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Statement of Rep.

Chuck Kruger of Thomaston, House Chair 12/3/15

The role of this committee is to shine a light.
The actions of Governor LePage as they relate to Good Will-Hinckley and Speaker Eves raised
serious questions about our government and political system. We had before us questions about
the abuse of public office and taxpayer dollars and allegations that threats were made – and
carried out – against an organization for at-risk youth to exact retribution against a political rival.
These are questions that could shake the faith of Maine people in their government. We owe it to
them to get to the bottom of this matter.
If an elected official is able to use the power of his office to punish a lawmaker for his voting
record, who among us is safe?
Are any of us as lawmakers? What about everyday Mainers or independent organizations? They
need to be able to go about their business without worrying about crossing the wrong person in
power. As elected officials, our consciences and constituents– not the fear of intimidation and
retribution – must guide our actions.
These serious concerns moved some of our legislative colleagues – Republican, Democratic and
independent – to request an investigation.
We, as a committee, unanimously determined that OPEGA should investigate. That strong
bipartisan vote showed how seriously we take our duties. We remained just as committed to them
when others tried to undermine this effort and even attacked our work and our mission.
OPEGA produced an excellent, impartial report that spelled out what happened.
We now know with complete certainty that the governor used state dollars to threaten Good WillHinckley because it hired Speaker Eves and that funds were withheld and restored only after
Speaker Eves was fired from his new post.
Now, with our fact-finding mission drawing to a close, it’s up to others outside this committee
room to decide what comes next.
I believe that this investigation and this report can be valuable tools, and I urge the Legislature to
take action so nothing of this sort ever happens again. This is what’s needed to ensure the people
of Maine can have confidence in our system of government.

***** after vote ****
The investigation was narrow in scope. It was purposely designed to be that way. I still have
questions about issues that were outside the scope of the investigation.

At the public hearing, we heard from Mainers who passionately told us they want answers and
We heard accusations about a pattern of abuse from our chief executive that indicate that the
Good Will-Hinckley matter is just one example of many about his abuse of office.
This warrants additional scrutiny. The integrity of our political system is in question.