LePage outlines work plan

Paul LePage
Pat Wellenbach

Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage speaks during a news conference where he outlined his job-creation plan, in Augusta, Maine, on Monday, Sept. 13, 2010. LePage deflected questions about taxes paid on a Florida home. He replied testily that questions about tax exemptions claimed by his wife already have been answered. The Kennebec Journal reported last week that Ann LePage claimed permanent residency in both states and could be fined in Florida. LePage's campaign described it as a "paperwork error." (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage angrily deflected questions about taxes paid on a Florida home at a news conference Monday to present his plan to create jobs in a state he said "desperately needs" more jobs.

Paul LePage
Pat Wellenbach

Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage exits a news conference where he outlined his job-creation plan, in Augusta, Maine, on Monday, Sept. 13, 2010. LePage deflected questions about taxes paid on a Florida home. He replied testily that questions about tax exemptions claimed by his wife already have been answered. The Kennebec Journal reported last week that Ann LePage claimed permanent residency in both states and could be fined in Florida. LePage's campaign described it as a "paperwork error." (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)

After concluding his jobs presentation, LePage was asked several questions about tax exemptions claimed in 2009 on homes in Maine and Florida. In both states, property owners can receive a tax exemption — but only for their primary residence.

The Kennebec Journal reported that LePage's wife, Ann LePage, claimed permanent residency in both states and could be fined in Florida.

LePage's campaign described it as a "paperwork error" and LePage declined on Monday to elaborate. Both homes are in his wife's name.

"I am running for governor, not my wife. I want to talk about the billion dollar shortfalls we have, and if you guys want to do the Enquirer, I'm not playing," LePage said.

In his job creation proposal, LePage envisioned what he called an "EZ Pass" strategy that speeds up new business requests and snips red tape and regulations he believes throw up roadblocks to both new businesses and existing businesses that want to expand.

In addition, LePage's "Turning the Page" plan calls for cheaper costs to set up a new business. The present $145 cost is one of the nation's highest, and he wants to cut that to a $5 first-step filing fee. He also wants to expand health insurance opportunities for workers in small businesses by reducing coverage costs.

"Maine desperately needs new jobs and we need lots of good jobs," LePage said. His opponents dismissed the plan as superficial and lacking new ideas.

Part of Lepage's job-creation program is built upon educational reforms. His "Learn to Earn" program would allow students to begin earning college credits while in high school, and would put more emphasis on training in technical fields like plumbing and electronics.

LePage also envisions a plan, similar to one used in other states, that helps potential employers reach high school students who are interested in going directly into the work force after graduation.

He mentioned a program in New York that links the building and construction trades with students to create apprenticeship opportunities. "If the goal of education is a good job, then it's time we think how we're going to get there," said LePage.

Independent candidate Eliot Cutler dismissed LePage's plan as "little more than bullet points, slogans and sound bites."

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 's picture

Lepage has a plan

Lepage's Education Plan = Buy a house in Florida

 's picture

I look forward to seeing you on here.

I love your comments. Keep up the good work :)

 's picture

Thank you Voisine

Thank you Voisine ...so true..............

 's picture

I dunno, when a gubernatorial candidate

uses the word bullshit in response to a reporter's question, then I think it was accurately reported that the question was "angrily deflected"

Jonathan Albrecht's picture

Well, talk

"I want to talk about the billion dollar shortfalls we have.." Paul LePage.
Do you want to explain how the $1 billion shortfall was created by the 2007 recession Mr. LePage's party caused and then did far too little far too late to avoid losing 8.4 million jobs between 2007 and March 2009. Is this his jobs plan?
A state full of plumbers and electricians. Don't get me wrong. Plumbing and electrician are good jobs. And our Unions and Community Colleges already have apprentice /educational programs for these occupations. I don't see a great lack of jobs in these occupations that aren't already being filled. But how about engineers, chemists, biologists, doctors, lawyers, ethical businessmen, etc, etc. Think they might be occupations the state of Maine should promote?

Jonathan Albrecht's picture

His jobs play is a small thing

We know LePage and Republicans want to help business and hurt maine workers. So this so-called jobs plan is typical. Like any businessmen he will claim innovation for ideas that are already being done. He's too cheap to spend $145 to process a new business. Isn't the going rate to write a simple letter something like $50. Obviously strarting a business is much more complex than that. So he cuts the cost to $5 and the taxpayers of Maine fork over the other $140.
Everything else is aready being done. Nothing new.

