- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A nonprofit political organization led by Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s daughter launched automated phone calls Tuesday criticizing GOP senators for a state budget deal they crafted with Democrats that doesn’t include his top priorities.

In an audio recording of the robocall obtained by The Associated Press, Lauren LePage, executive director of Maine People Before Politics, says Republican senators are “working behind the scenes with liberal Democrats” to oppose LePage’s proposed income tax cuts. Instead, they’re supporting “taxpayer-funded welfare for illegal aliens,” LePage says.

Among the senators being targeted is Senate President Mike Thibodeau. The calls urge residents to call their senator to persuade them to support the governor’s efforts and “stop caving in to liberal Democrats.”

A spokesman for Thibodeau didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Thibodeau and Democratic legislative leaders announced a tentative budget deal Monday that doesn’t lower income taxes but includes a constitutional amendment designed to make it harder for lawmakers to raise taxes. Thibodeau said Monday that he thinks that would be more significant than a minor tax decrease and a big win for Republicans.

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette, with the support of the governor, says his caucus won’t support that plan. He says he has enough votes to block the measure from getting the two-thirds support it needs for passage.

In an addition to income tax cuts, LePage wants to eliminate welfare benefits for immigrants who can’t prove they’re living in the U.S. legally. That includes those who have applied for asylum but haven’t yet been processed by the federal government.

Maine People Before Politics was started in 2011 by Brent Littlefield, a political adviser to LePage in his campaigns, and Jason Savage, who’s now executive director of the Maine Republican Party.



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