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Local Politics Discuss Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’ at the Political Forums; Republican Gov. Paul LePage's was exercising his right to "government speech" when he ordered a mural removed from the Maine ...

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Old 04-14-2011, 10:30 PM
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Default Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’

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Republican Gov. Paul LePage's was exercising his right to "government speech" when he ordered a mural removed from the Maine Labor Department headquarters, state Attorney General William Schneider said Monday.

LePage ordered a 36-foot mural depicting the history of labor movements in Maine to be removed from the state's Department of Labor building in late March to send a "message" to business that Maine is not a labor-run state.

He's also ordered a number of the Department of Labor's conference room names changed, apparently because they are named after heroes to the labor movement, like Caesar Chavez and Frances Perkins, America's first female labor secretary.

"I’m trying to send a message to everyone in the state that the state of Maine looks at employees and employers equally, neutrally and on balance," he reportedly said.

LePage added that the move comes after "several" complaints, including an anonymous fax that compared a depiction of U.S. history to North Korean propaganda.
Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’ | The Raw Story
The governor's decision to have the mural removed came amid a pitched political fight in states across the nation, where Republican governors launched an assault on organized labor, most notably in Wisconsin.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’

This is from Raw Story, so the chances of this happening is nil, and most likely has to do with something exactly the opposite of reality...

GOD I hate Raw Story...
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’

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Their lawsuit claims that the governor violated the first and 14th amendment protections on free speech by removing the mural because he disagreed with its message. Maine Attorney General William Schneider, however, argues that the government has free speech rights akin to those of individuals, a doctrine in constitutional law known as "government speech." Mr. Schneider contends that just as former Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, demonstrated his labor sympathies by installing the mural, Mr. LePage is expressing himself by removing it.

The courts have clarified the government speech doctrine several times in the past 40 years. In 1972 the Supreme Court declared that the first amendment provides an exception to the government speech doctrine and that the government cannot censor speech because of its message or subject matter. Plaintiffs attorney Jeff Young cites this exception. "If the governor had said, 'I don't like this mural because it's all black and gray and I'd like to see pretty reds and greens in it,' he could probably do it," says Mr. Young. "But that's not what he said. The governor's decision to remove the mural was based on his disagreement with its content."
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’

I would think, on a government building, the government has the last word.

But that's just me.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’

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Originally Posted by GottaGo View Post
I would think, on a government building, the government has the last word.

But that's just me.
That sounds very ominous and border line Stalinesque.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’

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Originally Posted by winston53660 View Post
That sounds very ominous and border line Stalinesque.
Well, if you owned a house, and there was a mural on it, do you not think that you have the right to remove it?
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’

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Originally Posted by saltwn View Post
Wall Street Journal
Their lawsuit claims that the governor violated the first and 14th amendment protections on free speech by removing the mural because he disagreed with its message. Maine Attorney General William Schneider, however, argues that the government has free speech rights akin to those of individuals, a doctrine in constitutional law known as "government speech." Mr. Schneider contends that just as former Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, demonstrated his labor sympathies by installing the mural, Mr. LePage is expressing himself by removing it.

The courts have clarified the government speech doctrine several times in the past 40 years. In 1972 the Supreme Court declared that the first amendment provides an exception to the government speech doctrine and that the government cannot censor speech because of its message or subject matter. Plaintiffs attorney Jeff Young cites this exception. "If the governor had said, 'I don't like this mural because it's all black and gray and I'd like to see pretty reds and greens in it,' he could probably do it," says Mr. Young. "But that's not what he said. The governor's decision to remove the mural was based on his disagreement with its content."

Former Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, demonstrated his labor sympathies by installing the mural,

See that's OK, but a repub governor who removes it for disagreeing with it is not OK. Does this seem odd to anyone but me?
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’

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Originally Posted by GottaGo View Post
Well, if you owned a house, and there was a mural on it, do you not think that you have the right to remove it?
Actually that depends. Is the mural a historic landmark? Any hows you are comparing apples and oranges here. The government is not a private individual and the government does not own private property.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’

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Originally Posted by winston53660 View Post
Actually that depends. Is the mural a historic landmark? Any hows you are comparing apples and oranges here. The government is not a private individual and the government does not own private property.
So the government should just accept whatever is on the building? The government is made up of people, groups, who make these decisions. It's not just one person with a scrub brush.

Make in the days of Rome, when Rulers changed, most of the busts around the city of the deposed leader were shattered. Marking the territory, if you will. The first Lady buying new china, for a mdern twist to it.

If the current tenent doesn't think the mural portrays the morays of the current populace, why shouldn't it be changed? It's public property. Private property is at the whim of the owner, or as per contractual agreement in the ownership of that property. (historic landmark status).

If I wish to fly the Rebel Flag on my non-HOA property, then I shall. It doesn't mean I can plaster it across public property.
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’

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Originally Posted by winston53660 View Post
Actually that depends. Is the mural a historic landmark? Any hows you are comparing apples and oranges here. The government is not a private individual and the government does not own private property.
I doubt it - it was installed by the prior governor. I think the that the current governor is sending a clear anti-labor message just as the prior governor was sending a pro-labor message.

It's the governor's right - he just shouldn't be pretending that "looks at employees and employers equally, neutrally and on balance" when we all know that's a GoP joke.
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