In advance of Paul LePage’s economy-focused media event this afternoon – his first event in more than a month – Maine Democrats are highlighting how Maine’s economy is stronger than it ever was under LePage. On nearly all metrics, Maine’s economy is better off under Governor Mills:

As WMTW reported last week:

  • Maine’s GDP growth under Mills (2.4%) has been above the national average under LePage Maine’s economy grew more slowly (.9%) than the nation as a whole.

  • The state’s GDP – a key measure of economic growth – grew at 5.2 percent in 2021, the biggest annual gain since 1999.

  • Maine’s unemployment rate is 2.8 percent lower than it ever was under LePage and is lower than the U.S. and New England unemployment rates.

  • According to the Maine Center for Economic Policy, annual business growth under Governor Mills has been nearly triple (1,601/yr to 492/yr) compared to Paul LePage.

  • Maine’s Rainy Day Fund now stands at a record $896 million. Governor Mills has put more money into the Rainy Day Fund in three and a half years than Paul LePage did in his entire eight.

  • Conservative economists gave Governor Mills’ response to the pandemic an “A” grade, noting that she was able to keep pandemic deaths low while limiting economic harm.

  • Governor Mills has not raised taxes. Instead, she’s cut the income tax for retirees and delivered substantial property tax relief for Maine people.

Republicans have even highlighted a report showing that inflation in Maine is lower compared to the rest of the nation. Governor Mills worked with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to deliver $850 in inflation relief ($1700 for the average Maine family) – one of the strongest measures in the country, a measure opposed by Paul LePage.

Over the last few months, LePage and his campaign have refused to engage with the reality that Maine’s economy is strong, instead pushing easily disprovable lies about the state’s economic recoveryRainy Day Fundtaxeseducation funding, and so much more.

At today’s press conference will LePage finally acknowledge Governor Mills’ excellent stewardship of the economy as better than his? Or will he continue to lie to cover up his own record of failure?

Of course, the economy is not the only topic where LePage’s campaign is creating more questions than it’s answering.

LePage has also spent the last few weeks dodging questions and outright lying about his plans for abortion rights in Maine, even as he’s embraced the support of Ron DeSantis, Glenn Youngkin and other Republican governors who are targeting abortion rights in their states.

Would LePage sign an abortion ban into law if it crossed his desk? If so, what exceptions to such a ban would he support, if any? He needs to clearly answer these questions and stop hiding his stances from voters.  

LePage’s time in office was riddled with disastrous policies. While he has said that another LePage term would “look a lot like the first,” he hasn’t yet confirmed:

Would he rescind MaineCare expansion? Would he cut or eliminate funding for naloxone? Would he roll back Governor Mills’ progress on fighting climate change?