Weekly Radio Address by House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan): LePage must cooperate with investigation

Posted on July 4, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

      Rep. McCabe: LePage must cooperate with investigation
      As the representatives of Maine people, lawmakers demand accountability and transparency

        The Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee this week launched an investigation into whether Governor Paul LePage misused state funds and abused his power to exact retribution on a political rival. It was a remarkable vote. The six Republicans and six Democrats on this watchdog panel were unanimous in their understanding that Maine people deserve answers and expect transparency from their governor.

        Good morning. I’m Representative Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan, the House majority leader. Thank you for tuning in.

        The people of Maine need to know whether their governor did, in fact, threaten to withhold state funds from a historic private non-profit school that serves at-risk youths if they followed through with their plans to hire Speaker Mark Eves, forcing Good Will-Hinckley to rescind its employment offer.

        House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe speaks with press at the Blaine House, 5/29/15.

        House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe speaks with press at the Blaine House, 5/29/15.

        This kind of political retribution is unacceptable.

        Every elected official in Maine must feel free to vote their conscience without fear of ending up on the governor’s enemies list.

        No Maine citizen should have to look over their shoulder, worried about being the target of the governor’s vendetta politics simply because they disagree with him.

        No Maine school, town organization or institution should have to worry about becoming collateral damage because of the governor’s agenda of retribution.

        The governor – just like any other public official – is accountable to the Maine people.

        That’s why I applaud the Government Oversight Committee’s unanimous bipartisan decision to authorize the investigation.

        That’s also why I’m concerned that the governor is trying to dodge serious questions about how he has conducted himself in office.

        Governor LePage is not above the law or exempt from the Constitution.

        Governor LePage promised transparency to the Maine people, but now he is trying to avoid questions about the misuse of public funds and other outrageous abuses of power that reek of Nixonian politics.

        I’m calling on Governor LePage to fully cooperate with this investigation.

        Let me be clear: this investigation is just one of the options on the table. If the governor wants to push us toward other avenues, we will go there.

        I speak as a representative of the Maine people. I also speak on behalf of the entire House Democratic caucus when I say we owe it to the people of Maine to do everything we can to restore their trust in our political system.

        The demand for an investigation has been intensifying – and for good reason. We are talking about some of the most cherished values we hold as Mainers and Americans.

        Skowhegan’s own Margaret Chase Smith may have described those basic principles best when she laid out her Declaration of Conscience.“The right to criticize; The right to hold unpopular beliefs; The right to protest; The right of independent thought.”

        Margaret Chase Smith went on to say, “The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood nor should he be in danger of losing his reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know someone who holds unpopular beliefs. Who of us doesn’t? Otherwise none of us could call our souls our own. Otherwise thought control would have set in.”

        DSC_0071She’s absolutely right.

        No Maine woman or man should have to fear losing their job because a powerful politician has put them on their enemies list.

        That’s not the government Mainers want or deserve. They want honest elected officials who are not only fighting every day to improve the lives of Maine people but also protecting our Constitution and the rights we hold dear.

        It’s our responsibility in the Legislature to stand together to preserve the integrity of our government and the offices we hold.

        Thank you for listening. I’m House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan. I wish you and your families a safe and happy Fourth of July.

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