Maine Legislature

House Democratic Office

www.housedemocrats.maine.gov

 

 

March 7, 2014

Contact: Ann Kim 287-1488, cell: 233-1838

 

 

REP. MCCABE: MAINE NEEDS AN EFFECTIVE CEO

LePage’s watch marked by mismanagement and crisis

 

Governor Paul LePage tells us he’s a businessman. He describes himself as a turnaround specialist, as someone who’s got the know-how to make good things happen for our state.

 

But the reality is that Maine has not fared well under his rule.

 

Good morning, I’m Assistant House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan. Thank you for tuning in.

 

Governor LePage is the chief executive of our state – our CEO, if you will. But I ask you, has he been an effective one?

 

Maine’s economy has suffered on his watch.

 

Our state was the worst in the nation when it comes to private sector job growth. More children are living in poverty – the number has grown to one in four Maine children. Families are working harder but making less. And just this week, we learned that Maine lost manufacturing jobs for the third year in a row.

 

Governor LePage says he knows how to grow an economy. Is this what he meant?  Seems to me that this is hardly a record to brag about.

 

Maine needs real leadership to get its economy moving again. But instead, we’re seeing mismanagement and crisis at every turn.

 

There’s his $1 million no-bid contract to a political ally – one who didn’t turn in his work in on time and made a huge math error. There’s the federal investigation into his interference with unemployment hearing officers. There’s the document shredding scandal.

 

And there’s his refusal to work with the Legislature on a state budget – a major part of his job description as chief executive.

 

And now, Governor LePage is playing political games with our economy again. He is preventing Mainers from working by refusing to release voter-approved bonds.

 

The governor signed off on bonds that would create jobs and put money into our economy. We’re talking about projects that improve our roads and bridges and help colleges and universities train workers for the jobs of tomorrow.

 

But then the governor decided to change his mind – even though the money has already started flowing to projects.  Shovel-ready projects – like an expansion at Maine Maritime Academy -- are at risk. Workers should be putting on their tool belts but now the governor is keeping them waiting in the cold.

 

What kind of CEO reneges on these kinds of business commitments? What kind of CEO refuses to pay his bills?

 

I’ll tell you: a bad CEO. 

 

This latest crisis came up after lawmakers from both sides of the aisle came together to keep the state’s funding promise to local communities. This longstanding arrangement gives back a portion of sales and income tax revenue to towns and cities. Revenue sharing helps our local communities pay for services like schools, police and road maintenance while keeping property taxes from spiking.

 

When he was a mayor, Governor LePage recognized the value of protecting communities and their property taxpayers. But these days, he’s talking out of the other side of his mouth.

 

The governor claims he’s acting this way because he doesn’t like part of the plan to protect revenue sharing. He’s trying to blame the use of the rainy day fund even though the plan maps out how it would be replenished – and even though he’s used a lot more of it himself in the past.

 

A few days ago, the governor slammed Democrats for supporting revenue sharing. He seemed surprised to learn than Republicans were part of the overwhelming veto-proof majorities that supported the critical measure to prevent property tax spikes.

 

It would be kind of funny, if it wasn’t so scary that he doesn’t know what’s going on right upstairs from his office.

 

Because he knows he lost on revenue sharing, he’s decided to hold bonds hostage.

 

It defies common sense – and business sense. Maine needs more predictability from its CEO.

 

Call the governor – your state’s CEO – and tell him to release the bonds so Mainers can get back to work.

 

Thank you for listening. This is Assistant House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan.