Angus King: How to Waste Money in Maine
Angus King, who is running for the Senate in Maine, has taken out an ad that claims he will "shake things up" and "get things done." That’s nice; he certainly shook things up and got things done when he was governor of the state between 1995 and 2003.
Just what “things” did he get done?
By the time he left office, Maine had a $1 billion budget shortfall, according to the Portland Press Herald on December 22, 2002.
He increased spending by 53% during his time in office, according to the Office of Fiscal & Program Review. Even the Democratic governor who succeeded him only raised spending by 13%.
By the end of his governorship, Maine had one of the highest tax burdens in the nation according to the Portland Press Herald, July 26, 2001.
King has described the $1 billion deficit he left to the state as a “theoretical budget gap.”
Nice choice of language. Former governor John Baldacci spoke on WGAN's Ken & Mike and remembered how bad the state’s situation was when he inherited King’s problems: "We had the highest tax burden in the country . . . and it was a very challenging environment.”
At the end of July, King admitted to deceiving voters about his record as governor. On his campaign website, he claimed improving the state’s pension funding, but he was only counting the first six years of his stewardship and ignoring the last two. His excuse: “We put a lot of material together in a hurry at the beginning of the campaign and this one just got by me.”
There’s a lot that seems to get by King. Especially the truth.