When Mary Mayhew took the helm at the Department of Health and Human Services, I was surprised but pleased that a Democrat had been selected.

Mayhew is the daughter of a Democratic father who took her to hear a speech by Edmund Muskie when she was very young. While living in Arkansas, she volunteered for Bill Clinton’s gubernatorial campaign and helped on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign.

Today, however, she follows the tenets of Republican Gov. Paul LePage. Why isn’t she being called a DINO? Mayhew seems to be concerned only about her job and not the people of Maine.

In recent speeches, she’s made it clear she agrees with the governor’s decisions to oppose expanding the Medicaid program through the Affordable Care Act. Without the expansion, 25,000 Mainers will lose health care, including nearly 3,000 veterans.

The hiring of controversial Gary Alexander was welcomed by Mayhew, as she believes his firm’s expertise is much needed. even though in Pennsylvania his Medicaid cuts initiated a federal investigation because 130,000 people, including 89,000 children, lost health care.

Mayhew and Alexander both have connections to Tarren Bragdon, former chief executive officer of the Maine Heritage Policy Center. Alexander was acquainted with Bragdon through hosting a conference call sponsored by a conservative group based in Florida and founded by Bragdon.

Mayhew was approached by Bragdon for LePage’s transition team. The year before that she had given up her position as vice president of the Hospital Association.

One of Alexander’s pet peeves is fraud of public assistance programs. The LePage administration is spending $700,000 annually to investigate fraud. As reported by the newspaper, the anti-fraud initiative found $196,680 in 2010 and 2011 — $1.4 million to ferret out nearly $200,000 for a net loss of more than $1.2 million for just two years!

I think it’s time for Mayhew to show her true colors and join LePage’s party.

Jane MansonMonmouth

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