Successful job creation workshops have been held throughout the state, including in Lewiston.

After reading Douglas Rooks’ latest missive in the Nov. 27 Sun Journal, in addition to others he has written attacking Gov. Paul LePage, I am left wondering if he has truly followed the work of the governor, or if critical thinking has merely been replaced by constant criticism.

Rooks’ latest attack was based on, of all things, job creation. Noticeably absent from his column were official unemployment figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Maine Department of Labor. Those figures demonstrate that, under the leadership of Gov. LePage, Maine is experiencing a lower unemployment rate.

Since the governor took office in January, the unemployment has dropped — not increased — while the national average has stayed stagnant. Additionally, Maine’s unemployment rate is significantly below the national average of 8.6 percent. Maine has a rate of 7.3 percent, as recorded in October, and the rate has decreased overall during the governor’s term.

That positive news comes despite the fact that many of the governor’s reforms are still in their infancy and the damage to Maine’s economy has been years in the making.

Rooks obviously did not read the Sun Journal announcement heralding a well-known national online security company, Carbonite, announcing it was moving jobs to Lewiston from overseas. An additional story just this month noted that they had announced hiring was ahead of schedule and 150 people are now newly employed in Lewiston.

Maybe he, and others who are critical of the governor, missed the statewide news coverage that a closed paper mill was reopening, creating hundreds of new jobs. A Swedish health care company announced it was moving to Maine to create 100 new jobs. A Maine aircraft business announced it expects to increase employment by 60 percent due to changes in Augusta. A ship modeler announced up to 100 new jobs in Brunswick.

All of those announcements have taken place since Gov. LePage took office.

Gov. LePage has been, and will continue to be, aggressively focused on growing the state’s economy and creating new jobs. Although Maine is doing better than the nation as a whole, there is still more work to be done.

That is why Gov. LePage has held successful job creation workshops throughout the state, including in Lewiston, and why he is preparing proposals based on that input to ease the way for additional job creation in Maine.

One focus the governor has outlined is the need to lower Maine’s energy costs, which are significantly higher than the national average.

After reading Rooks’ criticisms, it is clear that he is concerned with the governor’s agenda on energy. Apparently, he, and others who share his views, believe the readers and advertisers of the Sun Journal — and every household and job-creating business in Maine — should pay significantly more for energy than others in the nation due to standards that are outside the mainstream and put Maine at an economic disadvantage.

Sadly, Rooks accused LePage of not being a deep thinker. Perhaps Rooks does not believe that holding an MBA or having proven job creation experience at one of Maine’s best-known companies qualifies the governor as a professional in the job creation department.

Readers might want to compare Rooks’ qualifications on job creation with the governor’s.

Maine now has a governor with firsthand knowledge of what Maine must do to create jobs and grow the economy.

Rooks should defer to the professional.

Brent Littlefield is senior political adviser to the governor and an adviser to Maine People Before Politics.

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