Aroostook Republicans Want to Buy Mural
Republicans in northern Maine are raising money so the state can buy a disputed labor mural from the federal government.
On the Website www.buythemural.com, the Aroostook County Republican Committee says it wants to raise $60,000 so the state can reimburse the federal government for the mural, which Governor Paul LePage ordered removed from the lobby of the state Labor Department building on the weekend of March 28. The U.S. Labor Department, which helped fund creation of the $60,000 mural, says LePage has violated the terms of the grant. It is seeking return of that federal money if the mural is not displayed as intended.
In a letter to the governor on the Website, the committee says, "We would like to help you avoid further distractions and stay focused on the job of controlling spending and taxation in Maine." By repaying the federal goverment, the letter says, the state can take "full and clear title" of the mural, which "may then be placed in State of Maine facilities at the full discretion of the Governor of Maine -- no strings attached!"
The letter continues, "We believe there are far more than 60,000 Maine Citizens who will contribute at least $1.00 to put this mural distraction behind us. Contributions over $60,000 will be donated to the Maine State Museum."
The mural depicts milestones in state labor history. LePage contends it has a pro-union message that is not in line with his administration's economic goals.