LePage capitulates on Skowhegan funding ... but only to a fellow Republican

Posted Friday, August 10, 2012 in Investigation

LePage capitulates on Skowhegan funding ... but only to a fellow Republican

AUGUSTA -- On Friday evening, the LePage administration announced that Gov. Paul LePage issued a memo to Treasurer Bruce Poliquin agreeing to offer the bonds for Skowhegan's Funds for Maine Communities project on or before June 20, 2015.

But in yet another political twist, LePage agreed to sign the memo only after State Sen. Rodney Whittemore, R-Skowhegan, and Donald Skillings, chairman of Skowhegan’s planning board, who just happens to be running for the seat of Democrat Jeff McCabe (Dist. 85), who had originally gone to the governor for his help on this issue.

In a statement, Whittemore said:

"We both [Whittemore and Skillings] both felt it was necessary to reach out to the governor on his terms.  The governor is looking out for state finances and that should be important to all Mainers, but the governor also recognizes the importance of getting some of these local projects off the ground.  Donald [Skillings] and I were not interested in political gamemanship with the governor, that is why we quietly sought a meeting, and I think the results speak for themselves." 

Skowhegan is the only community with Democratic representation that has received any help on the bond issue, but only after it had received a large amount of negative publicity for the governor's office, who was accused by McCabe and the media of playing politics with state funding.

Bath, Belfast, and Rockland, towns with Democratic representation in Augusta, failed to qualify for additional CBDG funding.

As more details about the arrangement with Skowhegan's Republican political establishment become available, we will publish them here.

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