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Video of LePage critcizing Baldacci budget used against him

8:03 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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WATERVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- In a Waterville city council meeting four years ago, an impassioned Mayor LePage spoke out against then-Governor Baldacci's budget, which reduced payments to cities and towns.

"At the eleventh hour, they're changing the rules and sticking it to the property tax payer," LePage said. "I really believe the people of Waterville, people of the state of Maine, ought to revolt against this administration."

Now, his words are being used against him.

Members of the group "Maine's Majority" dug up the 2009 footage while researching a response to the Governor's proposed biennial budget.

Maine's Majority Co-Founder Chris Korzen said the footage was "interesting" given LePage's proposed cuts to municipal revenue sharing.

"I think it's important that folks know that just about everybody thinks this is a bad idea, even Governor LePage," said Korzen.

Korzen said the cuts to revenue sharing shift the tax burden unfairly, and hurt Maine's middle class.

In Lewiston, for example, city officials say it would mean a $4 million cut to the city's $44 million budget.

"For the city of Lewiston, it's an equivalent cut to eliminating either the police department or the fire department," said former Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert. "That is a major cut."

Maine's Majority began circulating the old Waterville City Council footage, and other group, the Maine People's Alliance, took notice.

The MPA has launched a campaign called "Fair Tax Towns."

The campaign calls for a different approach to balancing the budget, and supports municipalities like Lewiston, which passed a resolution opposing the cuts to revenue sharing.

But according to LePage's spokesperson Adrienne Bennett, the criticism comes without proposed solutions.

"Governor LePage has presented a balanced budget proposal and would like to hear other ideas for structural changes that will lead to a more efficient delivery of government services," said Bennett.

NEWS CENTER

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