Gov. Paul LePage said today that he believed House minority leader Rep. Emily Cain, D-Orono, when she says she paid for an energy audit by the Maine Green Energy Alliance, the now defunct group that had received public subsidies.
Cain came under fire yesterday by the Maine GOP, who alleged that the alliance was a “slush fund” for Democrats. Party chairman Charlie Webster called for an investigation into the group’s dealings with Augusta lawmakers and singled out Cain by insinuating that she didn’t pay for an MGEA energy audit to her home.
Cain said she paid for audit and called Webster’s accusation a “pathetic political ploy.”
LePage said Wednesday that he takes Cain at her word, a statement that some believe has more to do with the governor’s rumored rift with the Maine GOP and Webster than his backing of the minority leader (political columnist Al Diamon details the feud here).
LePage said he called Cain this morning to talk about the Maine GOP release.
Asked today about his reaction to Webster’s accusation, LePage said, “I’m going to be very candid. I don’t speak on their (Maine GOP’s) behalf and they don’t speak on mine.”
When asked if he supported Webster’s call for investigation by the Secretary of State’s Office, LePage said, “I don’t know enough about it, to be very honest.”
He added, “I did speak to Emily Cain. She tells me she did pay for an energy audit. I buy it. I believe her. I have no reason not to. And I support what she said.”
MPBN’s A.J. Higgins then asked LePage about his relationship with Webster and the state party.
LePage: “We get along fine. He (Webster) does his thing and I do mine. We get along just as well as you (Higgins) and I get along.”
LePage’s response drew laughter. Here’s why: Higgins and LePage don’t always get along.
That prompted the governor to elaborate.
"Charlie has a job to do and I have a job to do. I focus — and it’s important that you recognize this — I am not a politician, nor do I care about politics very much."
Keep in mind that the governor has already publicly questioned whether the state maintained proper oversight of the MGEA.
- Here’s a link to the Bangor Daily News story about the battle between Cain and Webster. And here’s another to the investigative piece on the MGEA by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting.
Photo credit: BDN staff