Andi’s Weekly Review/ Sneak Peek, Jan 1 (NEW WEEKLY FEATURE) #mepolitics

Posted on January 1, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UPDATE: More information regarding the second Wednesday rally has been provided by one of the organizers, via Facebook.

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“Alliance for the Common Good Rally of Unity

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 (first day of the new legislative session), 1-4 PM

Hall of Flags, State Capitol, Augusta

Bring: signs (but not on sticks so you can get thru security), information to distribute or put on tables, and ideas to add to a speak out that is part of the afternoon events.

What are your concerns about what the state of Maine should be doing and the directions it should be going in?

What do our legislators need to hear from the public?

These were last year’s primary points of unity (which are ones again this year):

Respect for community sovereignty.
An economy that protects our environment.
Reserving Maine money for Maine people.
Keeping money out of politics.

Some issues we will likely address there:

*Paul LePage’s actions against Mark Eves that may be grounds for impeachment
*Renewed attempts to have more people covered by MaineCare
*November referenda on raising the minimum wage, rank choice voting, marijuana use, and more
*State of Maine’s campaign to take away more of the Penobscot Nation’s sovereignty

Please come and be part of the Alliance for the Common Good’s Fourth annual Rally of Unity.”

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1512843_10207415324009372_7853276067766535371_nHappy 2016! As promised, I will be attempting to sit down at the keyboard every Friday to summarize what has transpired in the past week and give a preview of what to expect next week. (The classic AP Stylebook be darned, btw- going to use my own, um, unorthodox “AP” rules of engagement!)

So with that in mind, here goes nothing!

WEEK IN REVIEW: Just a few quick items for this between holidays, look-back edition.

    1. The first one is SUCH a goody and relevant to the Christmas season. Ah, sometimes the Governor is simply the gift that keeps on giving!

    WMTW reported that Governor LePage gave a few dozen legislators, including House leadership, a childrens’ book entitled, “If You’re Riding A Horse And It Dies, Get Off”:

    pigg

      It’s not clear which members of the House of Representatives got stiffed, but we do know that House leaders did receive copies of the book.

      “We only had 80 (copies) — very simple,” LePage said.

      Many of the people contacted by WMTW News 8 about this story did not want their names attached to this story out of fear of retribution from the Governor’s Office.

    Interesting, in light of the ongoing Eves/ Good Will-Hinckley situation, that simply reporting “a fear of retribution from LePage” is taken as a given.

    Later, the chief executive took to Twitter to scold Maine media:

    Maybe the governor should have dragged the “Piggy Christmas Tree” out of the mothballs? That one was such a crowd pleaser!

    2. 128th Legislative candidate filings are coming in and being posted online. Link here.

NEXT WEEK’S SNEAK PEEK:

    1. Monday, 1/4/16: Maine youngsters go back to school after winter break as parents across the state rejoice (“… and Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again”).

    2. Tuesday, 1/5/16 (10a-5p): While the Legislature doesn’t officially come back until Wednesday the 6th, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee (AFA) will be conducting a public hearing the day before regarding LR 2599, “An Act To Combat Drug Addiction Throught Enforcement, Treatment and Recovery” (AUDIO LINK HERE).

    3. Wednesday, 1/6/16: The House and Senate come back into the second half of the 127th Legislative Session at 10 am (which anyone with experience in Augusta will know that while many ringing bells will echo in the hallways, they won’t actually start for at least a half hour later than that).

    But one event that WILL happen as scheduled will be an 11am “State House Rally To Impeach Paul LePage” outside the State House, just under the governor’s second floor windows. The same group rallied in June 2015.

    Since June, the group has garnered over 20k signatures on a petition calling for the governor to resign.

    Later the same day, a group called “Alliance For The Common Good Unity” plan to rally as well. On Facebook, the organizers state they are gathering at 1pm, but they are listed as meeting at 2pm in the Hall of Flags.

    4. Thursday, 1/7/16: The legislature is in session and the Environmental Priorities Coalition will meet from 11:30-12:30 in State House (SH) Room 334 to issue a briefing on land conservation.

