“Not a politician” LePage uses political patronage to give Skowhegan bond to Republicans, not Dems that worked for it
On August 10, 2012 At 9:55 pm
Responses : 16 Comments
Late this evening the Maine Senate Republicans – not the Governor’s office – announced that Gov. Paul LePage has signed a memo to Treasurer Bruce Poliquin authorizing the sale of $375,300 in bonds dedicated to a downtown improvement project in Skowhegan. The memo is not available at this time, but the press release states that it is “similar to the one issued to the town of Livermore Falls.”
Three weeks ago Rep. Jeff McCabe, a Democrat from Skowhegan, sent a letter asking Gov. LePage to release bonds approved by the voters so that the project in his town – already under way – could continue to move forward. In a hand written note, LePage responded that the town could issue its own bonds. It was then learned that a project in Livermore Falls was able to get a bridge loan after Gov. LePage authorized a $400,000 bond for that town. Livermore Falls is represented in the Maine Legislature by a republican, Gary Knight.
So it is of interest that we learn from the Maine Senate Republicans:
Senator Rod Whittemore of Somerset County and Donald Skillings, Chair of the Skowhegan Planning Board, worked with the Governor’s office to secure a memo similar to the one issued to the town of Livermore Falls and Norway.
In securing this memo from Governor LePage, Senator Whittemore and Planning Board Chair Skillings have given Skowhegan the opportunity to find alternative funding sources that will allow the project to be completed.
Skillings is McCabe’s opponent for the House District 85 seat this November.
For those with an interest, the complete correspondence between Rep. McCabe and Gov. LePage can be found here:
In reading it is clear that Rep. McCabe is simply looking after the interests of the people he represents, and that it is Gov. LePage who is the antagonistic and belligerent one. Of note is that not until now have the names of Sen. Roger Whittemore or Donald Skillings been mentioned. A FOAA request will be filed to ascertain exactly when these two gentlemen became involved in this matter.
McCabe did send this email in response to a request for comment:
The governor has finally taken a small step toward helping the businesses and people of Skowhegan, who were stunned by his decision to withhold the voter-approved bonds in the first place. He’s now promised to cut a check in three years for a bill that’s come past due. I’m glad my letters bringing attention to this issue were able to help secure a promise of payment even if it is for three years from now after the governor’s term has expired. At the end of the day, I want to see jobs for area contractors and we want to encourage people to support Downtown Skowhegan.
Jodi Quintero, communications director for the Maine House Democrats, was not as polite:
The governor is clearly the one playing politics by involving McCabe’s campaign opponent in the discussion and by continuing a pattern of party patronage. It doesn’t pass the straight face test to suggest anything else.
So what we are left with is a governor who has been describe as “not a politician” involved in the oldest of political games, that of patronage. Skillings wasted no time in posting the Republican Senate press release on his facebook page, with the lead in:
Just wanted the people of our town to understand what I can do for the folks in Skowhegan if I’m given the chance in November. Vote for results not rhetoric!