Governor Paul LePage Holds Tax Reform Plan Town Hall in Belfast (4/28/15 videos)

Posted on May 7, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

4/28/15 at the UMaine Hutchinson Center. About 180-200 attendees. Videos of the event are below; link to photos taken here.



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Maine Democrats Hold Better Deal Town Hall in Brunswick (VIDEOS)

Posted on May 7, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

alfFrom the event page (photos here):

    Join House Speaker Mark Eves and Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond for the third town hall meeting on the Better Deal for Maine plan. The Better Deal for Maine rejects Governor Paul LePage’s trickle-down economics. It is a tax reform plan that grows the economy from the middle out, not the top down. It cuts taxes for the middle class, lowers property taxes for all Maine homeowners and invests in Maine schools, workers and communities.

    Read the full plan here: http://betterdeal.me/

Below are the videos of the full event, held at the UU Church in Brunswick last night. Attendance was high and the questions ranged from the Democrats’ plan to other issues being weighed in the Legislature and Augusta currently. Unlike the Governor’s events, neither the questions nor people asking them were not screened before speaking.

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LePage, Democrats Continue to Push Their Tax Plans

Posted on April 16, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Maine Governor Paul LePage used April 15 aka “Tax Day” to hold a press conference attacking Democrats’ “Better Deal for Maine Plan”, continue to push his tax reform plan as part of the FY 2016-7 budget, and unveil via the right wing national organization American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) an “online tax calculator” for the state, designed to provide what theoretically Mainers would pay for taxes under the LePage proposal. Via media advisory:

    Governor Paul R. LePage will announce the launch of a new online calculator on “Tax Day,” Wednesday, April 15. The new calculator will provide Maine taxpayers an opportunity to compare tax rates and credits under current law to the Governor’s tax reform and savings plan, which the Legislature now is considering.

    In addition to the launch of the calculator, the American Legislative Exchange Council will join the Governor to release its 8th edition of “Rich States, Poor States.” The new data focuses on specific policy choices throughout the 50 states that have led to prosperity in some states and caused others to fall behind in economic growth.

The governor took the opportunity to blast individual Democrats by name, including all members of leadership.

Afterwards, Speaker of the House Mark Eves held his own press conference to respond.

Tonight, Governor LePage will hold another public town hall meeting to discuss his budget and tax reforms, this time in Ellsworth. Next week, Democrats will start to hold their own town halls, with the first scheduled to be in Bangor on Wednesday.

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Democratic Leaders Unveil ‘Better Deal for Maine’ Plan

Posted on April 16, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Last Thursday’s press release read in part:

Top Democratic leaders in the State House on Thursday countered Gov. Paul LePage’s budget with their plan to grow the economy from the middle out rather than the top down.

Speaker Mark Eves, Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond, House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe and Assistant Majority Leader Sara Gideon announced the plan at Cony High School, which is in a school district that could see a $1 million cut in funding if the governor’s budget passes.

The Better Deal for Maine:

  • Puts more money in the pockets of Maine families: Cuts property taxes by $120 million annually for Maine residents by doubling the Homestead Exemption for all Maine homeowners and by increasing the Property Tax Fairness Credit by more than $57 million per year.
  • Invests in Maine’s future: Bolsters investment in Maine students, workers and seniors. Increases funding for K-12 education by $20 million per year.
  • Prevents property tax hikes: Increases revenue sharing to $80 million each year for local services like police, fire, and public works, while rejecting the governor’s new taxes on non-profits.
  • Targets income tax cuts for the middle class: Cuts income taxes by hundreds of dollars for the vast majority of Maine families while asking the wealthiest 5 percent to pay their fair share. Under the Better Deal for Maine, 98 percent of income tax cuts go to the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers. Under the governor’s plan, 50 percent of the tax break goes to the top 10 percent.
  • Is fiscally responsible: Unlike the governor’s budget, the Better Deal for Maine is fully paid for now and into the future.
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Entire Video Footage of Governor Paul LePage’s Saco Town Hall (2nd Camera)

Posted on April 6, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Here from a second camera is the entire town hall Governor Paul LePage conducted at Thornton Academy in Saco last week.

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(UPDATED) Former Biddeford Mayor Joanne Twomey Ejected from LePage Saco Town Hall

Posted on April 2, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

UPDATE: Here is video of Twomey and the governor (starting at 1:50 mark; added more for context), as well as her being removed from Thornton Academy’s auditorium by security.

Full video of the event is now posted.

