Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Taking Liberties to the Extreme Right at Work in Maine

When asked whether protests like the ones taking place in Wisconsin by state employees might come to Maine, Governor LePage said this to a Politico reporter:

“I believe that the Declaration of Independence says life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Whenever someone forces me to do something against my will, they're infringing upon my freedoms and my liberties. And that's what I think we're doing in Maine when we have fair share, which means that you are required to belong to a union, you're required to pay dues but you don't want to participate. I find that to be against everything the United States of America stands for…it's all about freedom and liberty.”

Of course it’s about freedom and liberty. Everything is now.

Governor LePage took the liberty, for instance, to completely and freely misstate the facts and the law. In Maine it’s against state law to require state employees to belong to a union or pay dues. Workers have the right to join a union and pay dues if they want, and a right to not join a union or to pay dues. If a public employee chooses to work at a union shop and wishes to not join the union, the employee can be charged his or her fair share of the costs of union representation.

Choosing to work where there is a union and getting the related benefits of higher wages and collective bargaining, but not paying a fair share of the costs of representation would be freeloading, right?

“Freeloading is against everything the United States of America stands for,” is pretty much what I said to Eric Bolling, the host of the Fox News show Follow the Money on March 2, 2011 when I was interviewed. “In Maine nobody is required to belong to a union or pay dues. Governor LePage misstated what the law is.”

I added a quip heard earlier from a friend. “It’s ironic that the party of personal responsibility is promoting freeloading.”

After confirming we actually have a Channel 179 at home, I tuned in at 9 PM and watched the show. My picture was on the screen as the live telephone interview played. I stuttered a bit, and was not brilliant, but I made the point. Governor LePage’s statements about Maine law were completely inaccurate.

Eric Bolling, the Fox News host who interviewed me, said he is a believer in the “free market.”

Of course he is. And he is free to put the link of the interview with me up on the FOX web site in contrast with all the others that support his world view, or not.

Bolling took the liberty of posting instead a panel of angry bozos screaming at each other about the evils of big bad unions and corrupt state workers.

Is that what the United States of America stands for?


Ms.Paula Page said...

What lies do tell, As the mindless come to the well. They dip their bucket in to draw their fill and in return leave us ill. The ignorant unthought waiting to be less.

Anonymous said...

The Governator doesn't care if what he says is inaccurate. He just doesn't know any better. The basic character flaw he exhibits is that he has absolutely no idea how ignorant he really is. Add to that the fantasy that no matter what the subject matter, he can convince the People of Maine that he is a very intelligent man by dint of his "oratory exuberance".

He seems to think that if he simply "makes stuff up" and it sounds good to him, then the People of Maine will think he actually knows what he is talking about.The man has no idea whatsoever how embarassing it is for the People of Maine to be confronted time and again by his utter lack of education and common sense. If he were to possess even a thimbleful of self-awareness he would realize that he is in way over his head. It is news to him that a lot of people actually know more than he does. That is a very sad kettle of kelp.

Peter Sampson said...

I'm waiting for the Governor to "grow in office," but so far I'm not seeing any signs of it. As is often the case with the self-made and self-taught, Governor LePage has no idea of what he doesn't know. The open letter I wrote back in November invites the Governor to consider a number of things that may have gotten by him.

Anonymous said...

THe KIng has no clothes on......

Anonymous said...

Dill, From what I hear, you might want to think again about your own manner of speaking to those on the other side. The gent holding the sign at the sh didn't care for your getting in his face. next time maybe ask to speak with people in more polite way.

Anonymous said...

ps that goes for russell too.

Anonymous said...

Paul LePage knows what he's doing.

He lies to the public knowing they will believe his sound bite.

Comments like this are nothing more than public manipulation and he's clearly willing to lie to manipulate the public. He's done it often already.

Is it too much to ask for our elected officials to be honest with the people they serve?

devonshire said...

"the employee can be charged his or her fair share of the costs of union representation"
Given a choice of union representation or not does not equate to employees paying their "fair share" If you join you pay. If you do not you do not pay. The Federal government unions do not require employees to join a union. If they do not join the union they pay no dues. The union represents all bargaining unit employees. Even the ones that do not pay dues.
As a former federal Local union President it has been my experience that if unions do a good job of representing employees then the employees join the union.
Forcing these employees to pay their fair share does not me they will get fair representation. If you base your organization on performance and prove your quality of representation you will get members. It is actually unconstitutional to force anyone to pay anything they do not want to. It is socialist in nature not American. So your thinking is off base on this subject.