The 10 Worst GOP Governors: What Horrors Did They Unleash in 2012?
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Brewer also joined the club of GOP governors who like kicking around public employees. She moved to offer public workers their first raise in years—but only if they agreed to trade in all their job security and let her fire them on a whim. She also signed a bill expanding school vouchers for Arizona students, giving public funds to parents to pay for private schools.
In a bit of good news, a judge did reject Brewer's bid to dismiss legal challenges to the state's infamous anti-immigrant law.
Oh, and she wants a third term.
7. Paul LePage, Maine
"To all you able-bodied people out there: Get off the couch and get yourself a job," Maine Governor Paul LePage told the Republican State Convention in May.
The governor wants to impose his own form of welfare “reform” on the state in the middle of an ongoing jobs crisis—and he's even willing to make up stories and fudge numbers to get his way. And what does he consider “welfare”? Everything from disability benefits to MaineCare (the state's version of Medicaid -- healthcare for low-income people). His Medicaid cuts alone could hit 65,000 people.
How LePage can complain that Maine has more people receiving benefits than paying taxes, and then say he wants to eliminate the personal income tax is a bit of a mystery, but he doesn't seem to see the conflict. Maine collects over half of its total revenue from the personal income tax—but LePage wants to lower tax rates on the top earners. Next year the rate will fall from 8.5 percent to 7.95, and the governor wanted to drop it to 4 percent but couldn't get away with that and keep the state functioning.
6. Chris Christie, New Jersey
Chris Christie likes to bluster and swagger – it's sort of his calling card. He's frequently caught saying awful things—like a comment he made this winter on a marriage equality referendum. Christie said, “The fact of the matter is, I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.”
But what's he really up to? Well, he's getting sued, for one thing, for unilaterally pulling New Jersey out of a 10-state initiative aimed at curbing air pollution from power plants. The Natural Resources Defense Council and Environment New Jersey filed a lawsuit, claiming the move violates a state law that required Christie to notify the public of his intent to pull out and allow for a public comment period.
He's also pushing more tax cuts, including $1.57 billion in business tax breaks supposedly creating jobs—$900 million to companies that, according to the New York Times, have only promised to create 2,364 positions. That's $387,537 in tax credits per job, the Times noted. Why do we get the feeling that those jobs won't be $300,000-a-year positions?
And teachers, who Christie famously called " political thugs," are still on his hit list, though so far, his education agenda has been stalled. He's trying to get rid of teacher tenure, making it easier to fire teachers and cut down on state aid for public schools, as well as push charter schools.
One teacher, however, has taken her fight to another level— Marie Corfield, the teacher in the famous YouTube video sparring with Christie over his education policies, just won a Democratic primary for a state assembly seat. Should she win, she'll have a lot more opportunities to fight Christie's attacks on teachers.