————-

A rather remarkable ending to Maine Governor Paul LePage’s latest town hall meeting, as he attempts to garner public support for his proposed biennial budget FY 2016-7. Videos of the entire evening will be shared later on, but as was reported earlier tonight, the entire event was brought to a screeching halt as former 4 term Repesentative and Biddeford Mayor Joanne Twomey, after exchanging heated words with LePage, apparently attempted to throw a container of Vaseline at him.

Gov. Paul LePage’s budget presentation at Thornton Academy in Saco came to an abrupt end when former Democratic state Rep. Joanne T. Twomey of Biddeford confronted the governor, according to multiple social media reports.

According to social media reports, Twomey “threw a jar of Vaseline” toward the governor. Twomey reportedly was escorted from the meeting by security. A CBS 13 video shows Twomey throwing something on the stage, which did not strike LePage, as she was escorted from the building. The item was quickly retrieved by what appeared to be security personnel.

Not much of a “throw”…

I spoke with Twomey afterwards and asked if she wanted to issue a statement:

Former Biddeford Mayor Twomey post town hall #mepolitics

A post shared by Andi Parkinson (@andiparkinson) on

Some members of the audience later came up to Twomey to check on her, as she was “roughed up” a bit by security.

Former Rep Joanne Twomey speaking w/supporters outside Saco's Thornton Academy #mepolitics

A post shared by Andi Parkinson (@andiparkinson) on

To be updated.

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(UPDATED) LePage: “Gloves Are Off”, “Disgusted” by Legislators, Claims Lawmakers “Weak on Drugs”

Posted on March 31, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

UPDATE: The video is now posted online. As the man himself says, “Here we are again.”

————–

A fiery Governor Paul LePage held a press conference this morning to blast lawmakers over the course of the past 5 years for the current drug epidemic within the state, as his administration attempts to sway public opinion to support his FY 2016-17 biennial budget.

From an earlier media advisory:

    In the biennial budget now being considered by legislators, Governor Paul R. LePage has included funding for four new District Court Judges within the Judicial Branch, seven Investigative Agents in the Department of Public Safety and four Assistant Attorney General positions within the Office of the Attorney General.

    The budget initiative provides Maine with additional resources to combat the State’s growing drug problem. Combined with treatment and recovery, funding for these critical positions is also needed to stem the increased threat to public safety and to the health of Mainers.

Audio here (video being uploaded) of the press conference.

The following data was handed out by Maine Public Safety Commissioner John Morris to media.

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(UPDATED x2) Governor LePage Forgets Wife’s 2nd Florida Home While Attacking Other Mainers For Having Same

Posted on March 19, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

A second 3/19/15 UPDATE, as Governor LePage’s office this morning sent out a revised version of the weekly address eliminating his swipe at Maine residents and private citizens Stephen King and Roxanne Quimby. The following bolded message from press secretary Adrienne Bennett accompanied the latest version:

    “Correction: Please see the attached revised version of this week’s message. Please use this audio file in future broadcasts. Thank you.”

Here is the updated weekly address as sent out today (AUDIO LINK).

    Radio Address: Eliminating the Income Tax Means a Pay Raise for Hardworking Mainers

    March 19, 2015

    (Photo by Jim Bowdoin, provided by Governor LePage's office)

    (Photo by Jim Bowdoin, provided by Governor LePage’s office)

    Forty-six years ago Democratic Governor Ken Curtis championed a controversial state income tax. So it began; Mainer’s paychecks were raided to pay for bigger government.

    Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

    In 1969, the income tax barely survived the Legislature, and today $1.2 billion dollars is taken from hardworking Mainers through income tax.

    Nearly fifty years later, we are trying to return money back to Mainers, but it’s not without a major battle. This week, Democratic Representative Adam Goode of Bangor opposed our plan saying it only benefits the rich.

    However, his definition of rich is interesting. Most Maine businesses are pass through entities meaning many of those earning 400-thousand dollars are actually small businesses owners. These are the businesses that create jobs and invest these tax cuts creating career opportunities.

    Also, what Rep. Goode fails to mention is that 653-thousand working Mainers pay over one billion dollars – 1.2 billion to be exact – in income taxes.

    Our plan returns that money back to working Mainers. Starting next year, Mainers will receive $238 million annually back in taxes and that number increases to $300 million in four years.

    Our plan helps those earning lower incomes, too. We’ve set aside $60 Million to the neediest Mainers through the Sales Tax Fairness Credit and the Property Tax Fairness Credit. These tax credits are available only to those of more limited means.

    The Property Tax Fairness Credit will help Mainers with their property taxes. We’ve doubled the amount of money available to Mainers under 65 and with limited incomes. We have also tripled the amount of money available through the Homestead Exemption. This tax credit helps Mainers over 65 to lower their property taxes.

