A Compendium of the Lies, Flip-Flops and Gaffes of one Paul LePage
On October 31, 2010 At 5:00 pm
Responses : One Comment
Reader cc123 has suggested, as a way of providing a public service, that a compendium of the lies and gaffes of Paul LePage be made so as to provide one handy reference for all to use.
This diary will be the first draft of such a list. I’ll begin with the obvious ones that I know off the top of my head, and try to put them in chronological order. Please feel free to offer your own suggestions (with links as appropriate) and corrections.
I know there is the claim he didn’t seek out the Tea Party – I’m trying to figure out how to place it.
So many more to go!
LePage flip-flops on same-sex marriage, 13 October 2009/14 April 2010: Derek Viger, now writing at Pine Tree Politics, noted this flip-flop from Paul LePage on the subject of same-sex marriage. In an interview on 13 October 2009, LePage said:
I don’t believe that the state should be in the marriage business. The State, for years and years and years, has been trying to sanitize religion out of government. So if they’re truly intent on doing that, I think what the legislature should have done is simply say, okay folks, we’re going to have a civil union. And anyone that wants to have a contract to say that they want all the freedoms, they have a civil union. If you want to have a marriage we’ll leave that up to the churches. So I go one step further than many because I say if you’re going to get married by the State, its a civil union, period. Whether you’re a homosexual, lesbian, heterosexual. Everybody. That way everybody gets the same legal standing.
But at a GOP primary forum six months later, when asked “Would you support civil unions for gay men and lesbians? All said “yes” except for Beardsley and LePage.”
LePage adds further obfuscation: When asked in a questionnaire from the Red County Caucus (undated), “What is your stance on such social issues as abortion and Gay marriage: in addition, do you see a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage, in conjunction with, civil unions to provide legal status to Gay couples as a viable solution to the traditional/Gay marriage debate?” LePage responded:
My belief is traditional marriage needs to be protected and the definition of marriage should not be changed. I would support a constitutional amendment to protect marriage as currently defined by Maine law. I support Civil Law Contracts that protect the civil rights of all citizens. I would oppose any law giving any class of citizen’s special rights.
Bull semen, 26 October 2009: At an early Maine Republican gubernatorial primary forum, Paul LePage claims that “the State of Maine is the only state in the United States of America that charges sales tax on bull semen. You hear that? Bull semen. The only place in the United States of America – this state.” (Video here). Except that the State of Maine had exempted bull semen from the sales tax in 2005.
Wood harvesting not allowed on Lands for Maine’s Futures Lands, 22 April 2010: In an interview with SeaCoastOnline, Lepage tells Deborah McDermott to “look at Land for Maine’s Future. You can’t harvest timber, you can’t do any cutting. No one is going to have the benefit of creating wealth and prosperity from it.” Except that the Guidelines for Use on All Land for Maine’s Future Properties clearly state that “Many LMF projects involve easements that permit continued sustainable forestry alongside recreational uses of the land. In these areas, you may encounter active logging operations.”
Poland Spring Water, 12 May 2010: In this [interview http://bit.ly/dpW3xw] on Inside Maine Business, LePage caps a tour de force of his lies with this whopper: “It’s illegal to put Poland Spring water into the Kennebec River because it exceeds the standards of of the sewage district.”
LePage accuses Arden Manning of using an ethnic slur, 24 July 2010: It’s known as the Crazy Train for good reason. On a Saturday morning, the LePage campaign hired out the Maine Eastern Railroad for what used to be called a special run. On board was MPBN‘s Susan Sharon, who recorded LePage accusing Maine Democratic Coordinated Campaign Director Arden Manning of saying he was not qualified to be governor because he was “French Catholic.” Three days later on the Ken and Mike Show on WGAN-AM, when asked three times to provide evidence, LePage refused to do so. On 21 September, the hosts of the show call LePage a “liar” and write that his campaign is “undone”.
