Ahead of tonight’s gubernatorial debate hosted by WGME and Bangor Daily News, Maine Democrats are calling out Paul LePage for his lack of serious plans to address the problems Maine people are facing. Here’s just a sample of how reporters and experts have reacted to the proposals LePage has been making on the campaign trail:
Housing developers say that LePage’s plan to address the housing shortage he helped create “doesn’t make a lick of sense.”
Bangor Daily News: …the developer of the Gilman Street School project in Waterville said that while Maine should convert as many old schools as possible to housing, they should not be emptied out to do so. It could entangle developments that can already be politically fraught with other thorny education issues, said Kevin Bunker of Portland-based Developers Collaborative. “It doesn’t make a lick of sense, frankly,” Bunker said of LePage’s idea.
Recovery community advocates say that LePage’s plan for emergency Naloxone treatment is “inhumane.”
Maine Public: LePage went on to say that he has a specific problem with taxpayer-funded Naloxone and that people who require it should have to pay for it if they're revived more than once or twice. Courtney Allen, with the Maine Recovery Access Project, said the governor's comments were inhumane. “You're literally talking about somebody on the ground, their face is blue and they can't breathe and we're going to be asking them for their checkbook?” she said.
The Bangor Daily News says that LePage’s plan to bolster Maine’s health care workforce “isn’t his, and it’s already happening.”
Bangor Daily News: Former Gov. Paul LePage said last week he’s been working on a way to train more doctors in Maine, helping to address a health care workforce shortage in the state. But the idea he said he’s been working on isn’t his. In fact, it’s already in progress as the University of New England moves the state’s only medical school to its Portland campus and expands its capacity for medical residents.
According to the Maine Monitor, LePage’s plan to provide inflation relief by cutting taxes put in place since the beginning of the pandemic makes no sense because there are no new taxes to cut:
Maine Monitor: In the first debate of the gubernatorial campaign, famously tax-critical former Republican Gov. Paul LePage suggested he would suspend all new taxes put in place since the pandemic began to combat inflation…But Maine has not introduced new taxes since the pandemic began, according to the state and a review of the Legislative Taxation Committee bills from 2020 to 2022.
And the Portland Press Herald Editorial Board says that LePage isn’t serious about finding solutions for Maine’s lobster industry:
Portland Press Herald: Paul LePage [says] that Democrats are lying about their support for lobster fishing and are working in the shadows to destroy it, all because of their work with environmental groups also worried about the future of the Gulf of Maine. That’s absurd, particularly coming from people who have fought conservation and clean energy, held funding back from working waterfronts and called for oil drilling off the Maine coast.
“For eight years, Paul LePage completely failed to address key issues that Mainers were facing. It’s clear he still doesn’t have any good ideas of his own,” said Drew Gattine, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. “On issue after issue, Governor Mills has listened to the concerns of Maine people and worked with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to find new and innovative solutions. The idea that LePage would be able to work collaboratively to do the same is utterly ridiculous.”