Gov. LePage loses the support of his own balladeer

First of all, let me just say how incredible you all are. I never imagined when I was planning for the announcement of As Maine Went: Governor Paul LePage and the Tea Party Takeover of Maine that after one day of a 23-day Kickstarter campaign that we’d already be at 85% of our base goal. It’s nuts and I’m deeply appreciative.

This is also just the beginning. The first stretch goal will go up today and I promise there are some surprises in store as this campaign continues.

Part of the success of the project so far is due to the contributions of the musicians who helped me to set up a digital album of songs (mostly) about Governor LePage. Today I want to talk about one of them: Pard The Countryman.

As soon as I decided to put together an album for As Maine Went, I knew I needed to get in touch with the country musician. His “Ode to Paul LePage,” which I was familiar with from a live rally performance posted on YouTube, captured the zeitgeist of LePage’s Tea Party campaign in 2010 and is a unique piece of Maine political history.

When I called Pard (he doesn’t use email or Facebook) to ask if I could include his song, I was ready for some tough questions about my intentions and the tone of the book. Instead the reply I got was: “Sure you can, but LePage will probably veto it. He vetoes everything.”

That’s right, Pard no longer supports the man he wrote an ode to, having found his conduct in office too negative and adversarial.

“He only vetoes things now, that’s all he’s good for. I don’t appreciate people like him,” said Pard.

I guess this should be a lesson to political campaigners everywhere. Never write anyone off and never take anyone’s vote for granted, even if there’s a video of them standing behind a candidate’s campaign sign and singing about how great they are.

Thanks also to The Colwell Brothers, Strong Like Bull and Chamberlain for their contributions to the album. If you have any other suggestions for artists or songs to include, let me know using the contact form below. Everyone pledging $15 or more to the As Maine Went Kickstarter gets a copy.

Mike Tipping

About Mike Tipping

Mike writes about Maine politics and policy with a focus on analysis and explanation. He works at the Maine People's Alliance and Maine People's Resource Center, writes a political column for the Portland Press Herald