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Blogging Our Grand Divide

LePage Is Losing It

Maine Governor Paul LePage wants to jail organizers pushing to raise the state’s minimum wage.

This summer we profiled Ben Chin, political director of Maine People’s Alliance in a story titled, “A Real People’s Champion in Maine”. Chin discussed his advocacy on behalf of low income Mainers to raise the state’s minimum wage among other inequality fighting measures he’s taken up in the state.

DSC_0006Along the way, he’s made an enemy of Governor Paul LePage who last year went so far as to post a wanted sign at a town hall meeting with Chin’s face on it.

Last week, LePage doubled down on his opposition to raising the minimum wage saying not just that he disagreed with Chin, but that he should be in jail for his advocacy.

“Frankly, those people [Chin and his fellow organizer, Mike Tipping] should be sent to jail for what they’re doing to the elderly,” the Republican governor said.

On the ballot this year in Maine is an initiative to gradually raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020. LePage claims the higher wages will negatively impact the state’s elderly population, a constituency he’s done little for during his time in office. Despite the governor’s opposition, the initiative appears quite popular across the state.

“The governor is all bark and no bite”

Also on the ballot is an initiative to full fund public education by implementing a 3 percent surtax on household income over $200,000.

Ben appears to be taking the threat in stride. “The governor is all bark and no bite,” Chin said to the Portland Press Herald. “He wakes up in the morning figuring out how he can embarrass himself, his party and the state.”

Check out our July profile of Ben Chin here.

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