Statement of Governor LePage on Susan Dench Nomination

September 30, 2014

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage issued a statement expressing his disappointment that Democrats in the Senate could not rise above vitriolic partisanship to confirm the appointment of Susan Dench to the University of Maine System’s Board of Trustees. The confirmation failed on a party-line vote of 15-17 with the one independent voting to confirm.

“This decision was not made on Susan’s qualifications, but solely upon vitriolic partisan politics,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This appalling treatment of a Maine woman not only shows the closed-mindedness and viciousness of liberals in Augusta, but will also have a chilling effect on our ability to attract quality people for public service.

“Susan Dench is a woman of integrity, and her 34 years of marketing expertise with large international corporations would complement the Board by adding diversity of gender and opinion while bringing much-needed marketing skills to our university system,” said Governor LePage. “It is a sad day when alternative views are stifled in a university environment. We need diverse perspectives, whether someone is conservative, liberal or moderate. After all, isn’t this the premise of a liberal arts education?”

For the first time in Maine history last Friday, the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee rejected a University of Maine System Trustee nominated by a Governor. They had received 21 letters in support of Dench including Cynthia Dill, a former Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate.

“This decision should have been based on what is best for our state,” said the Governor. “It is clear that liberals have no tolerance for any woman who thinks differently than they do. These are the same liberals who accuse me of not working with them. Now they have rejected a perfectly qualified woman because of politics. Shame on the liberal Democratic legislators who refused to endorse diversity in their politically motivated decision to vote against Susan Dench: Sen. Rebecca J. Millett (D-Cumberland), Rep. Brian Hubbell (D-Bar Harbor), Rep. Bruce MacDonald (D-Boothbay), Rep. Mary Nelson (D-Falmouth), Sen. Christopher Johnson (D-Lincoln), Rep. Helen Rankin (D-Hiram), Rep. Matthea Daughtry (D-Brunswick), Rep. Victoria P. Kornfield (D-Bangor) and Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Anne M. Haskell (District 9), Sen. John Cleveland (District 15), Sen. Emily Cain (District 30), Sen. James Boyle (District 6), Sen. David Dutremble (District 4), Sen. Stan Gerzofsky (District 10), Sen. Margaret Craven (District 16), Sen. Geoffrey Gratwick (District 32), Sen. Dawn Hill (District 1), Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (District 25), Sen. Troy Jackson (District 35), Sen. Linda Valentino (District 5), Sen. Eloise Vitelli (District 19), Sen. John Patrick (District 14), Sen. John Tuttle (District 3) and Sen. Justin Alfond (District 8).”