 's picture

He Is Losing Me...

Paul LePage Should Be Worried. I am just one vote but people like me are looking hard at LePage and judging him by what he asked us to judge him on. One area was Transparency. He basically he would answer "any question" asked by any reporter, at any time. But he did not look good to me scurrying away and grumbling about "not playing".

While claiming residency in two states is something I can see happening I have questions about his children and their Florida tuition. I have just perused the application documents and procedures along with the "Residency Guidelines" for FSU. Establishing legal residency is a bit more complex than simply going to Florida to help a family member. It seems to me that more questions need to be asked and answered by LePage.

His answers about his property dealings, denying that his name was on his Waterville property and then admitting the fact through his PR people the next day, is unsatisfying. How could you not know that your name was on a deed AND that you filed paperwork to remove it? Did it slip your mind? Really?!?

Jonathan Albrecht's picture

Not a small matter

If LePage changed the ownership of the house in waterville in order to commit tax fraud with his wife, that's criminal. And if he did where else has he gamed the system to avoid payin taxes. What did he do at Marden's?
Tax audits of Marden's tax returns while LePage was general manager are very much in order. As are a full investigation into his own.

 's picture

Some facts that LePage seems to not know about Waterville

Okay, it is now fact that LePage is a liar. But let’s speak to his plans he announced today. None of this was new. There was a little more detail to his education idea, which I find laughable. First of all, Mr. LePage, the students that excel in the Waterville system have, for years, been able to take "Advanced Placement" courses which if they do well on the national tests mean they can skip the freshman college class for any of the courses they tested well in. Second, the students that excel in Waterville have, for years, been able to take Colby College classes their Senior year (it may be both junior and senior year -- it has been too long since my son did this for me to remember exactly). This is for the student who is top of their class. It is very apparent that the rest of the children do so poorly on the SAT that any credible college will not accept a fifth year of high school. I think it is probably more important to graduate student who can read and do math. It certainly appears that there are so many things that Paul LePage doesn't know about the City that he supposedly saved.

RONALD RIML's picture

LePage on National News now Giving Maine a Black Eye......

His childish antics in refusing to answer reporters' questions.

"I'm off in a huff, I yam , I yam!!!"

 's picture

Only after he got a

Only after he got a republican congress and cut taxes

Scott Pare's picture


I bet the republicans are wishing they could change their candidate for governor. This guy is toast. I can almost buy the answer of a minor error on the tax issue, but if you add in the fact that his kids are going to their "in-state" college in Florida, then it gets a lot more difficult to swallow.

Mark Wrenn's picture

talking points

He's nothing but talking points, no substance.

 's picture

LePage said his plan "speeds

LePage said his plan "speeds up new business requests and snips red tape and regulations." Okay, exactly what red tape and regulations does he want to eliminate. So far, what he has put out there is not a plan, it's just a complaint. Complaining is fine, as long as you have a solution, and the solution doesn't make things worse. If, as LePage has proposed, he wants to roll back environmental regulations and safeguards in the name of "jobs," then he needs to peddle his fish elsewhere.

Also, his dismissal of the issue regarding the homestead exemption shows exactly how UNFIT LePage is to be governor. This issue raises more questions and LePage has no answers. Why, as LePage said yesterday, was his wife "buying" a house they already owned (purchased in 1995 and transferred to Ann in 1996)? Also, homestead exemption in both states is not a small, backpage item on real estate transfers, it's right there up front. LePage touts himself as a business man, so how was it that something this significant slipped by? Is that how he's going to explain his screw-ups as governor-it was just a slight paperwork mixup? And why, too, has all of their real property been transferred to Ann? What is Paul LePage trying to hide? All you LePage supporters can try to dismiss this, but the fact of the matter, if this guy wants to be governor, wants to campaign on changing the way things are done in Augusta, he's not off to a very good start and he better start coming up with some good answers, and not just flowery rhetoric, but some answers with substance.

 's picture

Let us hold our tongues until

Let us hold our tongues until the answer comes out. Maybe the Lepage family did goof here or maybe in good faith they felt that the Maine home was his home and deserved the tax credit while the Florida house was in her name and she WAS there taking care of a sick parent thus she was residing in Florida. This only serves to bring up the unfairness of taxes in that because a person or family has more than one home they are treated differently. If you look honestly at where the State of Maine is economically you will realize that it needs to change and change for the better. Leave here and travel this great country and you will see how other States are doing as compared to here. Look at the taxes people pay in other States as compared to here and how those States are growing financially. The taxes citizens pay here are too high and the services received are too low. My question is why? The same mentality has prevailed for over 50 years at the State house and it is time for a change. Change must come not only to the Governor's position, but also in both chambers and also down the line in the various State offices and bureaus.

