The governor of Maine, Paul LePage is an one-of-a-kind character, but he shocked college students who were protesting him. Until then, LePage’s last antic was saying that drug dealers were coming up to sell heroin and impregnate Maine’s white daughters. Then on Tuesday, it happened.
The students were standing quietly at the back of the room during the University of Maine Farmington Education Center renaming ceremony, changing it to the Theodora J. Kalikow Education Center, UMF president 1994-2012.
The students’ signs read:
‘LePage: Maine’s Shame.’
‘Report Card, Subject: Environmental Issues, Theo Kalikow A+, Paul LePage F.’
Almost as soon as the governor started his speech, he spotted the protest signs and stomped away. As he left, he called the students “idiots.”
According to Bangor Daily News, college freshman Ally Hammond, 19, a psychology major, wrote on Facebook:
‘April 26th, 2016, will forever rest in my memory as the day Paul LePage personally called me an idiot.’
‘I stood at the back of the crowd holding a sign that said ‘LePage: Maine’s Shame’ and not ten seconds into his speech, he stormed away, calling me and Nick Bray ‘idiots.’
Hammond wasn’t protesting LePage for being a Republican, however, she thinks he doesn’t “represents Maine values:”
‘He’s outwardly very rude, he makes offensive comments and he makes no effort to protect our environment, which I think is one of Maine’s most important assets. He’s openly insulted educators and education itself for some reason, which is another big problem.’
The two college students had planned to stand quietly at the back of the room and had no intention of disrupting the event.
Social media responses ranged from comments about LePage’s “thin skin” to criticism of Hammond and Bray.
Dylan Antone responded on his Facebook page:
‘Why should LePage have stayed and been disrespected? It was not a political rally. Why would he want to stay and be insulted? Why are people defending the student’s First Amendment rights?’
Hammond wrote on Facebook:
‘And to anyone saying we ‘ruined’ the dedication: No, wrong. It’s not our fault that our governor is prone to temper tantrums.’
A Democrat, Hammond thinks conservatives and liberals both play a role in American society:
‘I’m obviously a liberal. But I don’t hate Republicans and I think that both Republicans and Democrats have their place. I’m not that partisan but I do lean left. If he was just any Republican politician, I wouldn’t be bothered by him.’
Hammond found LePage’s rude comments offensive, and blamed him for not following through in lowering college costs for Maine students:
‘I’m not saying that the man has never done anything good in his life. But I would like to see any evidence at all that Paul LePage has decreased my student debt. He might have wanted to make that part of a campaign but I don’t think he’s made any real difference.’
‘He’s clearly got a lot of pent-up anger going on in there.’
Bray posted an image of his sign on his Facebook page.
LePage’s communication team has no response at this time.
H/T: Bangor Daily News.