by John Krinjak
WABI-TV news story
A Maine environmental group says a letter Governor Paul LePage sent to its members is a “smear campaign.”
Last week, LePage sent letters to donors to the Natural Resources Council of Maine informing them of what he called the organization’s, quote “true intent.”
In the letter, he slams NRCM’s policies as job-crushing and anti-business–claiming the group isn’t interested in a balance between environmental stewardship and economic prosperity.
“The governor has been attacking the Natural Resources Council of Maine by name weekly for months now,” said NRCM’s Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim.
The organization calls the letters a smear campaign.
“This is totally unprecedented. We have never heard of the governor of a state, the governor of Maine, deciding to spend public taxpayer money to figure out who the members are of an organization that disagrees with them and to mail them a letter attacking the organization and attacking them,” said Didisheim.
The group says LePage is the most anti-environment governor in Maine history.
“We’ve disagreed with his agenda that would weaken Maine’s environmental laws, and he has been beat with bipartisan majorities at the State House time and time again,” said Didisheim.
LePage’s press secretary Adrienne Bennett defended the letters and the use of taxpayer money.
“The accusation that the governor is attacking any member is not true. What the governor is trying to do is let the people know what type of organization you’re supporting and that’s one that is not supportive of business in our state and creating new jobs,” said Bennett.
Bennett also said NRCM’s statements about LePage’s environmental record just aren’t true.
“It’s really sad that they are calling him anti-environmental because he has always said he would like to see a balance between good stewardship of our land and having a strengthened economy or stronger economy. So for them to say that, it’s disingenuous,” said Bennett.
NRCM is requesting all documents from the governor’s office relating to what they call LePage’s “war against” the organization.