The Portland, Maine, Press Herald and the American Bridge 21st Century SuperPAC are accusing Maine Governor Paul LePage of Operating a vehicle Under the Influence (OUI) even though the GOP official never drives since a state trooper always transports him in a state vehicle.
According to the Maine Wire website, liberal hedge-fund billionaire S. Donald Sussman recently spent $4 million to purchase an ownership share in the daily newspaper, while the Political Action Committee was founded by Media Matters President David Brock.
Both organizations filed public records requests to the Waterville Police Department seeking information on any arrests involving the governor, and while the police officers were sorting through thousands of radio transmissions and thousands more text documents, a reporter for the newspaper accused the police of trying to cover something up.
Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey responded by calling the story a “crazy rumor” and threw the PPH reporter out of his office.
In addition, Massey stated that the police have not stopped LePage as a passenger or a driver, either driving a personal vehicle or a state vehicle. “We would not give anyone a break for drunk driving, whether he was the governor or not,” he said.
Nevertheless, the PPH—which is a member of the MaineToday Media (MTM) organization—continues to try and paint the governor as an alcoholic.
As a result, Adrienne Bennett, the governor’s press secretary, said in a statement that it's time the MTM “stop trying to smear the Governor’s name by creating rumors that are completely erroneous.
“Governor LePage has not driven a car since January 4, 2011,” she continued. “To accuse the Governor of driving while intoxicated is a fallacious story that editors are eager to plaster on the front page.”
The governor also responded to what he called the rumor-chasing habits of the state’s largest newspaper chain. “MaineToday Media is substituting objective reporting with poor reporting habits of the likes of the National Enquirer—there is a difference, and MaineToday Media apparently is blind to that fact.”