LePage opts out of forum sponsored by environmental group

Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage has declined to attend an Oct. 21 forum sponsored by the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

The other four candidates on the ballot will participate.

Dan Demeritt, LePage’s new press secretary, said the campaign had made an “internal strategic decision” not to attend.

“We’ve gone to like 60 of these,” Demeritt said. “We can’t go to every single one.”

LePage has taken heat from environmental groups for saying he supports offshore drilling in the Gulf of Maine and that environmental regulations have strangled business growth.

Asked if the campaign was avoiding the forum because it might be a hostile environment, Demeritt said, “Everything gets considered in these kinds of decisions. Paul’s a fighter and he wants to talk about creating jobs. After looking at the offers we had that day, clearly we thought we had better options to talk about creating jobs and taking on the establishment.”

The forum will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at 88 Bedford St. in Portland.

Demeritt said LePage was attending events in Portland and Biddeford that same day. He said the candidate had a fundraiser at the same time as the debate.

Demeritt also stressed that LePage is a privately financed candidate and reliant on donations in a poor economy.

“It’s something that (Democratic candidate) Libby Mitchell, who has opted to spend public money on her campaign, doesn’t have to do," Demeritt said. “It would have been easier to collect $5 checks, but that’s not how Paul believes campaigns should be run.”

Mitchell's campaign director, David Loughran, criticized LePage's decision.

"Maine's environment is important to our economy and our quality of life," Loughran said. "Mr. LePage needs to explain his support for drilling in the Gulf of Maine, building a nuclear power plant and weakening our environmental protections.

"There is a big difference between Libby and LePage on environmental issues and voters deserve to hear those differences discussed. We hope Mr. LePage changes his mind and attends this important event."

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 's picture


This registered Democrat will not be voting for Libby Mitchell. I think she is bribed by the windsprawl thieves to say what they and Gov B. want to hear. Libby and the NRCM, what are you thinking, you are ruining the mtns and you do not care. Your wind turbine pals from Boston want to foster a trading market in energy credits so they can cash in big time, like Enron. They do not care that Mainers cannot afford expensive windpower and that C02 is not reduced or fossil fuel use is not reduced. It is a bald faced lie from Big Wind. FirstMaine not FirstWind. (or whatever their new incarnation is called, but the Friends fo Lincoln Lakes are an unknown quantity though we are called by our first names in the town office) Did the slick lawyers tell the town to delete certain voices from the tape recordings? You bet they did. Corrupt bass-turds.

Brad Blake's picture

Why Should He?

Why should Paul LePage attend an NRCM forum when it will be nothing but a love-fest between NRCM and their favorite candidate Libby Mitchell. Baldacci was NRCM's lap dog and Mitchell will just be a third Baldacci term. These elitists wormed their way into the Augusta political scene and they deserve to be thrown out along with all the rest of the Baldacci era hangers-on. Only Paul LePage seems to be the candidate that will bring about real change in Augusta.

NRCM positions itself to be part of state government and have been, along with Libby Mitchell, promoting an economic and environmental dusater for Maine in its promotion of industrial wind development. Wind is an industry that wouldn't exist without heavy taxpayer subsidies and is bad economics and bad public policy. It appears only Paul LePage understands that. Libby Mitchell, along with NRCM, are hypocrites. Out of one side of their mouths they say they protect the natural resources and environment and Quality of Place in Maine and out of the other side of their mouths they push the industrialization of Maine's mountain tops and ruining what makes Maine special.

With Paul LePage, everything is on the table and decisions get made based on cost effectiveness. That's what I like in a leader.

Mary Nolette's picture

Pot calling the kettle black

"Mr LePage needs to explain his support for... weakening our environmental protections"
The same should be asked of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Where has the voice of NRCM been regarding the blasting of Maine's mountaintops, of the rape of wetlands for powerlines?
Has NRCM been anything other than a cheerleader for this environmental travesty?

 's picture

Good Move LePage

Why waste your time with these enviro-liars and thieves. A real environmentalist weighs cost/benefit. LePage analyzes things based on fact , not fad.
Wind power is the ruination of Maine's symbol of clean environment. The negative costs and lack of cost analysis by the Wind Zombies like Mitchell and NRCM are not worth wasting ones breath on.
LePage will stop Maine from becoming a plantation state . We will negotiate for inexpensive hydro from Canada, and end this subsidy sucking fad called wind in Maine.
Wind power in Maine will increase cist for all business in Maine, and LePage knows this very well.

Mary Nolette's picture

NCRM turns its back on Maine's environment

The NRCM has turned it's back on Maine's environment, and decided, instead, to be swayed by large donations from industrial wind.
Natural Resources Council of Maine should change it's name to National Wind Council of Maine. They favor wind interests over the protection of our natural resources. They are traitors of the worst kind.
Good for you LepPage.


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