    5. Friday, 1/8/16 (9a- ?): Government Oversight Committee (GOC) meets. Among the “Unfinished Business” agenda items is this one of note:

      OPEGA Information Brief on State Funding for Good Will-Hinckley
      – Review and Approval of GOC Addendum to OPEGA Report

So, there you have it- the first of what will hopefully be a weekly column of useful info or what have you. Have a great weekend, folks!

~Andi

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Maine Gov’t Oversight Cmte (GOC), Gov. LePage/ Good Will Hinckley Public Hearing (ALL VIDEOS)

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

Pt 1

Pt 2

Pt 3

Jack Moore, Chair of Good Will-Hinckley Executive Board

GOC Chairs Senator Roger Katz, Representative Chuck Kruger meet with press

Senator Katz speaks with WMTW at end of hearing

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Mainers Take Governor LePage Up On Offer, Writing to Ask For Resignation: A Compilation (UPDATED)

Posted on August 21, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

(To be updated as necessary; additions down below original post. ~AP)

quitDuring his July 30th radio visit with WGAN’s Ken and Mike Show (podcast link here), Maine Governor Paul LePage made the following statement:

    “If the people of Maine want me, I’ll do the job. If they don’t want me, just ask me to leave. You don’t have to impeach me… So far, I’ve only got four people write me that wanted me to resign.”

Since then, a poll conducted informally on one of the Bangor Daily News blogs has recorded that of almost 5400 Mainers responding, 89% want to see the governor resign.

Last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow ended her show with this:

http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_maddow_flapage_150820

Although LePage during the radio show stated that he had only had four requests for his resignation, a quick scan online finds many more than that are reported to have been sent to his office.

Here are a few of the confirmed letters and emails to Maine’s chief executive.

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1. Hilda Jones, Scarborough:

    Dear Governor LePage: When you first ran for Governor of Maine, I have no doubt you intended to do your best for our state. Today, doing your best means turning the reins over to someone better suited to the job. I hope you’ll consider this an earnest request for you to do the right thing and resign.

Ms. Jones also wrote to Micki Mullen, Governor LePage’s scheduler:

    “Dear Ms. Mullen: I would appreciate it if you would ensure the Governor sees my urgent request.

    I am asking him, in the name of common decency and for the benefit of all his constituents, to tender his resignation according to the established procedure, without unduly disturbing the regular and ongoing business of state government but as expeditiously as possible, hopefully within the week. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.”

Patricia Condon, LePage’s Director of Constituent Services, responded with the following (including smiley emoticon):

    Good afternoon!

    Thank you for your e-mail to the Governor.

    Our office appreciates hearing from you and will take your suggestion (s) under advisement.

    Thank you again for taking the time to write. Have a nice Day.
    🙂

2. Trudy Ferland, Pittsfield sent her request directly to Governor LePage and got this reply email:

    From: Governor
    Subject: Thank you for contacting Governor LePage
    Date: August 20, 2015 at 4:21:17 PM EDT

    Thank you for taking the time to contact me. This message is to confirm that my office has received your email and will be taking appropriate steps for follow-up.

    Comments and Requests for Assistance

    Your ideas and suggestions are important to me. Depending on the nature of your issue, your message may be assigned to one of my designees for direct follow-up with you. My staff and I are committed to providing you with a timely response to your issues and concerns.

    Scheduling Issues

    If your email is regarding a scheduling request, please make sure your message includes information about the time and location of the event and a brief summary of the agenda. Please resend your email with that information, if necessary.

    Stay Informed

    For news and information on issues and upcoming events, please visit my web site at: http://www.maine.gov/governor

    Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    Sincerely,

image002

3. Eleanor Cade Busby, Damariscotta:

    Dear Governor LePage,

    You said you would resign if enough people asked you to do so. Please keep your word.

    You have hurt people who needed help and never listened to anyone who tried to explain how what you were doing was harmful.

    You have disregarded and disparaged anyone who did not bow to your commands.

    You have treated the people of Maine with utter disrespect.

    You have behaved like a school yard bully with other elected officials and used name-calling as a tool to puff up your ego while never giving clear answers when questioned about your actions.

    It’s time to get Maine back to the place people love and stop driving away anyone who is not up to your estimable standards.

