AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Gov. Paul LePage called a fellow Republican “the most repugnant human being” on Monday and stormed away from lawmakers who are investigating whether his administration retaliated against mill owners at odds with the governor on softwood lumber tariffs.
A report by the Office of Program Evaluation & Government Accountability released Monday found no evidence that the governor or the tariff dispute played any role in a decision to divert shipments of spruce and fir.
The governor told the Legislature’s government oversight committee that the accusations of impropriety were “repulsive.”
The committee’s Republican co-chair Sen. Roger Katz told LePage that no one has made allegations about him. The governor called that “bull.”
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“This man over here is the most repugnant human being I’ve ever seen in my life,” said LePage, referring to Republican committee member Sen. Thomas Saviello, whose term ends this year. The governor and Saviello have long been at odds over issues like Medicaid expansion, which Saviello supports.
Katz then told the governor that he was out of order, and the governor stormed out of the room.
LePage has a long history of insulting political opponents. He once called a Democratic lawmaker “a little son of a bitch, socialist (expletive).” He accused another Democratic lawmaker of giving it “to the people without providing Vaseline.” He told the Portland NAACP chapter to “kiss my butt.”
Recently, he called a TV reporter “one bad lady” for asking him about his comments that the state attorney general should resign while campaigning.
On Monday, Katz said the governor owes lawmakers and Saviello an apology for his latest verbal barb.
As for Saviello, he told The Associatd Press, “I’m not going to be bullied by this governor.”
The oversight committee is accepting public comments on the report, which recommends that the state lay out a process for how it handles sale of timber from public lands.