Famed horror author Stephen King has a message for the Republican governor of Maine: “Man up and apologize.”
King is demanding that tea partier Gov. Paul LePage issue a mea culpa for accusing him of leaving the state to avoid paying his income taxes.
In a weekly radio address released last Wednesday, LePage reportedly claimed that King didn’t pay income taxes in Maine and instead had moved to Florida during his controversial tax overhaul proposal. The governor is pushing to decrease the state income tax by increasing the sales tax.
King is a longtime resident of Maine, where he has homes in Bangor and Center Lovell, according to his biography. He has another house in Florida. In an email he sent on Friday to The Portland Press Herald, King explained that he still resides and pays taxes in the Pine Tree State.
His message revealed that he and his wife, author Tabitha King, paid about $1.4 million in state taxes for 2013 and probably the same in 2014, though he didn’t have access immediately to the most recent figure. He also said they annually contribute $3 million to $5 million to causes in Maine, according to the local newspaper.
King first posted to his Twitter account on Thursday about his personal demand:
Then he shared an update early Sunday morning about LePage’s failure to take action:
LePage’s administration has since removed the reference to King from the online version of his address.
King has been a longtime antagonist of the GOP governor. He endorsed former U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud during the 2014 gubernatorial race, and has hosted fundraisers for other Democratic candidates, according to the Portland Press Herald. He also has called for higher taxes on wealthy individuals, including himself.
LePage was also in the spotlight recently when he required nurse Kaci Hickox to be quarantined for 21 days while she recovered from Ebola last October. LePage, who was up for reelection at the time, issued the mandatory quarantine against health officials’ and experts’ recommendations. Hickox’s lawyer suggested the governor was quarantining his client for political reasons.
Other Republican lawmakers across the country have instituted or are trying to pass aggressive tax cuts in their states. GOP Gov. Sam Brownback introduced a plan to cut nearly $45 million in funding for public schools and higher education in Kansas. And during a speech on Monday to formally announce his 2016 presidential bid, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz suggested abolishing the IRS.