The Business Of Maine Is Not Bigotry - LePage Must Go

LePage now blames a reporter for his own actions.
Summer in Maine
Summer in Maine
Republican President Calvin Coolidge’s memorable catch phrases was, “The business of America is business.”  I remember marveling at the basic elegance of that slogan in my college history class.  It’s the perfect Republican soundbite, even for today’s business focused conservatives. The phrase’s simplistic redundancy informs the electorate; Republicans are the party of business.
 
Here in Maine our Republican Governor Paul LePage has a different perspective on business. He’s all for business as long as it is white business. Earlier this year LePage was reportedly complaining about how difficult it is to understand Indian and Pakistani restaurant workers. This week the governor doubled-down on his assertion that ninety percent of the drug dealers in Maine are black or Hispanic.  His half-baked statistics are contested by several Maine law enforcement agencies that make it pretty clear the large majority of Maine drug dealers are in fact, white.  The ACLU is now inquiring because it suspects racial profiling based on the governor’s statements.
 
Maine’s governor has also been asked to stop perpetuating negative Franco-American stereotypes by leaders in the Maine Franco community. It’s become quite normal for Mainers to learn through the media that their governor has issued forth yet another off-color and embarrassing rant. I wonder if these narrow-minded LePage outbursts are a positive influence on Maine’s key industry ― tourism. Do you suppose it’s possible our governor’s tirades might discourage hi-tech businesses from moving to Maine? We already know the governor despises and discourages the alternative energy business, maybe he hates tourism too?
 
I suppose white supremacist-based businesses may be finding the state more attractive of late. But I’m unaware of any growth industries seeking out crazy right-wing fringe communities as a place to set-up shop. Rather I suspect any responsible and expanding business, accustomed to an ethnically diverse employee pool, is going to think twice before selecting Maine as their next branch location.
 
This week we discovered that our governor left a threatening and obscenity-laced voicemail for Maine Representative Drew Gattine, who had allegedly accused the governor of being a racist. Rep. Gattine denies the allegation. The recording of LePage’s voicemail message immediately went viral: the hissy-fit heard around the world.  LePage now blames a reporter for his own actions. How very gubernatorial of our governor.
 
President Truman kept a placard on his oval Office desk that read, “The buck stops here.” Truman understood that real leaders made decisions, took action, and accepted accountability - they didn’t pass the buck. Unfortunately our governor accepts no such accountability for his actions. It’s never his fault. Is it any wonder that last year the legislature considered impeachment proceedings against LePage?
<a href="http://www.mapbusinessonline.com/" target="_blank">Maine - Open for Business</a>
Maine - Open for Business
But what do I know?  I’m just a lowly sales person, a humble businessman.
Still, I’m pretty sure I know what would have happened to me if I modeled our governor’s behavior:
 
•    If I was caught leaving obscene and threatening voicemails for work associates, vendors or customers, I would be fired.
•    If I made openly racist statements, hurled baseless accusations, and spouted derogatory stereotypes for all to hear, I would lose my job.
•    If it was suspected that my behavior was blocking business expansion for my organization, I would be let-go.
 
The business of Maine, unfortunately is not growing. The state desperately needs steady leadership to make business, the business of Maine. And this unending and distracting ugliness our governor subjects us to is grounds for termination. LePage must go.
 
And I should probably un-plug my phone.
CONVERSATIONS