    No one elected you to become a petty dictator. You were elected to govern Maine according to the Constitution and the law, not according to your very flawed ideals.

    It’s time for us to go back to work making Maine a great state and erase the embarrassing stains you have put on our reputation.

    Eleanor C Busby

4. David Rowe, Portland:

    Dear Gov. LePage:

    roweIt pains me to write this, even though I’ve never been a supporter of yours. I dislike partisanship enough that I’ve never registered to a political party since I started voting as a teen, but I dislike the disarray you’ve brought to Augusta enough to write this brief note.

    Please step down as governor. You’ve embarrassed yourself and our fine state enough.

    You began with the best of intentions. I know that. You seem like an honest man, and I trust my instinct in this regard, but good intentions cannot be confused with leadership, and you seem to have been confusing them for 5 years now. Now, with dwindling support among members of your own party, you cannot possibly be expected to lead or to accomplish the lofty goals you set for yourself upon taking the oath of office. Please step down. I have no doubt that Mike Thibodeau would do a fine job picking up the disarray. I implore you, for the good of the state we both love. It’s time for Augusta to get back to work, and that just can’t happen with you at the helm.

    I wish you all the best in the future.

5. Bruce Forbes, Augusta:

    Dear Paul LePage:

    It is time for you to go. You are not qualified in intellect or temperament to be our Governor.

    I hope you leave soon.

6. Lenore Mullen, Augusta:

    Paul,

    I’m hoping you meant what you said regarding your resignation as Governor of Maine. You and your tea party friends have taken Maine to a new low. Your policy actions and bullying have become a joke with the National media, and a huge frustration for Maine taxpayers. I could go on for hours regarding the problems you have created for Maine citizens and taxpayers, but I’m sure you have heard it already.

    My hunch is this resignation statement you made is rooted in the legal advice your attorneys are providing. I believe articles of impeachment will be charged against you. I am not an attorney, or a member of the Maine Legislature, so I don’t honestly know if the votes are there to impeach you. However, I have observed that with each passing day more R’s in the Legislature are distancing themselves from the messes you have created.

    So, as a Maine taxpayer, I will sit back, make some popcorn and watch all this play out.

    Paul, do the decent thing that Maine taxpayers deserve and resign.

7. Mal Gormley of Damariscotta received the same form letter and smiley from Ms. Condon as noted above for this brief missive:

    Please resign.

8. Stefan Low, Thomaston:

    Dear Governor LePage,

    Please know there are more than four of us Maine citizens that would like you to leave office. I would like to add my voice to the hopefully growing chorus of those utterly tired of your buffoonery, misuse of power and obstructionism. You are a disgrace to this state and have no place holding a higher office. Methinks the entire concept of politics as compromise and mutual effort escapes you.

    Return to the private sector to be the dictator you so long to be, please, and allow someone worthy to occupy the office of Governor. I will refrain from the vulgarity that you, frankly, deserve. Please go. Now. Thank you for your time, but sadly not your service.

9. Joe Earley, Waterville:

    Dear governor lepage,

    I would VERY much like to take you up on your offer to resign if the people of Maine raise their voices against you.

    Not Your Sycophant

==========

Others who confirm they have written to Governor LePage, asking him to resign:

    10. Lisa Herzog, Pittsfield
    11. Nancy Glista, Bar Harbor
    12. Sherri Smith Robinson, Gray
    13. Wendy Knickerbocker, Castine
    14. Sandra Greene Miller, Vassalboro
    15. Jan Frost, Rockport

==========================================================

UPDATES/ ADDITIONAL LETTERS

16. Alan Tibbetts, Sidney:

    Dear Governor LePage,

    Since you asked, YES, please resign, soon. You probably don’t get much honest feedback, but there are many reasons why you are not a good fit for the position. If you would like to discuss those reasons at length we can do that.

    A resignation is in everybody’s best interests. I don’t begrudge you the pension; it is a cost of doing business.

    Enjoy the rest of your life!

    Respectfully,

17. Cecile Thornton, Lewiston:

    Dear Gov. LePage,

    As much as I would love to use expletives in the fashion that you do. I will remain polite and somewhat to the point.