    Another way we help folks with lower incomes is by providing a tax credit toward the sales tax. Those with limited incomes will be eligible for this tax credit.

    For Representative Goode to claim this plan benefits the rich is an insult to Bangor residents who pay the state nearly $29 million in annual income tax. If you really look at how this plan works you will see it modernizes our tax code so the majority of Mainers are keeping what they earn.

    Don’t be fooled by rhetoric. I encourage you to attend one of our upcoming town hall meetings to learn the facts.

    You can also call your legislator to tell them you support eliminating the income tax. Legislators are working on the budget now and they must hear from you.

    Meanwhile, remember who introduced the income tax here in Maine? Well, today former Governor Ken Curtis lives in Florida where there is zero income tax.

    Thanks for listening.

—–

3/19/15 UPDATE: Bumping yesterday’s post to the top of the page, as Maine author and long-time Bangor resident Stephen King has responded to Governor LePage.

    king“Governor LePage is full of the stuff that makes the grass grow green. Tabby and I pay every cent of our Maine state income taxes, and are glad to do it. We feel, as Governor LePage apparently does not, that much is owed from those to whom much has been given. We see our taxes as a way of paying back the state that has given us so much. State taxes pay for state services. There’s just no way aRound it. Governor LePage needs to remember there ain’t no free lunch.”

—–

(Originally posted 3/18/15)

Interesting lil weekly address here today by Maine Governor Paul LePage (emphasis mine):

Eliminating the Income Tax Means a Pay Raise for Hardworking Mainers

    Eliminating the Income Tax Means a Pay Raise for Hardworking Mainers

    Forty-six years ago Democratic Governor Ken Curtis championed a controversial state income tax. So it began; Mainer’s paychecks were raided to pay for bigger government.

    Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

    In 1969, the income tax barely survived the Legislature, and today $1.2 billion dollars is taken from hardworking Mainers through income tax.

    Nearly fifty years later, we are trying to return money back to Mainers, but it’s not without a major battle.

    This week, Democratic Representative Adam Goode of Bangor opposed our plan saying it only benefits the rich.

    Governor LePage speaks to audience at Auburn tax reform town hall.

    Governor LePage speaks to audience at Auburn tax reform town hall.

    However, his definition of rich is interesting. Most Maine businesses are pass through entities meaning many of those earning 400-thousand dollars are actually small businesses owners. These are the businesses that create jobs and invest these tax cuts creating career opportunities.

    Also, what Rep. Goode fails to mention is that 653-thousand working Mainers pay over one billion dollars – 1.2 billion to be exact – in income taxes.

    Our plan returns that money back to working Mainers. Starting next year, Mainers will receive $238 million annually back in taxes and that number increases to $300 million in four years
    .
    Our plan helps those earning lower incomes, too. We’ve set aside $60 Million to the neediest Mainers through the Sales Tax Fairness Credit and the Property Tax Fairness Credit. These tax credits are available only to those of more limited means.

    The Property Tax Fairness Credit will help Mainers with their property taxes. We’ve doubled the amount of money available to Mainers under 65 and with limited incomes.

    We have also tripled the amount of money available through the Homestead Exemption. This tax credit helps Mainers over 65 to lower their property taxes.

    Dozens attended LePage's 3/11/15 town hall held in Auburn to hear what the governor had to say about his budget and tax reform.

    Dozens attended LePage’s 3/11/15 town hall held in Auburn to hear what the governor had to say about his budget and tax reform.

    Another way we help folks with lower incomes is by providing a tax credit toward the sales tax. Those with limited incomes will be eligible for this tax credit.

    For Representative Goode to claim this plan benefits the rich is an insult to Bangor residents who pay the state nearly $29 million in annual income tax. If you really look at how this plan works you will see it modernizes our tax code so the majority of Mainers are keeping what they earn.

    Don’t be fooled by rhetoric. I encourage you to attend one of our upcoming town hall meetings to learn the facts.

    You can also call your legislator to tell them you support eliminating the income tax. Legislators are working on the budget now and they must hear from you.

    Meanwhile, remember who introduced the income tax here in Maine. Well, today former Governor Ken Curtis lives in Florida where there is zero income tax. Stephen King and Roxanne Quimby have moved away, as well.

    Thanks for listening.

Oopsie! Has the governor so soon forgotten his wife, First Lady Ann LePage is a snowbird, too?

Or that in 2010, Mrs. LePage had to pay a hefty fine to the State of Florida, for claiming permanent residency in both states?

