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.
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.