Once again, Gov. Paul LePage has shown that he hasn’t learned the art of negotiation or playing well with others. In the Aug. 12 article, “LePage: ‘I will use the National Guard,'” the governor criticized Democrats for pushing for more treatment funding while not completely fulfilling his request for enforcement funding. “If I didn’t know better, … I’d think that the Democrats like drug dealers.”

LePage obfuscates the real issues to focus attention to his not getting his way, while resorting to an abusive and divisive retort. I have little hope that the summit he will convene will make progress given his hostile position.

Placing all energies in combating drug abuse with law enforcement (his “threat” to call out the National Guard) is missing the bigger picture.

There is no one solution or one answer to the surge in heroin use and overdoses. LePage clearly does not see the devastating effects of one serious issue — the addition of other drugs, such as in fentanyl with heroin — as his efforts to veto that legislation proved.

We are all fortunate that his misinterpretation of the constitution allowed that bill and others to pass.

LePage was not given a decree in his second term to act unilaterally, yet his hostile behavior seems to suggest he thinks he was. Will he ever learn to negotiate? No. He does not represent me nor does he have my best interests at heart in his form of governance.

We must remain vigilant in our efforts to return Maine to sanity.

My son, Harlan Atherton Swegart, was one of the 28 who died from heroin overdoses in Portland in 2012. He was 23 years old.

Olivia Atherton


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