Maine again in national spotlight following LePage’s order to remove labor mural

James Imbrogno

The LePage administration has ordered the removal of this 36-foot long mural from the lobby of the state Department of Labor. Artists Judy Taylor says the mural was never meant to be political, just a historical depiction of Maine's labor history.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is again attracting national and international attention after his order to remove a mural depicting the history of the state’s labor movement.

National news outlets such as The New York Times, NPR, CNN, USA Today and Politico ran news stories about the controversy on Wednesday and Thursday, and the move was lambasted by bloggers on other national sites. No posts this reporter found had kind words for the move.

Richard Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California Berkeley and a blogger at the Christian Science Monitor, wrote an article titled “A governor destroys history in the name of promoting business” and mocked a comment from a LePage spokesperson that the mural is “not in keeping with the department’s pro-business goals” by asking, “Are we still in America?”

He noted the history of the labor leaders depicted in the mural and compared the economic challenges they faced to the challenges Americans face now.

“Governor, you might be able to erase some of Maine’s memory, but you’ll have a hard time erasing the nation’s memory – even if it’s not in keeping with your pro-business goals,” he wrote.

A post on the liberal blog Daily Kos mused that “maybe LePage is feeling sensitive because one of the mural’s panels depicts child labor, and he is supporting a rollback of child labor laws.”

And a blogger for British newspaper The Guardian played on a statement that the governor is trying to balance labor and business history:

“Yes, balance. I bet there’s a Martin Luther King statue or avenue or something somewhere in Maine. Shouldn’t there be a nearby Bull Connor Boulevard? In fact they should intersect. Think of p.r. and tourism possibilities, governor!” he wrote.

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Comments

John Clement's picture

What I thought more

What I thought more appropriate might be having three murals, the first being a mural of all the entrepreneurs that risked their own fricking money and gave their all to create companies that hired all those people.
The second could be all the union organizers that effectively sucked the life blood out of the companies.
The third could be a mural of all the chinese, mexican, and indian workers now gainfully employed.

RONALD RIML's picture

So donate a mural to the Maine Office of Business Development

in the Maine Department of Economic and Community Developement, rather than screwing around with the Department of Labor.

That is where the state nurtures business related issues. Before some corporate lackey buys the business and sends it overseas.

Douglas Mac antSaior's picture

I've supported many of the

I've supported many of the Governor's decisions, but this is over the top. You cannot support labor in Maine and mock it at the same time.

Jerome Young's picture

Hysteria reigns. look at he

Hysteria reigns. look at he symbolism depicted in these murals. Maine Labor should not be an appendage of unions.

A bad decision at at worse

A bad decision at at worse time politically...is anyone actually advising him?

RONALD RIML's picture

Yes - the Maine Heritage Policy Center

you haven't been watching?????

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Murals

Boy they don't call this guy "Front Page Lepage" for nothing. He even has his own TV show too. What kind of businesses will he attract by touting labor unrest, low wages, relaxed environmental rules and child labor? Maybe there is another egg farm with lots of animal waste and salmonella eggs and immigrant labor issues that he is trying to reel in but I can't imagine this would appeal to a respectable company.

Timothy Cox's picture

disagree

how come when i press the disagree button i get an error message but not on the agree button,,, bias reporting?

Timothy Cox's picture

sorry libs

sorry but I have to support the Governor on this one, maybe it's time that agencies in the state are un bias. lets give it a chance we gave the dem's 40 years and look what we got.

RONALD RIML's picture

You expected the Department of Labor should be a

Lap Dog to Corporations??

In the perfect world of the MHPC and Republican Party it would......

Mary Leonas's picture

LePage

All I can say is "stupid is, as stupid does"! What IS this Governor thinking?!

Robert Hack Jr.'s picture

Labor Photo's

These are labor photo's of the history in the State of Maine. These are being used not to promote business but Anti- Business. I think maybe we as Mainers should promote the business of RECALL the GOVERNOR. It has become clear in the last few weeks that this Governor will go down in history as THE WORST leader of the State. Now we are already know as an anti-business State and we will also be know as the State that values State Employee's as minumun Wages and No Benefits just like The Governor's former employer.

AL PELLETIER's picture

Wow, let me be the first !

Mark, I'll beat you to the punch on this one.
Why such a big hoopla, he'll just give his critics their choice, "kiss my butt or go to hell".
Little dumb things like this really make Mainers look stupid!

RONALD RIML's picture

Actually it's Big Dumb Governor voted by an ignorant Electorate

That's making Maine the laughing stock of America......

Teresa  Eagers's picture

Lepage removing mural

What's next? Burning books?!

RONALD RIML's picture

Do you really imagine LePage knows what books are for???

Pictures - i.e. Neanderthalian cave drawings - may be within LePage's scope of understanding. Books? He probably eats le covers off le pages....

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