Why would a newspaper using written words complain about Gov. Paul LePage’s request that his department heads put things in writing instead of having verbal exchanges with politicians? Isn’t what’s sauce for the goose also sauce for the gander?

In significant negotiations, it-goes-without-saying writings trump unwritten expressions. And try producing an oral real estate deed. Words are easily twisted. Often, talk is cheap. Conversely, written words don’t come cheap — ask a lawyer.

Years ago, when I was an assistant in the Attorney General’s Office, and front office staff drafted Maine lawmakers’ requests for legislation, a prominent Androscoggin County politician told me he was going to explain something, but if I should ever repeat it, he’d have to deny it. Got a better example of verbal self-serving than that?

And while I’m on the subject of yearning my newspaper ratchet up fairness, why criticize the governor on op-ed page 7, while simultaneously delaying mention of his “deep concern” for the alarming increase of babies born in Maine dependent on drugs, on page 10 (sequentially numbered)? More than 160 in 2005 and about 770 have been born in Maine this year so far. Why not report his action to address this epidemic? Aren’t drugged babies equally as worthy of front-page coverage as headlines about electronic cigarettes?

If one needs a relevant example of why oral assertions often aren’t worth a grain of truth, look no further than President Barack Obama’s often repeated public comment concerning the Affordable Care Act that, “If you like your insurance, you can keep it.” Had it been written, the president would have thought twice before trying to amend it with another “if.”

Give LePage his due. He’s simply trying to reduce “political showboating” — a euphemism for legislative “hot air.”

John BenoitManchester

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