wife and kids or challenge your pension as you did to my family. I know what abuse is and you must realize it doesn’t always come from industrialized landowners. You talk a good game, but I saved the pension fund without you helping. I’m very sorry you felt the need to attack my family and tried to throw us on the street, but I guess actions do speak louder than words.
It is being reported that WGME spoke with Ms. Sullivan and that the segment will air later tonight, and that the governor’s staff will not be responding.
— Courtney Highfield (@CourtneyWGME) July 27, 2015
UPDATE X3: Portland Press Herald political reporter Steve Mistler linked back to this MPW post with his Aug. 17 story, “LePage’s handwritten notes show failings in Maine’s record retention law”. Some crucial points made regarding the handwritten notes, existing Maine law, and the ongoing Good Will-Hinckley investigation:
- Neither LePage nor his staff apparently makes copies of his letters – even when the topic at hand involves state policy or other matters of public interest connected to his official duties as Maine’s chief executive.
For example, LePage’s threat to strip Good Will-Hinckley school in Fairfield of $530,000 in state funding if it hired House Speaker Mark Eves as its next president was communicated in a handwritten note from the governor to the school’s board chairman, Jack Moore. Moore has said he may have discarded the note, and a copy was not among the documents the governor’s office released to the Portland Press Herald last week in response to a Freedom of Access Act request for all records related to the Good Will-Hinckley matter.
The administration has taken the position that LePage’s handwritten notes are not subject to the public records law because they are personal communications, not official business.
But current and former state archivists disagree, as do experts on the Freedom of Access Act.