March 13, 2011

LePage 'a not-so-funny clown with a big mouth'

After less than two months in office, I lament that I was becoming sadly accustomed to Gov. Paul LePage's hubris and frequent verbal gaffes, but I was truly stunned by his most recent "little beards" statement regarding bisphenol-A, the additive in many plastic containers.

While there is disagreement about the dangers of BPA, especially to children, there is enough evidence based on investigation by impartial, qualified researchers that warrants serious concern about this chemical. To have LePage arrogantly dismiss this information was tactless and ignorant.

LePage is a hard-working and determined man. As a young boy, he beat the odds and fled a very difficult and dangerous home life. He was intelligent enough to realize the value of a good education and went on to earn two degrees. He was highly regarded as mayor of Waterville and general manager of Marden's.

These are all admirable accomplishments, but as I've watched his behavior, often bordering on bullying, as a candidate and now as governor, I question if these experiences, valuable as they may be, were enough to adequately prepare him to govern the state of Maine with some dignity.

For the 62 percent of Maine voters who did not vote for LePage, the humility to admit his remarks were rude, incorrect and insensitive to many individuals and groups, would go a long way in convincing us that he truly wants to be an elected leader who can accomplish positive change rather than a not-so-funny clown with a big mouth.

Maggie Smith


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