Augusta, MAINE – Under the cover of darkness last Friday night, Governor Paul LePage unilaterally moved to close Downeast Correctional Facility without warning, garnering criticism from Republican gubernatorial candidates Mike Thibodeau and Garrett Mason who said, “the people of Washington County deserve better than this.” Republican lawmakers Joyce Maker and Amy Volk, as well as Republican former Senate President Kevin Raye, also joined the chorus of criticism.
Despite the widespread condemnation, Republican gubernatorial candidates Ken Fredette, Mary Mayhew, and Shawn Moody remained notably silent. Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett issued the following statement, calling on the three candidates to end their silence:
"Are Ken Fredette, Mary Mayhew, and Shawn Moody more concerned with not upsetting the governor than they are with standing up for the people of Washington County? By refusing to speak out against the governor’s brash actions, Fredette, Mayhew, and Moody are putting their own electoral interests ahead of the needs of people of Downeast, Maine – a move that speaks volumes about their character and how they would govern if elected.
"The people of Maine deserve leaders who will tell us what they think, regardless of politics. Moody, Mayhew, and Fredette have once again failed us on that front.”
Senators Mike Thibodeau, Garrett Mason, and Amy Volk: “The people of Washington County deserve better than this. Maine Senate Republicans are currently looking at all available options.”
Former Senate President Kevin Raye: “Ashamed of the Governor's vindictive, short-sighted & despicable action unilaterally closing the Down East Correctional Facility under cover of darkness. His action shows utter disrespect for the process & for the people of Washington County.”
Senator Joyce Maker: “It’s a sad day in Washington County and a sad day for the state of Maine that a governor would take this action without even having a conversation. Usually you do these things because you don’t have the money. He doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, and he doesn’t care whether things are approved by the Legislature or not.”