Politics

Governor LePage Tells High Schooler To ‘Read A Book’ After Net Neutrality Question

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Maine Gov. Paul LePage allegedly responded to a high school student’s general concerns over the repeal of net neutrality rules imposed in 2015 by writing back, “Pick up a book and read!”

Hope Osgood, a sophomore at a local high school, typed up a letter to Lepage months ago and, according to Portland Press Herald, wrote:

“The internet is the easiest way to access anything. News, information, etc. Companies being able to put restrictions on internet usage isn’t ideal! People will be left in the dark about some things. All my school work is internet-based, but what happens if I can’t reach what I need to? What about my lessons in school?”

Weeks later, using a copy of her letter, LePage tersely replied at the bottom in pen that Osgood should “Pick up a book and read!”

“I’m only 16 years old, I’ve only talked to so many people,” Osgood told the Portland Press Herald. “I just thought it was rude. I didn’t know how to react to that. I’m a kid. I can’t really do that much.”

LePage’s office did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for a clarification of interpretation by time of publication.

Regardless of the statement’s true meaning, it rubbed Osgood and her family the wrong way. Her grandfather, Rick Osgood, told the Portland Press Herald that he twice voted for LePage, but “shan’t again if he decides to run for the Senate.”

“I think he could have explained a little more than one little sentence,” of why he supports the elimination of the internet regulations, the elder Osgood continued, especially since he had time to even write the comment in the first place.

Net neutrality — a vague concept generally meaning that all internet traffic should be treated equally — has been fiercely contested, even more so in recent months. (RELATED: FCC Chair: ‘Hysterical Prophecies’ Led Dems To Almost Break The Internet In Just Two Years)

In particular, the best way to enforce net neutrality, or ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) don’t partake in unfair practices, is the crux of the policy dispute.

The Federal Communications Commission repealed the rules in December with a 3-2 vote, with the ultimate aim of clamping down on bad behavior by businesses when necessary, but not thrusting government within the center of internet governance.

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