    The people of our state have endured your lousy leadership for far too long. It is with as much respect as I can muster when addressing you that I very politely ask you to resign. Please, step down from the office of Governor of the great state of Maine.

    I am from Lewiston. I am of French Canadian heritage. I speak French and went to parochial school for eight long years.

    I am not from away. I have always lived in Maine and hope to live my life out here (I am sixty now).

    Many good, sane people are against your tea party-like leadership. We are embarrassed to have you in office. We never voted for you and know that the only way you got elected was because of Elliot Cutler’s run.

    Please step down, Governor. That’s what we want.

18. Nicole Anderson, Portland:

    Please resign as Governor of Maine. The people of Maine find you highly offensive and a complete embarrassment. Thanks in advance for stepping down as Governor. We are tired of your ineptitude and careless irresponsibility to actually represent the people of Maine.

19. Jim Elmore, Bangor:

elmore postcard

20. Jenni Moroney Butler, Windham
21. Chad Thorne, Pittston

22. Scott Harriman, Brunswick:

    Governor LePage,

    Please resign. You are an embarrassment to the people of Maine and are causing serious damage to our state. Please just leave now.

    Thank you,

23. Gerard Pare, Augusta:

    I personally believe that Governor LePage should quit. He’s been nothing more than an impish childish bully. When I hear one of his tirades I picture a spoiled brat standing in a sandbox stomping his feet hoarding all the toys and not letting anyone else play because he’s not getting his own way. His actions have not saved taxpayers money but have cost us. He forgets that he represents all of the people of the State of Maine; not just the super wealthy and those who chose to play his games. Governor LePage is vulgar and has stained the reputation of Maine as being level headed. Though he could have been a great governor and did the hard work with couth and willingness to work across the aisle. He chose instead to act like an irrational buffoon who speaks before he thinks. If he truly cares about what is in the best interest for the State of Maine he will resign. I have a great deal of respect for the office of governor ; and the man in it has not earned my respect because of his blatant disrespect for others and blatant disregard for the laws that govern this state. Please Governor LePage resign so that we don’t have to impeach you.

24. David Hill, Saco:

    Governor Paul LePage,

    Please resign for the sake of the State of Maine.

    Thank you,

25. Dianne Hill, Saco:

    Paul LePage,

    It would be nice if you would resign so something gets done in this stae. (sic)

    Thank you,

26. Kate Rogers, Auburn

27. PeggyAnn Doak, Bangor:

    Dear Mr. La Page (sic),

    I am asking you, requesting that you exit your office in the quickest and most assured way that never will you return. The people of Maine need a mature, grounded and non partisan Governor if we are to survive this difficult times, let alone progress to a better position financially, educationally and morally. Your actions have been childish, play ground type antics that not only embarrass our great state of Maine, but also interfere with the welfare of the people who love it and choose to live here.

    I wish you good luck in your endeavors outside of political office. Perhaps one that does not include personal contact or decisions concerning the lives and future of other human beings.

    Most Gracious Regards,

================================================

*RELATED: (UPDATED X3) Governor LePage’s “Notes From The Edge”: A Compilation

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Speaker Eves’ Legal Team File ‘Notice of Claim’ Against Governor LePage with Attorney General’s Office

Posted on August 12, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Attorneys for Maine Speaker of the House Mark Eves filed a state law claim against Governor Paul LePage today with the state’s Attorney General. From an accompanying press release by David Webbert:

 

David Webbert of Johnson, Webbert & Young, LLP speaks to press while Speaker Mark Eves looks on (July 2015).

David Webbert of Johnson, Webbert & Young, LLP speaks to press while Speaker Mark Eves looks on (July 2015).

Today, I filed a new notice of claim under Maine law against Gov. Paul LePage on behalf of Speaker Mark Eves.

The attached written notice explains why Speaker Eves has a very strong state law claim against the Governor for intentional interference with employment.  Not only did the governor violate federal law, but he also violated Maine law when he blackmailed Good Will-Hinckley to coerce it into firing Speaker Eves. This state law claim adds to the Speaker’s case against the Governor and will be considered as part of the lawsuit in federal court.

