Campaign 2010

Jun 11, 2014

The Tea Party Wave Comes Crashing Into Maine

The Tea Party wave came crashing into Maine last night in the form of Bruce Poliquin’s Republican nomination. His primary win is a clear sign that the Tea Party has its sights set on Maine and they know Bruce Poliquin will be the most reliable rubberstamp for their same reckless agenda that shut down the government and put Big Oil and the special interest billionaires ahead of hard working Mainers.

“The Tea Party wave came crashing into Maine last night in the form of Bruce Poliquin’s Republican nomination,” said Marc Brumer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The Tea Party chose Bruce Poliquin because they know he will be the most reliable rubberstamp for their reckless agenda that shut down the government and put Big Oil and the special interest billionaires ahead of hard working Mainers. Whether it’s his pledge to protect tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas, his loyalty to Governor LePage, or his efforts to undermine MaineCare, Bruce Poliquin has proven his Tea Party credentials.”

 

Bruce Poliquin’s Tea Party Record:

  •  Paul LePage loyalist

 

  •  Pledged to protect tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas.

 

  •  Exploited tax loopholes for himself and pocketed thousands of taxpayer dollars.

 

  • Supports rolling back MaineCare

 

  • Embroiled in ethics scandals

BACKGROUND:

Poliquin helped elect Paul LePage as Governor of Maine. After losing handily to LePage in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary, Poliquin acted as a surrogate for LePage and helped him raise money. “After the Primary, I thought long and hard about where I was going next,” Poliquin said. “I got into this to help the state. The decision I made was to stay involved.” [Kennebec Journal, 9/18/10]

Poliquin compared himself to LePage. In May 2012, while a candidate for U.S. Senate, Poliquin declared his support for the controversial governor. “We’re different people, very different people. But the policy part? We’re the same,” Poliquin said, describing himself and LePage as “good friends.” [Portland Press Herald, 5/24/12

Poliquin signed Americans for Tax Reform’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge”. In April 2014, Poliquin signed Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge to oppose any efforts to raise taxes. [ATR.org, accessed 6/11/14

ATR Said Removing Tax Breaks For Job Outsourcers Violated Their Pledge. In 2010, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) opposed a House Democratic proposal that would end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. The Washington Post explained that the bill “would also eliminate tax breaks for some multinational corporations based in the United States that have operations abroad -- a centerpiece of a House Democratic campaign to promote domestic manufacturing and discourage companies from shipping jobs overseas.” In a statement explaining their opposition, ATR wrote that “The tax increases in question are all tax hikes on U.S. employers doing business overseas.” [Americans for Tax Reform, 8/09/10; Washington Post, 8/05/10]

Exploited a Tax Loophole and Pocketed Thousands of Taxpayer Dollars. In February 2012, Poliquin stirred up controversy when it was revealed that he had been receiving thousands of dollars in tax breaks through a program designed for commercial timber harvesting. In 2004, the assessed value of Poliquin’s property went from $1.77 million to $725,000 after enrolling in the tree growth tax program, saving him an estimated $5,000 annually in taxes. In 2010, Poliquin paid only $21 in property taxes on the 10-acre parcel, in addition to $17,796 on the two acres on which his home is located. [Sun Journal, 2/1/12; Kennebec Journal, 2/3/12]

Never had to pay back taxes. In June 2012, Poliquin transferred his property from the Tree Growth program to the Open Space program, which allowed him to receive a substantial (though smaller) tax break of approximately 50 percent of the property’s assessed value. taxes on his land from the time that it was in the Tree Growth program. The state never got the eight years worth of taxes that Poliquin should have paid on the property. [Portland Herald Press, 6/27/12]

Proposed scaling back Mainecare. In May 2010, Poliquin proposed limiting the coverage benefits that are available through MaineCare, a state Medicaid insurance program financed by state and federal funds. “Once we can reform our MaineCare program, that can be a major force driving down health care costs in the state,” Poliquin said. “We’ll be able to have more money to spend on those who really need it.” [Portland Herald Press, 5/9/10]

Faced Ethics Questions for Engaging in Business While Serving as Treasurer. Poliquin faced ethics questions after conducting business related to the Popham Beach Club while serving as state Treasurer. Article V, Pt. 3 of the Maine State Constitution reads: “The treasurer shall not, during the treasurer’s continuance in office, engage in any business of trade or commerce, or as a broker, nor as an agent or factor for any merchant or trader.” [Portland Herald Press, 1/18/12]

Failed to Disclose His Business Dealings. In February 2011, Poliquin failed to disclose any of his business dealings on an income-disclosure statement filed with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. Under the section titled “Income Derived from Self-Employment or Law Practice,” Poliquin left blank a question that asks state officials to “list the name and address of your business or law firm, if any, and list the major areas of economic activity or practices from which you derived income.” [Portland Press Herald, 1/18/12]

Ethics Committee Ruled That Poliquin’s Disclosure was Incomplete. In late February 2012, the Maine Ethics Commission ruled that Poliquin’s original disclosure form was incomplete, but recommended no penalty because it had been made complete through an amended following. [Bangor Daily News, 2/29/12]