Candid LePage talks bond controversy, Roger Katz in radio interview

Gov. Paul LePage, R-Maine. BDN file photo by Ashley Conti.

Gov. Paul LePage, R-Maine. BDN file photo by Ashley Conti.

This morning on WVOM’s George Hale Rick Tyler Show, Gov. Paul LePage spoke candidly about his anger over Sen. Roger Katz’s bill that would force him to release more than $11 million in voter-approved conservation bonds.

LePage is using the bonds as leverage in a fight over his plan to increase the timber harvest on public lands and use the resulting revenue for home heating subsidies for low-income Mainers. It’s a repeat of a fight he had last year, in which his bill failed in the Legislature.

The governor was up-front about his no-holds-barred political strategy:

“I’m not violating any laws here,” he continued. “I’m using what’s available to me, which says I use leverage. It’s give and take. I asked and [environmentalists and lawmakers] said no. Now they see what happens until they come to the plate.”

Katz and a handful of other moderate Republicans have joined Democrats in criticizing the governor for what they describe has thwarting the will of the voters by holding the bonds hostage for an unrelated political fight.

That didn’t sit well with LePage, who called Katz’s bill “the most repulsive thing he’s ever done in government.”

You can hear the full interview here.

(HT: George Hale Rick Tyler Show, WVOM)

Mario Moretto

About Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto has been a Maine journalist, in print and online publications, since 2009. He joined the Bangor Daily News in 2012, first as a general assignment reporter in his native Hancock County and, now, in the State House. Mario left the BDN in 2015.