- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - An attorney for House Speaker Mark Eves says Gov. Paul LePage is using state money to entice political loyalty and that the practice threatens Maine’s public-party democracy.

Attorney David Webbert said in a legal document filed in U.S. District Court that LePage’s claim that he has a right to withhold funding from a charter school represents a “radical” legal theory.

If the court approves LePage’s actions, the governor would hold so much power it would “revolutionize Maine’s form of government,” Webbert wrote.

“Governor LePage claims that he and all future Governors have the absolute right to dictate the political party affiliation of every policy maker at every private organization in Maine that received state funding,” Webbert said.

The legal document is part of a lawsuit Eves filed against LePage alleging the governor last year threatened to withdraw $530,000 in state funds to prevent Eves’ hiring as president of the Good Will-Hinckley in Fairfield. The school later withdrew its job offer to Eves.

LePage sought to dismiss the lawsuit last month. His attorney, Patrick Strawbridge, declined to comment and said he’ll reply by the March 1 deadline.

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