 's picture

And how long should we expect to wait, skippy?

This has gone on for days now, and we all know the truth will come out eventually. A bigger person would have stepped out and told all immediately and let the chips fall where they may. It's beginning to appear this was done to save thousands of dollars on tuition money for his kids, and while that may have been underhanded, it might have been legal. Then LePage would have been a hero to all republicans, cheating the system while complaining about welfare. But now he just looks like a dirty politician.

 's picture

off to a bad start

like the bumper sticker sez "if you think education is expensive, try ignorance". this seems to be lepage's platform not transparency. if he's ducking questions already, what's it going to be like if we put this bozo in the blaine house. will he claim the homestead exemption on that property too?

 's picture

He seems so hot headed.

He seems so hot headed.

RONALD RIML's picture

Did either child come back from Florida to vote in Primary??

Did either child come back from Florida to vote in Primary??

Hope a News-Hawk ferrets that one out, also....

 's picture

Sounds to me like there might have been some

real estate transfer in order to escape potential nursing home charges. That's done all the time, and normally booby would be one guy to ferret that out, unless, of course it's a republican candidate for governor.

Mark Wrenn's picture


Just like Christie in NJ, a clerical error that cost NJ $400 million...

Lepage residency scam

Liar, liar , pants on fire! How is he going to react in a real crisis!

RONALD RIML's picture

But it's not in the Mother-in-Law's name??

So it's not her house.

Mark Wrenn's picture


Looks kinda like he's ready to cry, take his ball and go home.

RONALD RIML's picture

Perhaps Gov. LePage will have Florida Taxpayers foot our Bills!

If it works for his family, it might work for the entire State of Maine!!!

LePage for Governor!!!!!

RONALD RIML's picture

My old GOP governor from Illinois is now in Federal Prison

Governor George Ryan of Illinois was from my home town, Kankakee, IL.

He amassed one hell of a war chest to run for governor when he was the Secretary of State in Illinois - corruption to the max!! His Inspector General, Dean Bauer, was my old Chief of Police. He helped quash any and all investigations into corruption - until the Feds sniffed them out. They both wound up in Federal Prison. God, the crap folks think they can get away with!!

They were both investigated, indicted, and convicted under 'Operation Safe Roads - along with over 77 others by Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

Mark Wrenn's picture

power point

"Independent candidate Eliot Cutler dismissed LePage's plan as "little more than bullet points, slogans and sound bites."" True, but he can do PowerPoint miming!

Mark Wrenn's picture

typical crook

He's a typical GOP crook: "And the candidate is now acknowledging that two of his children did qualify for in-state tuition, at a considerable savings, at Florida State University. FSU has a number of resident tuition requirements -- including proof of receiving a Florida homestead exemption benefit." http://goo.gl/radu

RONALD RIML's picture

So he's an 'Atypical' GOP crook....

He's stealing to educate his family.......

 's picture

If that's true, he's in big trouble

he can no longer claim it was an 'paperwork error', but it was deliberate. But rumors will start to fly, so lets find out the truth.

 's picture

veritas you sexist pig

I'm glad in your world its a man's job to "keep tabs" on his wife. No wonder you're single.

RONALD RIML's picture

There you go, Sandra. Pretending you read a comment again....

Glaring at letters and words obviously didn't mean you really could comprehend their meaning.

I'm single?? Please don't tell mywife!

 's picture

It's been a humerous diverson, however

if there's a reasonable explanation he should give it to us. It clouds his entire message

Bob Woodbury's picture


the daughter got a break attending college in Florida because of the Florida tax exemption.

RONALD RIML's picture

If he can't keep tabs on personal matters - how are we to

know he can keep tabs on the complexity of the Peoples' matters?

This is a very valid point which needs clearing up.

Bob Woodbury's picture

I give up...

When did Bill Clinton announce his candidacy for Maine governor?

Bill Clinton

You can all say what you want about the man, but we had unprecedented budget surplus's during his presidency!I personally would rather have a president screwing an intern, rather than the country!


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