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For Immediate Release

Date: 01/11/11

Governor receives unexpected gift - more red tape

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage was given a gift Tuesday morning that he never thought he would receive - more red tape.

The youngest members of the Maine House and Maine Senate, Rep. Alex Willette and Sen. Garrett Mason, presented the governor with a framed strip of red tape obtained from the Maine State Archives. The governor quickly understood the humor and pointed to a place on his office wall where it could be displayed.

The gift was meant to symbolize the governor's effort to root out counterproductive regulations and other "red tape" that is impeding job creation and business expansion. The Legislature is running a parallel operation through its Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform.

Rep. Willette (R-Mapleton) explained to the governor that the framed piece of red tape is between 130 and 360 years old. As far back as the 1650s, when Maine was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, courts in New England started binding their documents in red tape. Over the years, the government started using red tape to file new laws passed by the Legislature. Even Civil War enlistment records were bound in red tape.

According to Archives officials, the government and the courts stopped using red tape in the 1880s.

Sen. Mason (R-Androscoggin) said the gift had another purpose. "We give you this small piece of history to draw to your attention that the Archives is running out of room to store our history," he said. "The Archives is currently running a 10,000-box deficit. We must preserve our proud Maine history for future generations." ###

Contact:
Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445