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When Roger West first launched the progressive political blog "News From The Other Side" in May 2010, he could hardly have predicted the impact that his venture would have on the media and political debate. As the New Media emerged as a counterbalance to established media sources, Roger wrote his copious blogs about national politics, the tea party movement, mid-term elections, and the failings of the radical right to the vanguard of the New Media movement. Roger West's efforts as a leading blogger have tremendous reach. NFTOS has led the effort to bring accountability to mainstream media sources such as FOX NEWS,CNN and Andy Breitbart's "Big Journalism. Roger's breadth of experience, engaging style, and cultivation of loyal readership - over 92 million visitors - give him unique insight into the past, present, and future of the New Media and political rhetoric that exists in our society today. What we are against: Radical Right Wing Agendas Incompetent Establishment Public Coruption Corporate Malfeasence We are for: Global and Econmoic Security Social and Economic Justice Media Accountability Healthy Communities

Monday, December 27, 2010

Maine Tea Party Gov.

Blog brought to you by thinkprogress

Elect Hires His Own Daughter For $41,000 A Year Job


With the strong backing of the tea party movement, Maine Gov.-elect Paul LePage (R) rode a wave of discontent over bull semen taxes to a surprising victory last month, telling President Obama to “go to to hell” and warning a reporter that he would punch him in the face. On the campaign trail, LePage raged against a what he considered a corrupt state government and “pledged to surround himself with ‘the best and the brightest’ and to avoid political cronyism.” But on Thursday, LePage announced that he had hired his own 22-year-old daughter for a position in the “upper echelon of his administration,” with a salary of $41,000, the Bangor Daily News reports:

Lauren LePage, 22, will serve as assistant to the governor’s chief of staff, John McGough — a position that administration officials describe as entry-level and is commensurate with her experience, work history and education.

LePage, a recent college graduate, will be a salaried political appointee earning approximately $41,000 a year, according to Dan Demeritt, incoming director of communications in the LePage administration. [...]

Maine governors have wide discretion in creating staff positions within their offices, filling those positions and setting salaries. Because such appointments are political positions — known as “special assistants to the governor” — there are no rules barring Maine’s chief executive from hiring family members.

“According to the current administration, the average entry level salary is $30,000.” Indeed, the minimum starting salary for a certified teachers in Maine is only $30,000, and that requires extra study. Meanwhile, the entry-level salary for a Maine State Police officer is just $36,000 after graduation from the police academy.

And as Maine progressive blog Dirigo Blue points out, LePage’s daughter will also be moving into the governor’s mansion with her father. With taxpayers footing the bill for her rent, utilities, food, and other expenses, “Not only will Lauren be earning $41,000 in direct income, but she’ll be making another $12,000 or more indirectly.”

Maine Democrats Executive Director Mary Erin Casale called the hiring a “brazen display of political nepotism,” but LePage aides said the position is “entry-level and is commensurate with her experience, work history and education.” It’s worth noting that Lauren LePage received her education in Florida, where she paid in-state tuition — not studying politics — because LePage’s wife violated tax laws by claiming residency in both Maine and Florida. (She was eventually ordered to pay back taxes).

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