Statement of Governor on Theodora J. Kalikow Education Center Dedication Ceremony

April 27, 2016

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today issued a statement regarding the Theodora J. Kalikow Education Center Dedication Ceremony, in which the Governor was heckled by two students:

“First and foremost, I apologize to President Foster and especially to Theodora Kalikow for the sequence of events on Tuesday. I was humbled to be invited to speak at a ceremony to honor Theodora Kalikow and recognize the great legacy she has left the University of Maine at Farmington, as well as its faculty, staff and students.”

“I am accustomed to daily attacks and ridicule from protestors, but most people are not. Neither Theo, nor the people who were gathered to honor her, deserved for this heartfelt occasion to be disrespected by smug and self-serving protestors. If they wish to protest me, that’s fine: we all have the right to express our freedom of speech. But this event was not about me. I was sickened by the lack of respect displayed by two protestors holding up demeaning signs—including one with Theo’s name on it—during an event that was supposed to celebrate and honor a remarkable woman who has contributed so many years to improving education in Maine.”

“For more than five years, the media has flocked to events where I have been asked to speak, not to cover any good news about the events, but to disparage me over issues totally unrelated to the events. Since I am such a distraction to the media, I will no longer attend some of these public events. I sincerely hope the media will continue to attend these events and report on the good people of Maine and the many positive things they are doing for our state.”