LePage gets gift of red tape

Posted Jan. 12, 2011, at 5:58 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage may be an avowed enemy of red tape, but now his State House office is adorned in some of the stuff.

The governor received it as a gift Tuesday from state Rep. Alex Willette of Mapleton and Sen. Garrett Mason of Androscoggin County. The framed strip of red tape comes from the State Archive. Red tape’s a term that refers to government delays and excess regulations.

The framed red tape was the real thing, 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. Later, the government used red tape to file new laws and Civil War enlistment records. The government stopped using red tape in the 1880s.

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