The mayor of Lewiston, Maine, is pushing for a public database of the state’s welfare recipients, stating the public has a “right to know” where taxpayer dollars are going.
In a Thursday column in the Twin City Times, Mayor Robert E. MacDonald, called for a “major overhaul of the many laws and policies dealing with confidentiality … that dictate how federal, state and local government are run.”
He said that while the state maintains a public database of those who receive pensions from the state, “other recipients of state revenues are shielded.”
“Yes, I am referring to those known as welfare recipients. Why are they treated differently than pensioners?” he asked. “The answer: our liberal, progressive legislators and their social-service allies have made them 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!”
MacDonald, a local Republican, said he plans on submitting a bill during the next legislative session that will call for the creation of a website with the names, addresses, and length of time on assistance for every welfare recipient in the state.
Because MacDonald isn’t a state lawmaker he is unable to submit a state bill and will need the support of state lawmaker to make the bill a reality, the Portland Press Heraldreported.
MacDonald, who’s running for re-election in November, told the Herald, he’s “not sorry” about writing the column. He said he hopes “this makes people think twice about applying for welfare.”
His democratic opponent called the column a “political stunt,” the Herald reported.