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?