LePage's Words Went Down the Memory Hole
Today in The Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal, I gave over most of my column to the words of Paul LePage as he dug himself in deep on the issues of who knew what and when at DHHS. The conspiracy theory LePage spins is interesting, to say the least.
The quotes come from an interview with Republican host Phil Harriman on his weekend radio show on WGAN, the audio of which was briefly available online but has since been taken down.
I was directed to the show from this AsMaineGoes thread, and was able to find the audio file (which I've reuploaded here) in the station’s RSS feed even though it was no longer available on the website.
I didn’t get around to actually listening to the show in full until yesterday morning and was stunned by what I heard. Not only does LePage make some strange statements about DHHS on the tape, he also calls Senator Justin Alfond a "little spoiled brat," attacks his fellow Republicans for not backing his energy policies, and declares that the reason he supports public funding for religious schools is because of the way they discipline students, including corporal punishment.
"It wasn't the religious part of it that was good, it was the brothers being stern and - look at my knuckles, they still show they were hit a few times," said LePage in the interview.
"Oh boy, that's going to get a few responses," said Harriman in reply.
These are the kind of comments that would normally get a great deal of attention, but no one in the media seems to have noticed the interview when it aired and it appears it was removed from the station website before it was widely accessed.
This leads to the obvious question of why it was pulled from the site and if LePage or his staff requested its removal.
The questions don’t stop there. At least one more interview with the Governor on right-leaning radio (the only venue in which the LePage now seems to grant interviews) was also removed from the web over the weekend. As this screenshot shows, station WLOB previously listed a clip titled “Ray Richardson’s conversation with Governor LePage 3-30-12 Part One” in the audio section of its website. That listing, along with the audio file itself, has since been removed.
It would be an incredibly unfortunate situation if LePage were able to continue to go on friendly radio shows, fire up his base with incorrect or inflammatory statements, and then be able to avoid having his words be publicly accessible on the internet and his comments reviewed by the wider media.