Bromancing Trump on LePage’s behalf

Dear Mr. Trump:

I was so happy to hear that you’re coming to Maine! As you may know, our governor is one of your top bromancers, and he must be beside himself with excitement. I was wondering if you have any extra seats on whatever transport you are using when you leave.

If you do, would you mind taking Governor LePage with you when you go? It’s no secret that he wants to be a part of your cabinet, should you be elected, but why wait? I’ve heard that your campaign staff could use some bolstering, and if you hire LePage and keep him busy enough, he might just have to resign as governor.

Think about how effective it would be to tour as a duet — two bombastic businessmen with matching styles and platforms. Maybe you could use Sinatra’s “My Way” as a theme song or something, with a couple choreographed dance moves. Then, LePage could revel supporters with tales of all that he has done to uplift people out of poverty and to end hunger here in Maine over the last six years.

Okay, okay — so I’m not being entirely honest. LePage actually hasn’t done anything to uplift people out of poverty or to end hunger. Truth be told, one could probably argue that his administration has contributed to these issues getting worse here in Maine, which is why I was hoping you can take him off our hands. As it is, Maine is 12th in the nation and 1st in New England for food insecurity, and Maine dropped 5 slots in one year on the annual Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count study. 

Among their concerns was our increasing child poverty rate.  There were 6,000 more children living in poverty in 2014 than there were in 2008. There was a nearly 50 percent increase in children living in extreme poverty in Maine between 2010 and 2014. 

It’s probably not a coincidence that those increases happen to coincide with with the same time period that the LePage administration has done it’s best to dismantle the TANF program. Among other things, his administration has apparently been making up its own rules about what to do with TANF funds intended for children and families. How else was he supposed to pay for that expensive, useless, and plagiarized Alexander report?

Alright — so I’m being completely underhanded with my request. 100 percent? The poor in our state really need him gone before he does any more damage to our social services safety net, and American voters really need to hear how your kind of leadership has played out on the state level here in Maine.

Did you hear he’s playing chicken with the feds over the administration of our SNAP program? 

In true-blue bombastic businessman style, he’s threatening to mandate restrictions on purchases that would potentially jeopardize hundreds of millions of SNAP related dollars to say nothing to what it would do to the almost 200,000 Mainers who rely on the program. Or what it would do to the grocery-oriented businesses that would have to choose between following federal law or following LePage law?

It’s the last thing I’d expect from a governor of a state where almost 1 in 4 seniors and children experience food insecurity, granted. Given how little you seem to understand welfare and poverty, though, you probably like his approach. That bit you wrote about “foodstamps should be temporary, not a decade on the dole” shows just how little you understand about disabled and senior recipients.

You and LePage are like two peas in a clueless-when-it-comes-to-welfare-reform pod — two peas in a clueless-when-it-comes-to-ending-poverty pod.

Please tell me there’s an extra seat on your plane. Bringing LePage with you when you go will be like a public service double header. First, you’d be doing the poor in Maine a HUGE favor; and second, you’d be enlightening voters around the country to exactly how useless views like yours are when it comes to ending poverty and hunger.



Patricia Callahan

About Patricia Callahan

Trish is a writer who lives in Augusta. She has worked professionally in education and social services.