LePage Spins Schoolkids, Bashes Newspapers

As reported in the BDN and Maine Sunday Telegram, Paul LePage spent part of Friday morning complaining to a captive audience of schoolkids that his greatest fear is of newspapers and that he is “not a fan of newspapers.”

Later, he stated to a reporter that newspapers “spin the news” rather than providing reporting that is “fair and objective.”

This follows comments from last March in which LePage said, also to students, “Reading newspapers in the state of Maine is like paying somebody to tell you lies.”

It’s interesting to note that the careers of Republicans such as Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have not been likewise incapacitated by the alleged liberal bias of Maine newspapers.

Mr. “Fair and Balanced” (who not so long ago stated “If you want a good education, go to a private school,”) also said that private schools such as the one he spoke at Friday were “showing the rest of the people in Maine that you’re getting the best education, and every child in Maine deserves to have the same good education that you’re all getting.”

Meanwhile, this week’s news about charter schools, the holy grail by which LePage hopes to transform education in this state, is not particularly rosy.  A New York Times article provides further evidence that overall, despite their costs, charter schools have failed to provide promised benefits.  A Washington Post article details the mounting evidence on how online learning corporations are being let in through back doors to write state legislation that subsequently opens the front doors to corporate profits.

Paul LePage doesn’t want you to read that stuff, however.  Just tune in to his weekly Saturday morning radio address and he will tell you all that you need to know.

Myths Busted / LePage Still in Hiding

Myth #1:  LePage and Forbes magazine want you to believe that cutting tax rates is the most important thing we can do to bring more business to Maine.  Jim Clair, chair of the Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission in Augusta, states an educated workforce is far more important:  “The single most important factor for a company like mine, which I think is indicative, in many ways, of the way Maine’s economy is going to grow, is by having highly-competent technical people who are prepared to learn the rest of their lives,” Clair says. “That’s our single biggest issue.”

Myth #2:  LePage and many Republicans want you to believe that Maine’s social safety net is a magnet for uneducated, unemployed people who move here to join the welfare rolls.  However, Charlie Colgan of USM’s Muskie School states most who move here are highly educated:  “The majority of the people who moved to Maine from 2005 to 2010 were 18 to 34 years old, and a majority had a college degree or better.”

Meanwhile, Governor LePage, who called off a budget meeting with Democratic leaders a month ago, still has not responded to Senate President Justin Alfond’s dinner invitation and still has failed to meet with Democrats.

Governor LePage has apparently been using all the time he has saved by not meeting with Senator Alfond to work on YouTube videos such as the one released today.  The YouTube video is kind of like a press conference, except that there are no reporters present, and the only questions are scripted ones asked by LePage’s press secretary, and the only answers are scripted answers, and LePage gets to repeat tired old lines about his tax cut being not being for the rich, and the they can do re-takes and edit it until it only shows what they want it to show.  Like we said, it’s kind of like a press conference — Bin Ladin style.