Lewiston Mayor: shame welfare recipients to keep out special needs kids

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Lewiston Mayor Bob Macdonald finally explained who exactly he was targeting with his plan to publish the names and addresses of Mainers who receive public assistance.

When Fox and Friends host Tucker Carlson mentioned Somali immigrants, Macdonald denied that they were his focus and instead claimed that the problem was children accessing special education in local schools.

“It’s not them, it’s the domestic people that are coming into our state. And what’s happened here is we have a school system – one of the things about our school system that’s second to none is a special ed education department, which attracts them all.”

“Right, well that makes total sense,” said Carlson.

While it may make sense to some Fox News anchors, Macdonald’s plan has met near-universal opposition in Maine. WMTW tried in vain to find a Lewiston resident who supports the plan, no lawmaker has agreed to submit the bill on Macdonald’s behalf, and even the Governor Paul LePage’s staff say they aren’t interested in the proposal.

Which makes sense, considering it would mean violating federal law.

In the Fox News interview, Macdonald lamented his lack of support:

“What really hurts is that the legislators from Lewiston are basically stabbing me in the back. Every time I put [bills] in, none of them support them and yet I’m overwhelmingly elected by the people up there and this is what they’ve elected me for. And this is what I’m going to do as long as I’m there.”

Macdonald has four challengers for re-election on November 3rd, including Ben Chin (my colleague at the Maine People’s Alliance), who looks to be running a very strong campaign.

You can watch the full segment here.

Mike Tipping

About Mike Tipping

Mike is Maine's longest-writing political blogger and explores state politics and policy with a focus on analysis and explanation. He works at the Maine People's Alliance and Maine People's Resource Center.