After nearly two years after initially filing a Freedom of Information request, the Portland Press Herald finds out where and how much taxpayer money former Governor Paul LePage was spending at Trump's hotels. The numbers were staggering, of course.
In total, LePage had spent over $170,000 of taxpayer money in his last two years in office. By contrast, the previous governor, John Baldacci, a Democrat, had spent just $9,524.
'Fiscal conservatives,' my ass.
AUGUSTA — Former Gov. Paul LePage and his staff members paid for more than 40 rooms at Washington, D.C.’s Trump International Hotel during a two-year period, spending at least $22,000 in Maine taxpayer money at a business owned by the president’s family.
Documents recently obtained by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram show that the LePage administration paid anywhere from $362 to more than $1,100 a night for rooms at the luxury hotel during trips to meet with President Trump or his inner circle, attend White House events or talk to members of Congress. Receipts from those dozen trips also show the Republican governor or his administration spending hundreds of dollars on filet mignon or other expensive menu items at the restaurant in the Trump hotel. Those expenditures are likely to draw additional scrutiny from attorneys who have cited LePage’s previously disclosed stays at the D.C. hotel in a federal lawsuit alleging the president is improperly profiting from the business.
The spending levels at the Trump hotel were so high that they were flagged by a worker in the state controller’s office, who sought guidance on state regulations for reimbursing such expenditures.