Maine law requires that this notice be filed with the Office of the Governor and the Attorney General. It also requires that Speaker Eves wait 120 days after filing this notice before he can add this state law claim to his lawsuit filed in federal court on July 30, 2015.

Here is the notice of claim.

*RELATED: “Mark W. Eves Vs Paul R. LePage” Federal Civil Lawsuit Filed In U.S. District Court

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“Mark W. Eves Vs Paul R. LePage” Federal Civil Lawsuit Filed in U.S. District Court

Posted on July 30, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Photos here of the press conference held today on the steps of the courthouse in Portland.

 

 

 

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(UPDATED x3) Governor LePage’s “Notes From The Edge”: A Compilation

Posted on July 27, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UPDATE X2: A LePage letter to now House Majority Leader Rep. Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan) is being added to this post. Frankly, with the two different pens and more scribbled appearance, it is harder to read than some of the others, but is related to bonds similar to that of the harshly worded one to Senator Patrick.

mccabe lepage letter

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UPDATE: A June 2012 note from the governor to State Senator John Patrick (D-Oxford) is being added to this post. It reads (emphasis mine):IMG_20150727_175457194_HDR

    “John

    You are a bald faced liar and cheat! Character eludes you. It is up to the Governor’s discretion on when bonds are sold, he has up to five years.

    Paul”

==========

(With apologies to Carrie Fisher et al)

Sometimes it is simply better to let the content tell the story.

1. First is this recent letter from retired librarian Louise Sullivan of Cape Elizabeth to Maine Governor Paul LePage, which read:

    “Dear Gov. LePage, please resign. You will save yourself time and embarrassment. You will save our state time and money. Sincerely, Louise Sullivan”

The governor wasted no time with his reply.

louise

2. For handwriting comparative purposes, there is this 2013 note sent by the governor to Rep. Brian Hubbell (D-Bar Harbor).

hubbell

3. Governor LePage to supporter Victor Lister of Athens, dated July 6.

victorlister

Mr. Lister had sent a copy of a published LTE to the governor:

    “It’s time for the media to take the Constitution seriously. The paper has tyrannically silenced too many voices for too long, and it should watch its language.

    Why is Gov. Paul LePage called “bombastic”? I hear him denounced regularly, and I can’t figure out why.

    I don’t approve of “taking care of” legislators by making them heads of educational institutions.

    I’m a veteran and profit mightily from being one, but I question its cost to our nation.

    Clearly, we’ve entered the “Bread and Circuses” stage of decaying empires, and, though I personally profit from it, I think it is social diabetes. LePage is doing his darndest to put Maine on a diet; the least we can do is recognize the need.

    Victor Lister, Athens”.

4. A rather informative look at the sharp-toned division between Governor LePage and GOP legislative leaders are apparent with this note, sent to Senate President Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo):

5. Lest one think that the governor incapable of being polite to legislators, we have this note directed to Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst). Seems Governor LePage thinks more of Lockman’s potential leadership qualities than those GOP leaders currently serving:

larry

6. Sometimes the meaning of the governor’s words has been lost upon the audience, in this case, Maine principals. From September 2012:

loser cartoon lepage

Jonathan Nass, LePage’s then senior policy adviser, had sent the above image along with a letter to some Maine high school principals, which read:

Governor Paul LePage sits at Governor James G. Blaine's Congressional desk.

Governor Paul LePage sits at Governor James G. Blaine’s Congressional desk.

    “Governor LePage was recently given the attached cartoon and asked that I forward it along to all of the state’s high school principals. You will see that the governor added a hand-written note. Thank you for your time and best wishes for the new school year.”

Some reported reactions:

    Deborah Migneault, principal of Portland High School, said her first thought was: What did the governor pay for postage?

    “If he sent that to all principals, it seems like an incredible waste,” she said. “We have enough to think about. I don’t think that cartoon motivates us.”

    Christian Elkington, principal of Massabesic High School in Waterboro, said he understood the governor’s point that vocational and technical education should be encouraged as an option, but disagreed with the assumption that schools don’t do that already.

    “We aren’t forcing kids down one path or another,” he said.

LePage press secretary Adrienne Bennett attempted to clarify that “career and technical education has not been given the recognition it deserves.”

