Members of the press,
The Democrats are at it again with an unbelievably misleading TV ad.
In its new ad, "Good," the DGA- and union-funded Maine Forward PAC takes a statement from LePage wildly out of context.
TRANSCRIPT: "LePage even said, 'if kids want a good education, they should go to private school, and if you can't afford it, tough luck.'"
Maine Forward's statement is so far out of context, even the liberal Bangor Daily News editorial board called out Democrats for the same attack back in 2012.
From the BDN editorial (emphasis added):We’re not criticizing the job of the MEA — to protect the interests of teachers — but it is important for Maine residents to have all the information. That also includes putting LePage’s comments in context. The quote that got the most attention from the Wells event — and that spurred the MEA to say LePage was “caught in a bald-faced lie discrediting public schools” — involved the governor saying “tough luck” to Maine students. That sounds bad on the surface, but what was he really referring to?
He said charter school legislation has been a good step so far, but overall, “If you want a good education, go to an academy. If you want a good education, go to a private school. If you can’t afford it, tough luck. You can go to the public school. Until the state of Maine decides, and the governor’s staff and the Legislature sit around the table and say, ‘What’s best for our students,’ we are not going to fix our schools.”
LePage spoke harshly. Clearly, using a rough tone and comparing public and private schools isn’t an effective strategy to motivate teachers, administrators and school board members to improve academic achievement (and it stirs up the opposition). But the governor’s comments were tied to a larger message about the need for reform and for different parties to work together on changes. Part of reform for LePage involves online and distance learning. It also involves school choice — making it easier for students to choose what school they attend — an idea strongly opposed by the MEA.
LePage’s uncut comments are an easy target for those who oppose his proposals. We just encourage you to get the whole story. Understanding the full picture includes putting his quotes in context, recognizing the agenda behind the accusations and knowing that both LePage and the MEA take part in their share of political games.
By keeping the statement out of context, the Democratic PAC is trying to make it sound like Gov. LePage doesn't care about public schools or students. When put in context, it becomes obvious that the governor was decrying the status quo and holding it up as an example of why we need to work together to reform Maine's schools.
The Facts on Gov. LePage's Education Record
QUOTE from Rick Bennett, Maine Republican Party Chairman:
"Congressman Michaud should immediately denounce this deceptive ad that takes the Governor's comments so wildly out of context. There will be lots of criticisms about each candidate's record coming from each side, but to recycle a line of attack that even a left-leaning newspaper said was out of context smacks of desperation. Gov. LePage is where he is today because of his education, and that's why he is so passionate about reforming our schools and making sure every Maine child has the opportunities he had."