July 18, 2018
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LePage town hall ends abruptly when ex-lawmaker reportedly throws ‘jar of Vaseline’

A screenshot from the video appears to show Joanne Twomey holding jar of Vaseline.
Bangor Daily News
Updated:

SACO, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage’s budget presentation at Thornton Academy in Saco came to an abrupt end when former Democratic state Rep. Joanne T. Twomey of Biddeford confronted the governor.

According to social media reports, Twomey “threw a jar of Vaseline” toward the governor. Twomey reportedly was escorted from the meeting by security. Video from the event shows Twomey throwing something on the stage, which did not strike LePage, as she was escorted from the building. The item was quickly retrieved by what appeared to be security personnel.

In a video posted by liberal journalist and videographer Andi Parkinson, Twomey said outside the forum that she didn’t find the forum “very democratic.”

“When he engaged and asked me a question I stood up and started to talk with him and answer him and try to tell him what I thought was wrong,” said Twomey, before the recording cuts off.

The governor’s security escorted him from the building after the confrontation.

The use of Vaseline recalls an incident in July 2013 when LePage made state and national headlines with a remark about Vaseline. He criticized former Democratic Sen. Troy Jackson of Allagash by saying he “claims to be for the people but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.”

It was unclear whether there is any connection between that incident and Thursday’s events in Saco.

Maine Republican Party spokesman Jason Savage condemned Twomey’s actions.

“It’s time for Democrats to tone down the rhetoric,” said Savage. “We hear a lot from them about civility and tolerance yet every time there’s an over-the-top attack scenario where something like this happens, it’s a Democratic activist. … There’s nothing about our civil discourse that gets better by left-wing activists throwing objects at our governor.”

Maine Democratic Party spokeswoman Rachel Irwin, who was at the event, said the party does not support Twomey’s actions.

“It’s unfortunate about the events that transpired between former state Rep. Joanne Twomey and Gov. LePage,” she said Thursday night. “The Maine Democratic Party does not condone this type of behavior in any way.”

LePage was at Thornton Academy as part of a statewide series of public forums designed to promote his tax reform proposal, which is being considered by the Legislature.

LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett, who was at Thursday’s forum, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Twomey represented part of Biddeford in the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2006. According to BDN archives, she quit the Democratic party and became an independent in 2005 but re-enrolled in 2006, causing controversy and strife in what was a closely divided Legislature. Twomey was known as one of the fiercest critics of former Democratic Gov. John Baldacci — at least from within her party.

Twomey was elected mayor of Biddeford in 2006. She was re-elected to that position in 2008 and 2010, but was defeated in 2011 by former Democratic state. Rep. Alan Casavant.

Gov. LePage defending his budget in Saco tonight #MEPolitics

A photo posted by Ryan Fecteau (@ryanfecteau) on

Former Rep Joanne Twomey speaking w/supporters outside Saco’s Thornton Academy #mepolitics

A photo posted by Andi Parkinson (@andiparkinson) on


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