LePage criticizes Dems for military recruiter bill

AUGUSTA (AP) — Republican Gov. Paul LePage blasted Democrats this week for failing to approve a bill designed to ensure uniformed military recruiters have the same access to the state's public schools as other college and career recruiters.

The governor said Friday in his weekly radio address that "the Democrats' blatant rejection of this bill sends a message to all military service members - past and present - that they are not welcome in Maine's public school system."

"The disdain is evident, and it is a sad day for Maine when we cannot come together in agreement to support our troops," he said.

LePage said his administration was informed that several schools in southern Maine allow recruiters only minimal access.

Several Democrats, including House Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick and Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland, supported the bill. But it failed by a handful of votes in the House this week because some Democrats said it's unnecessary.

Federal law already requires that public schools provide military recruiters the same access as college and career recruiters, they said. They also took issue with Republicans' claims that uniformed recruiters aren't allowed in Maine schools.

"I'm very disappointed that this bill was used as a political tool to try to divide us," Rep. John Schneck, D-Bangor, a Vietnam War Navy veteran who voted against the bill.

"As far as I can tell, the 'problem' the bill addresses doesn't exist. No factual evidence of a problem has ever been produced," he said in a statement earlier this week.

LePage called on Maine resiednts to "find out where politicians stand on this important common-sense bill before they cast their next vote," suggesting plans to reintroduce the bill next session.

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Comments

DONALD FERLAND's picture

I say we need to call on

I say we need to call on Maine residents to "find out where Paul LePage really stands on important common-sense bills before they cast their next vote" since he was more interested in signing bills allowing the sale of alcohol early on Sundays when it happens to be St. Patrick's Day then he was in insuring thousands of Maine working people.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Campaigning again?

Nearly 50,000 Mainers managed to make it to Vietnam for the war. The governor was not one of them. He now, however, chooses to use the National Guard to wrap himself in military pique over an issue that doesn't even exist. Is this his new campaign talking point ? It isn't as if anybody in the Guard is in any position to contradict his slander of the school superintendents. What it looks like to me is a sneaky attempt to persuade the schools to give out names to recruiters of students whose parents have denied the schools permission to do so. Once again the governor, while proclaiming the wonders of liberty, is stepping on the rights of parents and the local school boards. It appears the only rights he cares about is his right to smear anybody he feels like.

Mike McAllister's picture

I heard he went to live in

I heard he went to live in Canada to avoid the draft. Worked in the logging industry, had a family and came back to the US after the pardon.

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