As ThinkProgress reported yesterday, Maine Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage (R) ordered the removal of a labor-themed mural from the state’s Department of Labor offices. LePage’s administration said they had received complaints from business owners who objected to the mural’s allegedly pro-labor undertones. But LePage has so far produced just a single complaint — an anonymous fax, a copy of which was released today. But as Maine progressive blog Dirigo Blue points out, the fax is missing the date/time and phone number stamp that fax machines automatically place on faxes:
If the LePage administration wanted to redact the sender’s phone number to protect their identity, they could have simply removed the number, instead of the entire stamp. But more importantly, why is LePage making policy decisions based on a single fax from an anonymous “Secret Admirer”? Especially from a sender who saw the mural as reminiscent of “communist North Korea where they use these murals to brainwash the masses.” Even LePage’s spokesperson recognized the eccentricity of the sender, telling TPM that the administration was not trying to “give validity” to the specific sentiments in the fax. So far, LePage has failed to produce evidence showing any kind of major public opposition to the mural.
After dozens of news reports from local newspapers all the way to the New York Times reported the mural complaint was a fax, LePage is now claiming that it was in fact a letter, not a fax. Is unclear why LePage didn’t dispute these myriad reports until now.