Proposed bill would treat LePage like he treats welfare recipients

One of the most constant and maddening themes of Gov. Paul LePage’s tenure in the Blaine House has been his manipulation of the facts in an attempt to divide Mainers by demonizing those on various forms of welfare¬†such as food stamps (or SNAP) and general assistance.

Photo- Troy R. Bennett, BDN.

Photo- Troy R. Bennett, BDN.

LePage has pushed for policies that limit the ability of marginalized and suffering Mainers to get the help that they need and deserve with relentless campaigns aimed at convincing the general public that poor people everywhere are doing things like using their SNAP assistance to buy alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, lottery tickets, lap dances and souvenirs from Disney World.

Now, State Rep. Scott Hamann, a Democrat from South Portland has submitted a bill aimed at giving the governor a taste of his own medicine, even if it’s probably just a symbolic gesture.

Maine State Rep. Scott Hamann. Photo from Maine.gov.

Maine State Rep. Scott Hamann. Photo from Maine.gov.

The bill faces unlikely odds of becoming law, but if passed it would prevent LePage from using his expense account for things like alcohol, lottery tickets, tattoos, and bail- the same type of things that the governor has accused welfare recipients of spending their money on.

As reported by Paul Merrill of WMTW News 8, Ann Kim, spokeswoman for Maine House Democrats, said that Hamann only submitted the bill “to increase transparency around the use of taxpayer dollars,” but that the bill will probably not get passed.

Kim elaborated, “Given the hurdle second session bills must clear, Rep. Hamann is focusing his efforts on his Meals on Wheels proposal and his bill to prevent opioid overdose among children and elders.”

Kim also said that there’s no reason to believe that LePage is using his expense account for those purposes.

Even though the bill doesn’t appear to stand a chance of passing, it would be poetic justice for the governor if it did based on all the lies and nonsense he has perpetuated about welfare recipients in the past five years.

Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.