Paul LePage vs. Stephen King. It’s an irresistible confrontation, right? Judging by all the attention it’s gotten today, I’d say so.
It should come as no surprise that Maine’s most famous resident (I’m talking about King here) garners a lot of attention. Everything he writes is a best-seller. Especially when he begins a public statement by saying the governor is full of sh… oops, I mean “the stuff that makes the grass grow green.”
On Wednesday, LePage released his weekly radio address, which is all about his goal of reducing the state’s income tax. At the end of his argument that Maine’s high income tax drives people to move to other states where there is less income tax, LePage cited three examples: former Gov. Ken Curtis (who led the implementation of Maine’s income tax in 1969), Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby and Maine’s own master of horror, Stephen King.
Today, King released a statement that says he and his wife, Tabitha, pay “every cent” of their Maine income taxes. That implies that they live in Maine the majority of the time, though it is well known that the Kings have a home in Florida, which King did not address in his statement.
Later in the day, LePage’s office issued a new version of the weekly address that didn’t include any reference to Quimby or King.
“We had to take Stephen King at his word,” said LePage Communications Director Peter Steele. “He said he pays income taxes in Maine so we corrected the radio address.”
Steele said Quimby’s name was also taken out of the radio address because she was mentioned in the same sentence as King was.
LePage made a mistake this week, which he has corrected. Perhaps his biggest mistake was tangling with King in the first place.
In the past, LePage has been criticized frequently for his public statements. To my knowledge, this is the first time he’s been attacked for something that he said he was going to say. His radio address airs this weekend.