Paul LePage, the Tea Party Republican candidate for the Governor of Maine is being asked some tough questions on the campaign trail about his wife's tax troubles in Florida, as well as potential tuition savings the family may have incurred due to claiming permanent residence in that State.
In what Florida officials are calling a "serious matter" LePage's wife, Ann LePage, is being investigated for claiming homestead tax exemptions on both a home in Florida and in Maine - under tax laws an individual cannot claim to be the primary resident of two homes at the same time.
Florida tax appraiser Morgan Gilreath says this is a "serious matter" in which:
"There can be criminal prosecution with up to $5,000 dollars and up to one year in prison. We have not had that happen and I would not put that into play but the form that people sign has that on it."
At one point George LePage's name also appeared on the deed of the Waterville, Florida home.
A potentially even bigger issue is the fact that LePage's two children were both attending Florida State University at the time she was claiming to be a permanent resident there. Doing this could save tens-of-thousands in tuition fees because in-state fees are much lower than out-of-state tuition fees.
When Paul LePage was asked by reporter about the potential savings that may have come from his children only having to pay the much cheaper in-state tuition fees in Florida , he told her to "stop the bullshit."
Here's the clip:
Then when asked why he took his name off the deed of his residence in Maine , LePage falsely claimed that "I [he] never had it on, never had it on, ever." - GOP strategist Brent Littlefield who is working for LePage's campaign later corrected LePage saying that LePage had in fact been on the deed of the Maine property at one time.
LePage's false claim was also caught on tape:
LePage has been a controversial candidate in Maine, for not only these latest tax shenanigans, but also for his ultra-conservative views on issues like the environment, where he supports opening up Maine's coastline to offshore oil and gas drilling despite warnings that such a move could destroy the State's multi-billion dollar tourism and fishing industry.
LePage has garnered the attention of the Tea Party with his support for bringing creationism to public schools, calling global warming a "scam" and claiming that Maine's Department of Environmental Protection "serves no purpose."
Despite the controversy the latest Rasmussen polling numbers for Maine find Lepage with an 18-point lead over Democratic candidate Libby Mitchell.