Maine lawmakers will begin debating impeachment proceeding that have been brought against Maine’s Republican Tea Party Governor Paul LePage.
The proceedings were tabled by State Representative Ben Chipman (D.-Portland) and accuse LePage of misusing government funds and abusing power.
Specifically, LePage threatened to remove state-funding from a charter school organization Good Will-Hinckley unless they withdrew a job offer they had extended to Maine state House Speaker Mark Eves (D).
“To provide half-a-million dollars in taxpayer funding to a charter school that would be headed by Maine’s most vehement anti-charter-school politician is not only the height of hypocrisy, it is absolutely unacceptable,” LePage said.
The legislature is arguing that it is none of LePage’s business to whom Good Will-Hinckley extends a job offer too, and to threaten to revoke their funding is an abuse of his power as Governor.
“People have really had enough, all across the state,” Chipman said. “They’re tired of the governor’s behavior and they’re tired of the legislature not doing anything about it. I thought, Yeah, they’re right, we do need to do something about.”
LePage is known for outrageous comments and behavior including most recently when asked about the heroin trade in Maine. In response to the question about heroin , LePage went on a racially fueled tirade on how destructive trafficking is to “young white girls”.
“the traffickers… These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty, these types of guys… they come up here, they sell their heroin, and they go back home… Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing…”
This is not the only offhand comment that he has said during his tenure as Governor. LePage has had an abrasive relationship with local media.
“I want to find the Portland Press Herald building and blow it up,” LePage said in 2013 while participating in a jet fighter simulation.
LePage’s opponents are saying that the way he conducts himself is hurting the image of Maine.
“Because of Paul LePage, Maine’s pristine image has taken a beating. The whole world is watching,” said Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, an impeachment supporter and political independent.
LePage however, is unapologetic.
“I did not come to Augusta to provide lip service,” he said Tuesday. “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.”
Representative Chipman however, seems confident that his side has the evidence to bring LePage down.
“This would set up a House investigation committee to look at all eight counts in their totality to see if there is a clear pattern of abuse of power, misuse of public assets, any violations of state law,” Chipman said. “We feel pretty confident there have been violations of law and that we’ll probably be voting on impeachment.”
[Huffington Post] [Inquisitr] [Portland Press Herald] [Washington Times] [Photo courtesy of POLITICO]