3.21.2012

Mayor Labonte [Auburn] calls out Republican shenanigans

Less than an hour ago, Jonathan Labonte, mayor of Auburn noticed a particularly rude post by the Maine Republican Party on Facebook refering to the departure of Maine Housing Authority's Dale McCormick. Despite being a Republican himself, Jonathan honorably called it out for what it was - petty.


Maine Republican Party:
Nah nah nah nah
Nah nah nah nah
Hey Hey Hey
Goodbye
Jonathan Labonte:
Classy. Real classy. Why not post of the new policy direction republicans can now take this agency in rather than a childish, petty post like this?
Maine Republican Party:
You're absolutely right and we should be ashamed of ourselves for being excited that Dale McCormick is leaving in disgrace. We should be celebrating her bloated overspending. We should be thanking her for wasting the public's money on promotional campaigns while people waited for affordable housing. We should be cheering her for giving raises to employees, some of whom had been on the job for only a month or two, while we were in a deep recession. The Maine Republican Party should absolutely be more serious because this is a serious woman who couldn't answer questions about how Avesta was allowed to let Mainers live in substandard conditions - Mainers who rely on Maine Housing support while Avesta - Maine Housing Authority's agent - pocketed from the deals. Maine taxpayers can begin to see government downsizing and their burden being eased. If that isn't something to cheer about, I don't know what is.
Jonathan Labonte:
I'd be curious who the puppet is behind this page. Rather than mouth off to a Republican Mayor of one of Maine's largest cities, who is trying to break the cycle of constant low income housing projects into something more sustainable, maybe you should be offering ideas. Would you like me to point to wasteful housing spending authorized by republicans?
The Maine Republican Party swiftly deleted the thread from their Facebook wall. It's kind of fuzzy, but here's the original screen capture.


Update: I've gotten subtle hints from citizens who think Labonte oversteps his bounds as mayor. In Auburn, there isn't actually a lot of vested authority in the mayorship. The position is first among equals on the City Council. Our 30-something mayor has been incredibly active and I fear people may be confusing prior lethargy for tradition. I don't know yet if Labonte and I agree on policy everywhere, but he is a leader in our community and I commend him for wielding the one tool he has: his voice. I don't expect a Mayor to just cut ribbons and settle voting ties at City Council meetings. He should leverage his position within the city and beyond to advance our goals. In this case he's done a great job setting the standard for political discourse.

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