LePage claims to not seek out the Tea Party, 24 July 2010: There’s a reason why it’s called the Crazy Train – also from that ride there is this claim, as reported by the Lincoln County News, that “They [the Tea Party] adopted me instead of me seeking them out.” But as this video posted by Lobsterbake notes, on 16 January 2010, LePage pleads, “today, more than ever, I need your help.” (Ed. There is a YouTube video of LePage at four or five rallies – please provide link)
Down East Peat, 21 August 2010: LePage told MPBN‘s Susan Sharon that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) made Down East Peat count buffalo in Maine. Sharon reports that it never happened. Video of LePage telling the story to a group in Sanford on 20 February 2010 here. LePage provides a bonus lie when he claims that there are 16 species of black flies in Maine – there are over 40.
Maine’s public schools are in bottom third in results, 23 August 2010: Matt Stone, who writes for MaineToday Media and is an expert on Maine’s public schools, reported that at a meeting of the Waterville Rotary Club, Paul LePage said that “currently in the state of Maine, we are in the top third in spending and in the bottom third in results. We need to flip-flop that.” As Stone goes on to show in his piece, Maine’s “fourth- and eighth-grade students have exceeded it [the national average] in every measure shown, in some cases going back to 1998,” and that Maine’s graduation rate of “76.3 percent outranks the national average of 73.2 percent for the percentage of freshman who had completed high school within four years.”
LePage claims Dept. of Agriculture report has 3 fees on farmers, 31 August 2010: At a gubernatorial candidates forum, Paul LePage said, “”I read the report from the Department of Agriculture to the Governor and every page had at least 3 fees. License fees, registration fees every page. It’s a 20 page report. No wonder they’re going broke, we’re feeing them and licensing, and permitting them to death.” Bruce Bourgoine did the math, and determined that the report must contain 60 such fees, read the paper, and [reports http://bit.ly/9W5sWC] that the word “license” does not appear at all, “registration” appears once, and “the word fee comes up 3 times in reference to the ‘handling fee schedule’ and even then it appears once in the Executive Summary, once in the Findings, and once in the Recommendations.” LePage 60, actual occurrences 3.
The Homestead Tax Exemption Fiasco, 10 September 2010: The LePages cooked up a scheme in which wife Ann would claim residency in Florida as a way to avoid out-of-state tuition costs for two of their children who were/are attending Florida State University. As proof of residency, the University required a copy of their Homestead Tax Exemption. This led Ann LePage to unwittingly claim the exemption in Maine and Florida, which Paul LePage attributed to a “paperwork error.” To this day, the LePages have not said whether they will pay the difference in in-state and out-of-state tuition costs, which seems to run counter to LePage’s campaign theme of how people come to Maine to game our State’s welfare system.
LePage claims that the Maine Democratic Party threatened to boycott Marden’s: In an interview on MaineBiz Sunday, Paul LePage makes another unsubstantiated charge against someone within the Maine Democratic Party, in this case:
LePAGE: When you have, when you speak out as a Republican mayor of Waterville, and someone from the controlling party calls your board of directors and says, “Get rid of this guy or we’re going to boycott your stores, that’s adversarial.
HOST: That actually happened?
LePAGE: That actually happened.
To this day, LePage has not been asked by the Maine MSM to prove this outrageous claim, nor has he voluntarily done so.
LePage claims his name was never on the deed of the family house in Waterville, 13 September 2010: At a news conference, MPBN‘s AJ Higgins asked, “Why did you take your name off your real estate in Waterville?” LePage responded, “Never had it on, never had it on, EVER!” Higgins placed a phone call to the Kennebec County Registry of Deeds and found that in fact Paul LePage’s name was on the deed.
LePage repeats the myth about mandatory gun ownership in Switzerland, 16 September 2010: In an interview with Jarod LeBlanc, LePage repeats the old myth, “In Switzerland, the head of household is required to own a gun.” As Bruce Bourgoine makes clear in this piece, there are no such mandates.
LePage denies that he said bullshit at a press conference, 17 September 2010: Despite being recorded on video saying “Let’s stop the bullshit,” (13 September 2010), during an interview on the Howie Carr Show on WRKO in Boston, [Paul LePage says that he never used an expletive at the press conference the previous Monday http://bit.ly/bqrcLw]. During the same interview LePage also makes another unsubstianted charge that the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) accused him of being a “sexual harassment person.
LePage claims 50% of families in Maine are headed by a single parent, 27 October: During the Prepare Maine gubernatorial forum, LePage said, “50% or better of our families have one parent.” The reality is that just 21.3% of Maine families are headed by a single parent.