Maine Gov. Paul LePage speaks to the media at a homeless shelter on July 28, 2014, in Lewiston, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty/AP

Maine’s LePage: ‘That’s like giving my wife my checkbook’

Updated
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is already facing an abuse-of-power scandal that may lead to his impeachment, which might lead a typical governor to take steps to bolster his or her statewide support.
 
But there’s nothing about the far-right Mainer that’s typical.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) compared public campaign financing [last week] to handing his checkbook over to his wife to spend money, reported website and podcast mainebeacon.com.
 
An initiative on the November ballot in Maine would allow candidates who were being far outspent by their opponents to “re-qualify for additional public financing,” according to the report.
At a town-hall gathering, LePage added, in reference to public financing, “That’s like giving my wife my checkbook. I’m telling you, it’s giving your wife your checkbook. Go spend.”
 
The comments were captured on video and were not well received.
 
“The governor’s attitude toward women, toward relationships and toward money are so dated as to be bizarre,” Eliza Townsend, executive director of the Maine Women’s Lobby, said.
 
Making matters just a little worse, LePage also announced last week that he’s appointed a creationist to serve as Maine’s acting commissioner of the Department of Education.
[Dr. William Beardsley, the former president of Bangor-based Husson University] expressed unequivocal support for teaching creationism during his unsuccessful 2010 bid to become the Republican nominee for governor.
 
According to The Bangor Daily News, Beardsley articulated his position in response to a simple debate question from Maine Public Broadcasting’s Jennifer Rooks.
 
“Do you believe in creationism, and do you think it should be taught in Maine public schools?” she asked candidates. “I would teach creationism,” Beardsley replied.
Because LePage appointed Beardsley as an acting commissioner, Beardsley bypasses the legislature’s confirmation process. He can serve for six months, at which point the governor would have to either formally nominate him or appoint someone else.
 
The editorial page of the Portland Press Herald responded, LePage gets to put a buddy in charge of one of the most important departments of state government, and Beardsley doesn’t even have to sit in front of a legislative committee to answer a lot of stupid questions, like ‘What did you mean in 2010 when you said that you would teach ‘creationism’ in public school?’”
 
 

Creationism, Maine and Paul LePage

Maine's LePage: 'That’s like giving my wife my checkbook'

Updated