June 6, 2017

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Latest News, Maine

DGA Statement on Mary Mayhew’s Announcement for Governor

Today, DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold released the following statement on Republican Mary Mayhew’s newly announced candidacy for Maine governor:

“A vote for Mary Mayhew is a vote for a third term of Paul LePage’s disastrous agenda. Mary Mayhew’s record as DHHS Commissioner is clear: she blocked Medicaid expansion, cut funding for mental health treatment and refused funding for opioid treatment – all to prove a political point. Maine voters know the damage she’s already done. Mainers need a governor who puts working families and seniors ahead of extreme partisan ideology.” 

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Background:

Mayhew was Mentioned as the “Candidate Who Would Continue LePage’s Agenda.” According to the Portland Press Herald, “Mayhew has been LePage’s commissioner of DHHS since he took office and has been one of the more forceful and visible members of his Cabinet. Before that, she had been a political campaign manager and a longtime lobbyist for the Maine Hospital Association and other clients. She has received praise from LePage for her fiscal management at DHHS, but her critics have also been numerous and vocal. Her tenure at the helm of one of the state’s most important and costly departments has also been pockmarked with controversy. Mayhew has led the LePage administration’s efforts to reduce welfare eligibility and rein in costs of public assistance and Medicaid. Mayhew’s name is often mentioned as the candidate who would continue LePage’s agenda, but when asked by reporters, Mayhew has demurred on the topic of a gubernatorial bid.” [Portland Press Herald, 2/2/17]

In May 2017, LePage Praised Mayhew’s Work and Her “Grit and Grace” After She Resigned Her DHHS Post. According to WSCH 6, “Gov. LePage praised her work running DHHS and for being what he called a ‘lightning rod’ in the face of ‘constant criticism from the media, liberal legislators and the special interests…’ ‘She handled it all with grit and grace,’ LePage said. ‘More importantly, she had the fortitude and the competence to finally bring accountability and fiscal responsibility to Maine’s formerly out-of-control welfare system.’” [WSCH 6, 5/24/17] 

Portland Press Herald Editorial: “Looking Out for Maine’s ‘Truly Needy’ Was the Job for Which Mayhew Was Hired. Many of Those People are Worse Off Today as a Result. According to a Portland Press Herald Editorial, “There is nothing wrong with thrift, and managing the biggest department in state government requires making tough choices. But if, as rumored, Mayhew plans a career in elected office, Mainers should not forget where she placed her priorities. Looking out for Maine’s ‘truly needy’ was the job for which Mayhew was hired. Many of those people are worse off today as a result.” [Portland Press Herald Editorial, 5/28/17] 

  • Portland Press Herald Editorial: “The Rate of Children Living in Deep Poverty, or $800 In Income a Month for a Family of Three, Has Skyrocketed Under Her Watch, Growing Eight Times Faster Than the National Average.” According to a Portland Press Herald Editorial, “During her six years as Maine commissioner of health and human services, Mary Mayhew has liked to talk about ‘the truly needy.’ She would roll out the phrase when she was explaining why Maine should offer less help, pay for fewer services or step back from its responsibilities to some people so there would be enough to pay for supports to others whom she considered more deserving. Mayhew announced her resignation Wednesday at a “news conference” during which she refused to answer questions, so it’s still unclear what truly needy group she had in mind. It certainly couldn’t have meant children: The rate of children living in deep poverty, or $800 in income a month for a family of three, has skyrocketed under her watch, growing eight times faster than the national average.” [Portland Press Herald Editorial, 5/28/17]
  • Portland Press Herald Editorial: Mayhew Pushed Through Cuts That Had Helped “Thousands of Needy Mainers Buy Prescription Medications.” According to a Portland Press Herald Editorial, “She couldn’t have meant low-income senior citizens. She pushed through cuts to the Drugs for the Elderly program, which had helped thousands of needy Mainers buy prescription medication.” [Portland Press Herald Editorial, 5/28/17]
  • Portland Press Herald Editorial: Mayhew Promoted Cuts to Reimbursement Rates for Those With Mental Illness and Intellectual Disabilities. According to a Portland Press Herald Editorial, “And she must not have meant people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities, because she promoted cuts to reimbursement rates for their care, limiting community-based options that were already inadequate to meet their needs.” [Portland Press Herald Editorial, 5/28/17]