Between the ditches

By AL DIAMON  |  August 29, 2012

What are the odds of that happening? Practically zero, unless powerful figures such as Cianbro Corp. CEO Peter Vigue (the guy who's been pushing this idea for years and whose company stands to profit from building highway infrastructure) decided to flex their political muscle with GOP lawmakers. That seems as farfetched as the plot of "Jamboree." (See "What's Driving the East-West Highway?" by Lance Tapley, May 4.)

Even if it wasn't, surely legislative Democrats would oppose such a move. I'm talking about guys like state Representative Herbert "Herbie" Clark of Millinocket, who's running against Thomas this fall and is . . . hmmm, a cosponsor of the legislation paying for the study. Herbie (he really calls himself that) insisted in an op-ed he wrote for the Bangor Daily News that he only did so because he was bamboozled by Thomas.

"I supported it because I thought he had done his homework and this was something communities throughout rural Maine were supportive of," Herbie wrote. "It's clear to me now that he didn't and I shouldn't have supported the measure."

Herbie goes on to claim Thomas is little more than Vigue's stooge, which makes Herbie Vigue's stooge twice removed.

The east-west highway has always been one of those ideas that works better in concept than reality, sort of like the premise that a vacuous girl from Wetdog Maine could become a big star as half of a duo dubbed "America's Singing Sweethearts." Support for the project is strong among Canadian truckers, people who draw Cianbro paychecks and Wetdog property owners.

Elsewhere, not so much.

For veteran legislators like Thomas and Clark to pretend they were unaware of this until now is strong evidence that voters in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties are being represented by a pair of boobs who are so out of touch that even a road project of this size couldn't reach them.

I'm out of gas. Now it's your turn to put the hammer down and email me at aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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