PORTLAND – Portland Public Schools officials are disputing Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s claims that the city’s high schools restrict uniformed military recruiters’ access to students — this, despite Senate President Justin Alfond’s (D-Portland) stated belief that there is a problem.
Portland High School Principal Deborah Migneault, according to a NECN.com report, denied LePage’s claims, saying that military recruiters have a table set up outside the guidance office.
However, Alfond, who represents Portland, has said that he communicated with school district officials, learned that the LePage Administration’s claims were accurate, and that’s why even he supported the bill.
[RELATED: Maine GOP calls on Michaud to condemn Dems’ anti-military stance…]
During a June 11 segment on the George Hale and Ric Tyler morning radio show, Alfond talked about inquiring with Portland school officials: “So I did, and they did talk about the policies here in Portland, and that is why, one of the reasons why, I supported this bill …. Those are policies that are adopted locally. Those are things that I don’t really have much control over, but this bill I did, and I voted for it …. My personal experience in the City of Portland made me believe that this bill was necessary.”
Alfond took to the airwaves to discuss the actions of some Democrats which led to the failure of LePage’s military recruiter bill. As previously reported on by The Maine Wire, the bill originally won a majority of votes in the House of Representatives; however, far left Democrats flip-flopped to oppose the measure during a separate vote.
[RELATED: Maine Dems take stand against military recruiters…]
The Democrats who voted against the bill, including Rep. Joshua Plante (D-Berwick), maintain that there is no factual evidence that military recruiters are having access problems. Plante and others base their views on testimony from various school superintendents, while LePage’s concern stems from the complaints of top level military officials in the state.
LePage said in his weekly address that he would trust a high-ranking combat veteran over schools superintendents.
[RELATED: LePage: “I’d bet my life on the word of a recruiter over a superintendent any day of the week and twice on Sunday…”]
Maine Wire Reporter
In response to my inquiry as to whether anyone at the Department of Education had reached out to the superintendents or principals of the schools that allegedly barred uniform recruiters on their campuses, I received this response from Sam Warren, the director of communications for the department:
“The Department trusts the word of a decorated service member with the integrity of Command Sergeant Major Hannibal, especially when it aligns with concerns we’ve long heard anecdotally. If it’s one school, it’s one to many. We did not specifically reach out to schools, as we did not want to interfere with the Guard’s continued efforts to build relationships with schools to create opportunities for Maine students, including to serve in our military. Note it was a FOAA from the Press Herald that brought the actual school names to public light, not anything from this Department or any other office of State Government.”
So no one thought it necessary to investigate the veracity of the allegations made against schools that the Department oversees. Incredible.
It’s also clear that no one in the Governor’s Office thought it necessary to contact anyone from the schools alleged to have barred uniformed recruiters. Instead, Gov. LePage ordered a bill to be drafted for a need that didn’t exist.
Can you get anything correct Steve Robinson? In his weekly address, Gov. LePage did NOT say that “he would trust a high-ranking combat veteran over schools superintendents.”
What he actually said was:
“I’d bet my life on the word of a recruiter over a superintendent any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
A recruiter not a high-ranking combat veteran. Why do you lie like this? The transcript is at the Governor’s webpage.
“However, Alfond, who represents Portland, has said that he communicated with school district officials, learned that the LePage Administration’s claims were accurate, and that’s why even he supported the bill “.
Surprising to find Dirigo Blue attacking Sen. Alfond.
I rather like this tactic of accusing a public organization of something; then waiting for their denial and later holding them to it. By combining the denials, you’ve in effect made a uniform(no pun intended) policy for all the high schools in the State. I wonder how many other recruiters, especially for political causes, traffic in public schools. Perhaps there should be a transparent registry open to public scrutiny?
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