    “The governor is simply saying let’s do better, let’s provide students with the choices that will provide successful outcomes,” she wrote. “Every child learns differently; our teachers recognize this and so does the governor.”

7. Finally is this note from Governor LePage on his 2014 re-election campaign letterhead to then Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook).

As the two share a “history”, no explanation from Bennett or anyone else on the second floor is needed, and unlike the above notes to Ms. Sullivan and Mr. Lister, this was not in response to a letter from Senator Jackson, but rather the governor taking the initiative to write first.

11801939_10204851265063671_1577496542_n

    “Troy,

    Until you’ve walked in my shoes you have no idea what abuse and poverty is. I’ve never attempted to throw your wife and kids or challenge your pension as you did to my family. I know what abuse is and you must realize it doesn’t always come from industrialized landowners. You talk a good game, but I saved the pension fund without you helping. I’m very sorry you felt the need to attack my family and tried to throw us on the street, but I guess actions do speak louder than words.

    P.”

It is being reported that WGME spoke with Ms. Sullivan and that the segment will air later tonight, and that the governor’s staff will not be responding.

————–

UPDATE X3: Portland Press Herald political reporter Steve Mistler linked back to this MPW post with his Aug. 17 story, “LePage’s handwritten notes show failings in Maine’s record retention law”. Some crucial points made regarding the handwritten notes, existing Maine law, and the ongoing Good Will-Hinckley investigation:

    Neither LePage nor his staff apparently makes copies of his letters – even when the topic at hand involves state policy or other matters of public interest connected to his official duties as Maine’s chief executive.

    For example, LePage’s threat to strip Good Will-Hinckley school in Fairfield of $530,000 in state funding if it hired House Speaker Mark Eves as its next president was communicated in a handwritten note from the governor to the school’s board chairman, Jack Moore. Moore has said he may have discarded the note, and a copy was not among the documents the governor’s office released to the Portland Press Herald last week in response to a Freedom of Access Act request for all records related to the Good Will-Hinckley matter.

    The administration has taken the position that LePage’s handwritten notes are not subject to the public records law because they are personal communications, not official business.

    But current and former state archivists disagree, as do experts on the Freedom of Access Act.

—–

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Rep. Jeff Evangelos, Sen. Chris Johnson Speak Publicly on Gov. LePage Investigation

Posted on July 21, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

As part of their monthly meeting held in Newcastle last night, Lincoln County Democrats invited State Senator Chris Johnson (D-Somerville) of the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee and State Representative Jeff Evangelos (I-Friendship) to speak about the ongoing investigations of Governor Paul LePage and Good Will-Hinckley.

The clip is just over an hour long and includes discussions by both legislators, as well as a lengthy Q&A session with the audience, which numbered as many as 40 people at one point. Some quick observations via Instagram here, as the meeting was occurring.

More photos of the meeting can be found here.

===========

*RELATED: ANALYSIS- Governor LePage & Good Will-Hinckley (NEW)

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Weekly Message of Governor Paul LePage: Fighting for a government free of fraud and abuse

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

AUDIO LINK HERE: Fighting for a government free of fraud and abuse

image001Fighting for a government free of fraud and abuse

No one in the State of Maine cares more for at-risk kids than I do. I was an at-risk kid. I have been there.

Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

I know what it’s like to grow up in a dysfunctional household with an abusive parent. I know what it’s like to live on the streets where crudeness and violence are so normal that the rest of the world seems foreign. I also know what it’s like to feel alienated in a public school system that doesn’t understand the needs of the at-risk kids. I care about all Maine kids, and I care about the at-risk youth at Good Will-Hinckley.

governor_lepage_350When I heard Good Will-Hinckley had hired Speaker of the House Mark Eves to run their charter school for at-risk kids, I thought it was a joke. If Speaker Eves had his way, no charter schools would have ever opened in Maine. He worked his entire political career to oppose and threaten charter schools in Maine. He is the mouthpiece for the Maine Education Association. Giving taxpayers’ money to a person who has fought so hard against charter schools would be unconscionable.

Supporters of Speaker Eves, including his admirers at the Portland Press Herald,, have portrayed him as a nice family man who is being persecuted for simply trying to get a job. That is pure political spin, and the Maine people know it.

