When Governor Paul LePage was trying to woo Airbus to build a plant in Maine (it went to Alabama), he talked to Airbus
Americas chairman Allan McArtor.
In that conversation, LePage told the Portland
Community Chamber "Eggs and Issues" breakfast
yesterday, there were three topics of conversation, according to the governor:
-LePage offered Airbus land in or near Brunswick
-McArtor asked about electricty costs, and LePage said he had to think
quickly - rather than saying Maine's is the
10th highest in the nation, the governor said "the lowest in New
-And then McArtor asked if Maine
was a "right-to-work" state, and the governor replied, "No, but we're working
Of course, politicians often take anecdotes from their experiences and use
them to make political points on issues of interest.
But LePage's conversation is notable for two reasons.
First, despite LePage's often troubled relationship with the truth, Airbus
Americas is not disputing his account of the conversation. Corporate
spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn wrote in an email that the company doesn't "speak
publicly about private discussions with our potential and existing business
And second, LePage left out one thing
he would have included had it occurred: the tax conversation. If we assume
LePage was recounting the conversation accurately, and with the goal of making
maximum political points, then McArtor did not inquire about Maine's tax rates - corporate or personal.
That must come as a huge relief - and definitely a reducer of LePage's
workload - because he has previously believed that companies were very
concerned about the state's tax burden when deciding whether or not to come
No word from Airbus on the final piece of the governor's anecdote - whether
McArtor will in fact come to Maine
in July and let LePage "buy him a lobster."