Friday July 27, 2012 | 12:17 PM

No sooner has the dust settled from his comments likening the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo and the Holocaust, Gov. Paul LePage has brought on criticism this week for declaring that students from Maine are "looked down upon" wherever they go in the country. Following a now familiar pattern, he backed up this eyebrow raising assertion -- meant to support his education reforms -- with a falsehood, in this case that the College of William & Mary requires Maine applicants to take additional tests.

What with the previous ruckuses over (literally) telling the NAACP to kiss his butt and the president to "go to Hell", the removal of a "brainwashing" mural depicting Maine's labor history from a waiting room of the Department of Labor, and his convention speech directing welfare recipients to get off their couches and get a job, many Mainers may by now have wondered what is driving their chief executive.

Curious about that myself, I started work a year ago on what turned into a five-month project researching the governor's intriguing, unusual, and revealing life story.

The result -- created with the help of a grant from the Fund for investigative Journalism -- was this two-part series that ran in the Portland Phoenix earlier this year, before I joined the staff of the Press Herald. It details his rise from childhood abuse and homelessness to successful businessman to governor of his native state and the experiences along the way that appear to have shaped his personality and world view.



About the Author

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
Eric can be reached at 791-6344 or
On Twitter: @pphericrussell

Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
Matt can be reached at 791-6303 or
On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or
On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME

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Previous entries

April 2014

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012


June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

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