THE BLOG

Maine Speaks Up: iResponsibility

11/23/2010 09:40 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Who are you to throw stones at the incoming speaker of the House of Representatives for overcharging the State of Maine $1.6 million for rubber gloves, incontinence pads and liners? In this complex world, we all reside in glass houses. You're happy to let the newspapers point out the obvious irony: The GOP took over both houses of the Maine legislature and the governor's office for the first time since 1966 on a platform of welfare reform, and now have chosen a leader who profited quite nicely from the benefit program.

No, its not the "honest mistake" the incoming speaker from Oakland made by marking up these personal hygiene products using the wrong calculation, or failing to retain the appropriate documentation that is bugging you. You'll take the bait. It was the state's fault! Those regulations were so confusing!

It's not even the fact that after spending "over six figures" on lawyers to defend himself, sue the state, and later file for bankruptcy leaving Maine taxpayers holding the bag for $1.2 million that gets under your craw so much. After a while, this formula feels natural. Middle-aged white guy makes "mistake," shells out lots of cash to lawyers to throw the blame around and get off, and then keeps right on climbing the American ladder of success.

What really has you in a tizzy is the millions of dollars worth of rubber gloves and plastic adult diapers sitting in some landfill in sleepy rural Maine. The real elephant in the room has her legs crossed every time she sneezes, coughs or laughs.

Every woman over the age of 23 cringed when Apple introduced the iPad. You couldn't help but wonder if even a single female employee sat Steve Jobs down and had a frank discussion about the name of his new toy.

In this case you are willing to let the GOP hand the speaker's gavel over to their guy and wish him luck. But c'mon, folks. If there is an epidemic of incontinence plaguing our state or a rubber glove fetish, we need to speak up.