LePage receives gift of ‘red tape’

13 years ago

LePage receives gift of ‘red tape’

By Kathy McCarty

Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — In recognition of his plans to work to reduce regulations and the associated mountain of paperwork that’s associated, Gov. Paul LePage was given a gift shortly after taking office that he never thought he would receive — more red tape.

FS-GovRedTapeWillette-clr-cx-sharpt-03Photo courtesy the governor’s office
RED TAPE PRESENTATION — Gov. Paul LePage holds a framed strip of red tape given to him on Jan. 11 by two freshmen legislators — Sen. Garrett Mason and Rep. Alex Willette. The old piece of red tape, provided by the Maine State Archives, was meant to symbolize the governor’s effort to eliminate counterproductive regulations and red tape, beginning at the state government level. Pictured from left are: Mason, LePage and Willette.

The gift — a framed strip of red tape obtained from the Maine State Archives — was presented to the governor by the youngest members of the Maine House and Maine Senate, Rep. Alex Willette (R-Mapleton) and Sen. Garrett Mason (R-Androscoggin). In accepting the gift, LePage acknowledged the humor and indicated the framed tape would be displayed in his office as a reminder of his goals.

“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,” said Jay Finegan, communications director.

Willette 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,” stated Willette.

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

Mason said the gift had another purpose, noting the “small piece of history” was presented to draw the governor’s attention to the fact the Archives “is running out of room to store our history.”

“The Archives is currently running a 10,000-box deficit. We must preserve our proud Maine history for future generations,” said Mason.

LePage’s Red Tape Audit Committee has been busy gathering data during stops throughout the state in recent weeks, looking for input from business and community leaders on ways to reduce regulations and the associated ‘red tape,’ in an effort to improve the state’s business climate and promote job growth.