Inside Augusta

Pingree's Press Herald smears LePage, gives Alfond free pass


In what is becoming de rigueur for newspapers owned by S. Donald Sussman and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, the Portland Press Herald is out with a new smear campaign targeting Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

The smear story is entitled, “Portland schools: LePage wrong about military recruiters“.

A fairer headline might read: “Portland schools: U.S. military, LePage, Alfond, Eves, entire state senate wrong about military recruiters”.

The media’s latest anti-LePage drumbeat began with an uncontroversial proposal (L.D. 1503) – a bill, prompted by military officials’ complaints, that would ensure uniformed recruiters have unrestricted access to Maine’s high schools.

That proposal, however, was defeated following 20 House Democrats’ decision to change their original votes of support and vote against both the governor and the unanimous state senate.

The Democrats who voted against the proposal did so, they said, because there was no evidence of a problem.

[RELATED: Maine Dems take stand against military…]

In response, House Republicans read on the House floor a May 22 email from Maine’s top military recruiter in which the highly decorated Battalion Command Sergeant Major described various access problems at schools in southern Maine.

But House Democrats refused to accept the word of a military official, choosing instead to rely on statements from school officials, who predictably denied allegations of anti-military policies.

According to the Press Herald report, school officials in Portland and Yarmouth have now publicly refuted the military’s claims, casting LePage as a liar.

Interestingly, the paper ignores the yea votes of House Speaker Mark Eves (D-North Berwick) and every member of the state senate. Were they also wrong for believing there is a problem?

[RELATED: Maine GOP calls on Michaud to condemn Dems anti-military stance…]

The Press Herald also seems oblivious to the fact that Senate President Justin Alfond (D-Portland), whose district includes the Portland schools, has publicly agreed with LePage and the military.

During a segment of the George Hale and Ric Tyler morning show, Alfond told the hosts that he had looked into issue and determined that, at least in Portland, there is indeed a problem.

Yet despite all of the Democrats who voted for the governor’s bill and who acknowledge the existence of a problem, the Press Herald remains committed to demonizing LePage while giving liberal Democrats a free pass.

S.E. Robinson
MaineWire Reporter

About Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson is the Editor-in-Chief of The Maine Wire.

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