Governor Paul LePage is term-limited and his term is up in 2018. So the question is, why wouldn’t he think about a Senate run? “The Republican governor told “The Howie Carr Show” that he was “thinking about it very strongly,” according to the Portland Press Herald. “I think we need leadership in Washington. Yeah, I might do that.””
As to whether he’d win… maybe. Just maybe. Angus King is popular enough, but he’s a freshman and a stealth Democrat in a state that is perhaps more comfortable with electing liberal Republicans. Not that Paul LePage is a liberal; but he also handily outperformed the polls in 2014 despite being in a honest-to-God three-way race. Nominating for Senate a two-term governor who was term-limited out anyway is a perfectly sensible party gambit. Heck, that was more or less Sen. Angus King’s story in the first place.
I don’t know whether this is demonic, inspired, or both: “A sweeping proposal to cut taxes for Maine families and businesses could upend one of the most widely accepted practices in the country: the property-tax exemption for nonprofit organizations… A recent budget plan by Republican Gov. Paul LePage calling for an overhaul of individual, corporate and sales taxes also would make Maine the first state in the nation to require colleges, hospitals and other large charities to go on the property-tax rolls in their municipalities.” This proposal – which specifically exempts “churches and government-owned entities” – would be the first of its kind in the country, and will probably not pass without a bloody brawl in the state legislature.
Is it a good idea, though? Depends. On the one hand, it’s a tax hike. On the other hand, it’s a tax hike that would be part of a more comprehensive series of tax simplification and reform (which is the way to get conservatives to sign off on a tax hike). On the gripping hand, it’s a tax hike that is aimed squarely at academics and NGOs… which is to say, it’s aimed at people who typically instinctively get upset when a Republican wins an election. There’s no real reason for us to pretend that that last point isn’t a legitimate one for consideration. Hey, some people like governmental intervention and oversight, right? … So, here: have some. Right between the eyes. Continue reading Gov. Paul LePage (R, Maine) wants to impose property taxes on colleges, nonprofits, other Democratic party affiliates.
That’s the plan, at least. The current situation in Maine is as follows: people don’t have to belong to a union to work, but non-union employees (both private and public sector) may still have to pay the unions a ‘service fee.’ This supposedly represents the recouping of the cost of unions ‘representing’ non-union members in labor disputes – whether or not the non-union members wanted to be part of the labor dispute in the first place – and it’s a common feature in contract negotiations in Maine. There’s legislation going through the state legislature right now to close that loophole; new Maine governor Paul LePage (R) is enthusiastically supporting it.
Whether this will work or not will largely be up to the Maine grassroots. Maine is currently majority-Republican in both houses of the state legislature, but it’s, well, Maine: I found LePage to be pretty tough-minded, but there’s a limit to how much he can do without legislative backup. And, needless to say, the unions have already begun the usual reactionary Koch conspiracy theorizing. Everybody involved is expecting a fight; and the impression is that Governor LePage, at least, is looking forward to it. Interesting times ahead…