As the second session of the 127th Legislature opens, you can be sure it will be more political than last session. That’s because 2016 is an election year.
Politicians know how to provide lip service, and that’s exactly what they will be doing for the next few months as they use the session for their campaign soapbox.
I did not come to Augusta to provide lip service. I came to work for the Maine people. I also came to Augusta to root out crooked politicians and government corruption. I’ve upset their apple cart, and they don’t like it. They could not defeat me at the ballot box, so they are trying to destroy me any way they can. But, as the saying goes, when you point a finger at me, three fingers are pointing back at you. These politicians are the same people who are guilty of deceiving the Maine people.
They wasted six months of the taxpayers’ time and money on a political witch hunt, only to find no wrongdoing. They convened a kangaroo court, but shut it down as soon as the truth started to come out. They blundered on the budget. In June 2015, they orchestrated a secretive, back-room deal on the budget, which included wasteful spending of millions of taxpayer dollars. They rejected real tax reform. We put up a bill to amend the Maine Constitution to eliminate the income tax. These politicians rejected the bill, denying Mainers a chance to vote on how much tax the government should take out of their paychecks.
They refuse to be transparent. Maine Public Broadcasting Network has offered to broadcast the legislative session for years so Maine people can see what these politicians are doing. They have repeatedly denied funding to MPBN, so they can keep hiding their business from you the Maine people.
Now they are playing politics with the drug crisis. They finally agreed to pay for some Maine Drug Enforcement Agency agents. However, like Washington, D.C. politicians, they included money and special favors for their friends. The bill sends money for drug treatment to a hand-picked organization whose programs have been ineffective.
These electioneering politicians will continue to attack me because they think it will win them votes back home. They will keep making shady back-room deals so they can say they are working in a bipartisan fashion.
Three independent legislators came to me in 2013 to say they would support my bills if I support theirs. They call it “quid pro quo.” I call it corruption. I threw them out of my office. Now they are leading the charge to impeach me. I say, “Bring it on.” I will continue to publicly denounce politicians who put themselves ahead of the Maine people.
If we really want accountability and transparency in government, we must let the Maine people know what is really happening in Augusta. The media won’t expose their favorite politicians for the dishonest and deceptive games they play with the taxpayers’ money, by my Administration will.
Paul R. LePage