I want fireworks

By AL DIAMON  |  February 16, 2011

In year's past, whenever a bill to legalize fireworks turned up, so did John Dean, the state fire marshal. He was there to warn of the dangers to people and property inherent in letting idiots like me play with pyrotechnics. For instance, in 2009, Dean said, "Nationally, the average fire loss [caused by misuse of fireworks] is $15,600 per fire. Any financial gain the State might realize from the sale of consumer fireworks could easily be wiped out in a single fire — and that doesn't even account for any injuries or deaths."

This year, Dean didn't show up. That wasn't his decision. GOP Governor Paul LePage told the fire marshal to stay away from the hearing. Asked why, LePage's legal counsel, Dan Billings, told the Bangor Daily News, "I don't think it would be fair to [Dean] to express an opinion contrary — well, not exactly contrary — to what he has said in the past."

Which goes to show that there are limits to the libertarian LePage's laissez-faire attitude. In the governor's opinion, people are capable of making up their own minds about fireworks, just as businesses can decide for themselves how much pollution is too much. But when it comes to public-safety experts like the fire marshal, they need to be told when to shut up.

I hope this new policy of censorship won't blow up in the governor's face. Although, there's something to be said for anything that keeps that mouth from popping off.

Light my fuse by e-mailing aldiamon@herniahill.net.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Talking Politics , Politics, Bill, Dan Billings,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY AL DIAMON
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THIS IS AN OUTRAGE  |  July 16, 2014
    Politics and other mistakes
  •   BETWEEN THE DYING AND THE DEAD  |  July 11, 2014
    Being politically deceased, you’d think Steve Woods would give us a break by putting on a dark suit, lying down in a coffin, and closing his eyes.
  •   ALL THE WRONG CHOICES  |  July 07, 2014
    Reform is in the air. Olympia Snowe and the Portland Press Herald are calling for changes in the way we elect our leaders in order to restore public confidence, end gridlock, and reverse global warming. There’s a much better chance they’ll accomplish that last one than either of the other two.  
  •   INSIDE GAME  |  June 25, 2014
    The university system’s decision to add Demeritt to its roster at a salary of $125,000 a year generated criticism because it was done by ignoring normal hiring procedures and came at a time when the system is facing budget shortfalls, program cuts, and layoffs. Demeritt is going to have to hit a lot of three-pointers to make up for all that negative reaction.
  •   WHICH WAY DO I TURN?  |  June 18, 2014
    Bruce Poliquin has a big problem.

 See all articles by: AL DIAMON