Thursday, July 21, 2011

On the road in the great state of Maine


For the next few days I'll be in Maine, visiting family. It was nice to see that some people in Portland have some issues with their new Tea Party governor, Paul LePage. He was elected when four other candidates split the vote, hence the claim that "61 percent" voted for someone else.

LePage swims in controversy. Since he has an adopted Black son from Jamaica, he figured he was in the clear to tell the NAACP to go "kiss my butt." On taking over, he ordered removal of murals depicting labor history scenes on grounds they were unfair to business -- removal from the state Department of Labor. Just this week he threw down with Governor Rick Perry's call for a national day of prayer and repentance despite objections from advocates of the separation of church and state.

It looks as if getting LePage is not enough to drive Mainers to require a majority vote for Governor. LePage isn't the first elected with such a relatively small percentage of the vote -- in fact, his Democratic predecessor in the job also didn't manage 50 percent, though he exceed this guy's total by a lot at 48 percent. A constitutional amendment to require a run off if no candidate exceeded a 50 percent threshold failed in the state legislature this spring.

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