*The mayor of Maine’s largest city is planning to push legislation that would publicly shame the town’s welfare recipients.
In a column for a local paper last week, Lewiston’s Mayor Robert Macdonald proposed an online registry that would give details about everyone who is receiving public assistance.
He said he would submit legislation to the Maine State Legislature “asking that a website be created containing the names, addresses, length of time on assistance and the benefits being collected by every individual on the dole.”
Macdonald said in his column that “our liberal, progressive legislators and their social-service allies have made [welfare recipients] a victimized, protected class. It’s none of your business how much of your money they get and spend. Who are you to question it? Just shut up and pay!”
His plan isn’t getting much support. According to the Huffington Post, Macdonald had sent copies of his legislation to state Sens. Eric Brakey (R) and Nate Libby (D) in hopes they’d introduce it before a Friday deadline, but both offices told the website they had passed on the idea.
“I don’t think there’s that much appetite for this sort of thing in the Maine Senate,” Mario Moretto, spokesman for Maine Senate Democrats, said in an interview.
Macdonald has served as mayor since 2012 and is facing five challengers to his reelection this fall.