Michaud Best Hope to Replace LePage

Congressman Mike Michaud meeting with MPA board members this summerAs the 2014 campaign for Maine governor approaches, one question looms large in the minds of many members of the Maine People’s Alliance: How can we stop Governor Paul LePage?

The LePage administration has been marked by cronyism and corruption, by handouts to the wealthy and large corporations and favors for political donors. LePage has one of the worst job creation records in the country, has stubbornly denied health care to tens of thousands of working Mainers and has rolled back regulations that protect Maine’s health and environment.

LePage has refused to work constructively with anyone, has governed through insults and threats, and has made Maine a subject of ridicule across the country.

The answer to stopping LePage and starting a new chapter in Augusta is electing Congressman Mike Michaud as our next governor.

It was pollution in the Penobscot River that first prompted a millworker at Great Northern Paper Company in East Millinocket to run for State Representative in 1980. Since then, Michaud has advanced the cause of regular Mainers in government, first in the Maine Legislature and then, for the past ten years, as a member of the United States Congress. He hasn’t forgotten where he came from or the commitment he made to safeguard the future of the state of Maine.

The Maine People’s Alliance is dedicated to a fair economy, where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone pays their fair share. Michaud understands this priority. As he launched his campaign he declared: “We need a governor who is committed to creating an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy, and to expanding access to affordable health care and quality public education.”

Mike Michaud has also proven that he can win elections and win legislative victories for the causes he cares about, whether it’s the rights of veterans, the rights of women, or the rights of Maine workers.

It is because of his history as a champion for those who most need a voice in government that the MPA Campaign Vote PAC has endorsed Mike Michaud for governor.

This won’t be an easy election. Paul LePage has lost the respect of many Mainers, but there’s still a core group of voters that supports him and his Tea Party message. There will also be a third candidate, wealthy lawyer and businessman Eliot Cutler.

Cutler came close to Governor LePage’s vote total in 2010, and on some issues he would have been a much better governor than LePage, but on others his record and his views would put Maine on the wrong path.

Cutler supports taking public money from local schools and giving it to private charter schools. He has said he would even have hired the same Education Commissioner as Paul LePage. On the environment, Cutler’s record is spotty at best and he has said he would abolish the Board of Environmental Protection, eliminating an important way that Maine people can stand up against big polluters.

Cutler opposes increasing Maine’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour, despite the fact that it hasn’t kept pace with inflation and that the gap between corporate profits and wages is the largest it’s been in almost a century and getting bigger.

Some have said that those who oppose LePage should support Cutler anyway, despite these problems, because as a millionaire he can finance his own campaign and has a better chance of winning.

This ignores the grassroots support Mike Michaud has already shown, the fact that he is better positioned on the issues to appeal to Maine people and his history of winning difficult elections.

MPA members don’t believe wealth or corporate backing should be the determining factor in electing a governor. The importance of everyday people participating in the political process is a core part of MPA’s mission. Mike Michaud demonstrates this principle to a greater degree than Eliot Cutler, and certainly much more than our current governor, Paul LePage.

Thanks to Michaud, Maine people can look forward to voting for someone they respect and support in November, rather than the lesser of two bad choices.

But Mainers don’t have to wait until next November to show their support. If you want to declare early for Michaud and let your friends and neighbors know they have a real choice to move Maine forward, click here to get a free bumper sticker.

By working together, Maine people can take back our state.