Gov. Paul LePage’s release of outrageous Maine EBT card abuses that occurred at bars, pubs or strip clubs, including $8,000 in transactions at a liquor store in New Hampshire, opened the door to “slip-of-the-lip-abuse” by supposed naysayers.

First obvious detractor is Rep. Richard Farnsworth, D-Portland, who claimed LePage should be blamed for not “enforcing the law he signed in 2012.” That law prohibited the use of EBT cards at gambling facilities, strip clubs and retail establishments where 50 percent or more is derived from liquor sales. Apparently, the good representative expected the governor to eradicate — overnight — the mess concerning misuse by some of the 224,000 Maine EBT cards.

Even more troubling is the remark by the owner of The Griffin Club, a bar in South Portland where 11 EBT transactions occurred. That business accepts cash only and has an ATM inside. The owner is quoted thusly: “Unless I was standing there and looking over their shoulder and watching them, I would have no idea whether someone is using an EBT card to get cash.” Pray tell, what does an ATM machine dispense other than cash?

During the Great Depression, I recall my brothers and sisters (eight of us) accompanying mom and dad to the welfare office to receive an 18-by-24-inch cardboard box containing raisins, corn meal, flour and a few canned goods. No cash.

During my 82 years, I’ve seen a few Maine governors come and go. And, while in the attorney general’s office for 15 years, I’ve even been privileged to give legal advice to several of them, be they Democrat or Republican. Paul LePage possesses something I long to find in folk: an inner means of support. The Good Lord willing, I hope to be around when the upcoming election arrives.

One thing is certain — I’ll not abuse my ballot!

John BenoitManchester

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