KNIGHT: As Maine goes, so goes the nation

When Obama won’t enforce the law, a governor says he will

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

LEWISTON, MAINE - Like a bottle tossed in a faraway sea, Washington’s recklessness keeps washing up elsewhere, such as the great state of Maine.

The federal government’s refusal to enforce immigration laws has prompted Republican Gov. Paul LePage to take his own steps in this semirural New England state of about 1.3 million people.

Mr. LePage, whose colorful rhetoric often gets him into hot water, decreed that any Maine municipality that gives general-assistance money to illegal aliens will lose money for all general-assistance-aided programs.

With Maine’s economy at least as depressed as that of the rest of the country outside the Washington Beltway, this is no small threat. The media-touted economic “recovery” has yet to visit many towns here that have boarded-up factories and storefronts.

The announcement had immediate impact. Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills, a Democrat, charged that Mr. LePage was ruling by executive fiat and hinted at legal action.

When the White House issues unconstitutional edicts, you don’t hear Democrats fret about separation of powers. They’re too busy kvetching that the Koch brothers are still at large, and urging President Obama, at long last, to turn the Internal Revenue Service loose on his opponents. Wait. That’s already been done. Never mind.

Mr. LePage noted in a letter to municipal officials, “The Maine Legislature has had every opportunity in the past 18 years to pass a law mandating that municipalities provide General Assistance to illegal aliens. They have chosen not to.”

He punctuated it: “I fail to understand how [our] enforcement of an existing federal law somehow reflects a desire to ignore the will of the people.”

This is reminiscent of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s attempt to restore order on her lawless border with Mexico by signing a state-enforced immigration bill in 2010. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. sued, and the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona v. U.S. (2012) gave a mixed ruling, but did uphold a provision requiring police to arrest and hold criminal suspects they think are in the country illegally.

Mr. LePage’s comments on grants to illegals were strong stuff, but mild for him. The Bangor Daily News has kept a running tally of his outbursts since he attained the governorship four years ago.

When reporters in 2011 asked him to respond to complaints by the NAACP that he had declined to attend their ceremonies honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. LePage responded inelegantly, “Tell them to kiss my butt. If they want to play the race card, come to dinner, and my son will talk to them.” Mr. LePage’s adopted son, Devon Raymond, is black.

NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous erupted: “Gov. LePage’s decision to inflame racial tension on the eve of the King holiday denigrates his office.”

I know how Mr. Jealous feels, since I don’t take disappointment well, either. Whenever someone turns down my dinner invitation, I call a press conference to denounce the ingrate as an “evil-monger”

Mr. Jealous knows something about inflaming racial tensions. He went to Geneva in 2012 to accuse the United States of racism over state-enacted photo-ID laws that help prevent vote fraud. He made his case to the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose members include freedom-loving China, Cuba and Russia. No word on whether Mr. Jealous managed a dig at Mr. LePage while he was at it.

Maine, which has an estimated 1,000 illegals, is not exactly ground zero when it comes to immigration. The state is 96 percent white. But it does have some interesting immigrants. A Muslim subculture of 6,000 resettled refugees from war-torn Somalia is rising in Lewiston, the state’s second-largest city at 36,000.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story
Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts