Fed up with what he believes are unfair portrayals of Gov. Paul LePage by progressive media organizations bent on destroying him, conservative talk radio host Ray Richardson next month will release a book of personal reflections and observations about the achievements during LePage’s first term.
“Rebuilding Maine’s Future: The Untold Story of Gov. Paul LePage,” will be released Sept. 4 by Walch Printing of Portland, and was self-published by Richardson. He is charging $10 for the 121-page tome.
The release was trumpeted in an email blast by Maine Republican Party chairman Rick Bennett, who urged the party faithful to pick up a copy. A portion of the $10 purchase price will be donated to Wreaths Across America in the name of First Lady Ann LePage.
In a brief interview Wednesday, Richardson, an unabashed LePage supporter and friend of the governor, said he set out to write the book a month ago after reading a public letter critical of the governor in a column by Portland Press Herald writer Bill Nemitz.
“I feel like the media in general, and progressive activists in the state have been very unfair to the governor,” Richardson said. “Bill Nemitz is a long-time-friend, but after reading his last love letter (to the govenror) about a month ago, I said I’m tired of this, there’s a side to this governor that people don’t know.”
Although Richardson said he did not collaborate with the governor on the book, the table of contents closely reflects LePage’s political agenda: Richardson touches on the repayment of MaineCare hospital debt; the oft-cited figure of 20,000 new jobs created on LePage’s watch; a massive tax cut; the defeat of MaineCare expansion and a chapter titled “Waste, fraud and abuse,” a look at LePage’s efforts to reform welfare.
“Paul LePage’s administration has accomplished so many things this book would be closer to Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ if I covered them all,” Richardson writes in his conclusion.
“He is not a perfect man. None of us are. He is, however, a very good man, and that is one thing you should get from this book.”
Here are a few paragraphs from the opening chapter, in which Richardson explains his motivation for putting pen to paper:
Between my daily talk show and writing a newspaper column, I have been in the media for almost a decade and a half. Although I am not perfect, I have worked hard at staying focused on the issues and leaving the personal attacks to people who were less informed and out of intellectual ammunition.
The issues are what matter. Everything else is merely personal ambitions run amok as people and organizations seek to advance their political agendas through the demonization of their opponents. Although Maine has historically avoided so much of the nasty political rhetoric that is rampant in more populous areas, I have personally witnessed an obsession by Governor Paul LePage’s opponents that is designed not only to defeat his ideas but to destroy him personally.
They attack everything. They attack his family. They attack his upbringing. They attack his lack of eloquence and his Franco-American heritage. If his name were Barack Obama, this would be attributed to racism and hatred based on skin color. Because this man believes in self-reliance and the power of the individual to emancipate himself from his circumstances, hatred thrown his way daily is dismissed as justifiable to accomplish his destruction.
I have written this book to give people of good will a brief, but necessary, look at an alternative view of Governor LePage and the impact of his policies on Maine’s future. People who are truly interested in being informed about the issues, not based on sound bites but based on the facts in proper context, will find this book eye-opening.
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