Thursday, March 24, 2011

LePage aka whole hog at U Maine

The former mayor of Waterville, now Maine's Tea Party governor, spoke to Rep. Tom Saviello's class at UMaine Farmington tonight following the Support for Educators rally organized by students. Some from the rally audited the class, hearing the same old tired talking points rehashed for a fresh faced audience asking hard questions e.g. my dad worked for the state for 25 years and now he is getting screwed on his pension; my parents are getting taxed on their pension and consequently want to move to New Hampshire; if your pension raids cause workers to postpone retiring, where are the jobs going to come from for the recent graduates?

Suddenly the auditorium went dark. The light switch had been temporarily commandeered by pixies.

Instructor angrily admonishes audience that this class is for his students only, and they will be the only ones asking questions.

After being told by whole hog that the "only" path forward was to gut pension fund and increase the estate tax (oops, I think he meant increase the exemption for the estate tax -- from its present level of $1 million to $2 million)  a heckler burst out:

"Tax the rich."

Whole Hog: "I would love to tax the rich, if we had any in Maine." (Crowd laughs)

Heckler: "So it's people from out of state who put you in office, sir? It's rich people from out of state who funded your campaign then, and put you in office -- is that what you're saying? Not Mainers?"

Campus police who have mistakenly let hecklers enter now move forward to eject them. Governor's aides scrambling also.

Heckler: "I'll go. That's the solution. Bring our war $$ home. And tax the rich!"

Campus police were unable to ascertain the identity of the light switch pixies or the hecklers, and unable to follow them to their cars.
Mural of Maine labor history (detail).

Tomorrow, noon in Augusta: rally to save Maine's history of labor murals. Rachel Maddow covering the mural flap! Apparently she terms whole hog the most ultra conservative governor in the country.

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