Mark Eves enjoys the prestige and the perks that come with his powerful position as Speaker of the House. However, like most professional politicians, he does not like having to defend his voting record. And that record is crystal clear: Eves has been the most visible and most powerful opponent of charter schools in Maine.

Regardless of his efforts to close charter schools, he wanted a cushy job at a charter school that paid $150,000 in salary and benefits. You can’t make this stuff up. The media is bending over backward to defend Eves, but Mainers see it for what it is. It’s a political hack-o-rama at its worst.

Unlike prior presidents at Good Will-Hinckley who hold advance degrees in education administration and have had long careers as educators, Speaker Eves’ only qualification was being a politician in Augusta, where he’s used his position to oppose charter schools and to threaten the existence of the very organization he sought to lead.

I have spoken out against people in powerful positions who have abused the taxpayers’ trust at the expense of the Maine people. Former legislator Paul Violette, the past head of the Maine Turnpike Authority, went to jail for enriching himself and misappropriating public money.

Another former legislator, Dale McCormick, past head of the Maine State Housing Authority, was spending much more public money than was necessary to build housing units for low-income Mainers. She was ousted for her mismanagement of that agency.

These former legislators used their political positions to land cushy, high-paying jobs in which they were trusted to use taxpayer money to improve the lives of Mainers. They abused that trust and had to face the consequences of their actions. The same is true of Mark Eves.

Speaker Eves most recently broke the public trust when he orchestrated closed-door budget negotiations with three other legislative leaders, then forced the 183 other legislators to vote on a budget they did not have time to read. Thankfully, 47 legislators saw through this and voted against it.

I’m sure Mark Eves is a nice family man. He is free to speak his mind personally and politically. But so am I. When I disagree with Speaker Eves or any other politician and when I see that their actions are not in the best interest of the State of Maine, I will speak up. If Speaker Eves or anyone else wants to sue me in hopes of a big pay day, that’s their right. But I will always fight for the right of the Maine people to have a government that is free from waste, fraud and abuse.

I will not get a big pay day for my efforts. But I will sleep well at night, knowing I did the right thing for the Maine people.

image002

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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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Maine Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee Unanimously Votes to Investigate Governor Paul LePage

Posted on July 1, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

On the heels of yesterday’s citizen rally at the State House (LePage Admits To Threatening Good Will-Hinckley Re: Eves Hiring, Denies Actions Were “Blackmail”) came news late in the afternoon that the Maine Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee (GOC) would be meeting today to take up the investigation requests by Republican State Senator Tom Saviello of Wilton and a trio of Representatives, Independents Jeff Evangelos of Friendship, Ben Chipman of Portland and Democrat Charlotte Warren of Hallowell.

DSC_0019Committee Members

Senate: Roger J. Katz, Chair (R-Kennebec)
David C. Burns (R-Washington)
Paul T. Davis, Sr. (R-Piscataquis)
Christopher K. Johnson (D-Lincoln)
Stan Gerzofsky (D-Cumberland)
G. William Diamond (D-Cumberland)

House: Chuck Kruger, Chair (D-Thomaston)
Robert S. Duchesne (D-Hudson)
Anne-Marie Mastraccio (D-Sanford)
Michael D. McClellan (R-Raymond)
Richard H. Campbell (R-Orrington)
Deborah J. Sanderson (R-Chelsea)

Governor LePage through his legal counsel Cynthia Montgomery sent a letter to the committee, questioning their authority to conduct any sort of investigation into the chief executive officer.

The 12 GOC members met with Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) Director Bath Ashcroft for almost an hour, decided that they did indeed have sufficient authority to look into the serious allegations, and proceeded to discuss the scope of the investigations to be conducted by OPEGA.

Here is video of the meeting, with the sole agenda item for GOC being “NEW BUSINESS- Requests for an OPEGA Review of Matters Relating to Funding for the Goodwill- Hinckley School”.

After almost an hour of discussion, the committee agreed by an unanimous 12-0 vote to have OPEGA look into the concerns. Specific goals and parameters were set by the committee as to the scope.

Afterwards, some of those involved were willing to issue quick statements.

The committee will meet again at 9 am on Friday, July 17.

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