Awkward…

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

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LePage To Concerned Farmer Re: Property Taxes Jokes: “Get A Reverse Mortgage”

Posted on March 18, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

At last week’s town hall in Auburn, the public had an opportunity to directly ask questions of Governor Paul LePage or make observations about how the governor’s proposed biennial budget for FY 2016-17 would affect them.

One moment jumps out here, as Turner beef farmer Ralph Caldwell took his turn:

After describing how his family’s working farm established in 1894 has paid as much as $48,000 a year in property taxes while declaring no income taxes with anticipated carry forward of $500k for the next decade, Caldwell concludes:

    “I think you are coming to get me, and you have been a hero of mine for four years.”

LePage denies that he is “coming to get him”, immediately pivots to discuss the plight of the Millinocket mill, the three different rates of property taxes possibly applicable, then returns to Caldwell’s specific raised issues:

    “I don’t know of your particular situation, but you must own a whole lot of land, and maybe we can get you a reverse mortgage (chuckles).”

So much for LePage’s plan to eliminate the estate tax, as to allow for this elderly man to pass the working farm that has been in his family since 1894 to his descendants!

LePage has already held town halls in Bangor and Westbrook in addition to Auburn; tomorrow he heads to The County for one hosted at UMPI in Presque Isle. From there, his office has released the following tentative schedule with more stops to be announced.

    April 2: Saco
    April 16: Ellsworth
    April 28: Belfast

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Appropriations, Criminal Justice Committees Take Up LR 1852 (LePage FY 2016-7 Biennial Budget) in Public Hearing

Posted on March 17, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Here is the 3/16/15 agenda for the 127th Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committees on Appropriations and Criminal Justice and Public Safety taking up of LR 1852, Governor Paul LePage’s proposed biennial budget for FY 2016-7, followed by clips from the public hearing.

    Corrections, Department of
    · Administration – Corrections
    · Adult Community Corrections
    · Bolduc Correctional Facility
    · Capital Construction / Repairs / Improvements – Corrections
    · Central Maine Pre-release Center
    · Charleston Correctional Facility
    · Correctional Center
    · Correctional Medical Services Fund
    · Corrections Food
    · Corrections Industries
    · Departmentwide – Overtime
    · Downeast Correctional Facility
    · Justice – Planning, Projects & Statistics
    · Juvenile Community Corrections
    · Long Creek Youth Development Center
    · Mountain View Youth Development Center
    · Office of Victim Services
    · Parole Board
    · Prisoner Boarding
    · Southern Maine Women’s Reentry Center
    · State Prison
    · Language (Part “II” – authorizes the Department to transfer certain funds between accounts
    within the same fund to pay for overtime expenses)
    · Language (Part “JJ”- authorizes the Department to use unexpended Personal Services
    balances for Capital Expenditures in the following year)
    · Language (Part “KK” – authorizes transfer of positions within the Department of Corrections
    during limited periods in the current biennium)
    · Language (Part “LL” – authorizes transfers between accounts to pay for food, heating and
    utilities)
    · Language (Part “WWW” – removes the Media and Public Information Officer in the
    Department of Corrections)
    Corrections, State Board of
    · Electronic Monitoring Fund – State Board of Corrections
    · State Board of Corrections Operational Support Fund
    Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management, Department of
    · Administration – Maine Emergency Management Agency
    · Emergency Response Operations
    · Stream Gaging Cooperative Program
    · Language (Part “MM” – provides temporary funding until federal funding becomes available)
    Fire Protection Services Commission, Maine
    · Maine Fire Protection Services Commission
    Public Safety, Department of
    · Administration – Public Safety
    · Background Checks – Certified Nursing Assistants
    · Capitol Police, Bureau of
    · Computer Crimes
    · Consolidated Emergency Communications
    · Criminal Justice Academy
    · Drug Enforcement Agency
    · Emergency Medical Services
    · Fire Marshall – Office of
    · Highway Safety DPS

Appropriations, Criminal Justice Committees Take Up LR 1852 (LePage FY 2016-7 Biennial Budget)- Pt 1

Appropriations, Criminal Justice Committees Take Up LR 1852 (LePage FY 2016-7 Biennial Budget)- Pt 2

Appropriations, Criminal Justice Committees Take Up LR 1852 (LePage FY 2016-7 Biennial Budget)- Pt 3

Appropriations, Criminal Justice Committees Take Up LR 1852 (LePage FY 2016-7 Biennial Budget)- Pt 4

Appropriations, Criminal Justice Committees Take Up LR 1852 (LePage FY 2016-7 Biennial Budget)- Pt 5

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