Gov. Paul LePage has said he’ll move south if Mainers pass Questions 2 and 4 on the Nov. 8 ballot.

This is nothing new. LePage has for months rallied against Question 2, which would implement a 3 percent surtax on income over $200,000 to increase state aid to public schools, and Question 4, which would raise the state’s minimum wage.

On Tuesday during his regular appearance on WVOM radio, LePage painted a picture of a post-election Maine as an economic disaster zone. What happens if those questions pass, asked one of the hosts?

“We need to move south,” said LePage. “It’s hopeless. If they put in a $12 minimum wage, I’m going to ride it out and when the next governor is being inaugurated, I’ll be at 37,000 feet. … If the people of Maine don’t really care about the state of Maine and the prosperity of the state of Maine, maybe it’s time to start looking elsewhere.”

While LePage rails against the referendums, they are both enjoying leads in the polls and proponents say they’ll have the opposite effect of what LePage describes. They argue that a higher minimum wage will create more cash flow in the economy and reduce demand on social services. Meanwhile, backers of Question 2 claim more state funding for schools would ease pressure on property taxes and better equip schools to send skilled students into the workforce.

However, LePage’s administration has been determined to cut income taxes and cut costs for businesses, which means Questions 2 and 4 are 180 degrees against his goals and in the case of the income tax, unravel progress he’s already made.

LePage quipped about what led to these proposals and what we should do if they pass.

“We must have had a full moon for over a month because nobody would come up with this kind of disaster scheme,” he said. “I suppose we could all stay high. If marijuana (Question 1) passes we could all stay high.”

As for the presidential election, LePage said if Democrat Hillary Clinton wins, it will affirm an economic and political gulf that he said exists between Washington insiders and average Americans.

“We’re a country of elitists and serfs,” he said. “You and I are the serfs and the people inside the beltway are the elitists. … The Wall Street people run the country and they pay to play with the people in Washington. It’s simple.”

LePage’s “elitists and serfs” analogy offers a new take on Republican attacks against Clinton, who collected large fees for speaking privately to Wall Street groups, and who has been accused by Republicans of offering “pay for play” political favoritism. The analogy loses a bit of its sting when one notes that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is a billionaire and that LePage, who had a successful career in business, earns $70,000 and lives in a mansion because he is governor.

Life won’t be simple for LePage if the referendums pass and certainly not if Democrats win majorities in the Maine House or Senate, or both. However, LePage said he’ll finish his term, squashing occasional speculation that he will resign before the end of his second term, possibly to take a job in Trump’s administration should the Republican nominee win.

“I was elected governor of the state of Maine and I intend to see it through,” he said. “There is nothing in the administration that interests me.”


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