PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s former Republican governor spent all or part of at least 80 days outside of the state during his last year in office, according to travel records that revealed trips that had not previously been disclosed.
The information was contained in former Gov. Paul LePage’s 2018 calendar and hundreds of pages of records related to his travel obtained by the Portland Press Herald through a public records request and published Monday.
One of the trips that was not previously known about was to meet with an official of a Canadian hydropower utility pushing a 145-mile transmission project through Maine.
LePage flew to Montreal on Sept. 19 to visit with Hydro-Quebec’s vice president for business development, Steve Demers.
Demers has been the company’s public face of an effort to allow Hydro-Quebec to sell large amounts of power to southern New England customers through Central Maine Power’s proposed transmission line. The project received a key approval from the Maine Public Utilities Commission this year, and other state and federal regulators are reviewing the project’s potential environmental and land use impacts.
The documents also revealed for the first time that LePage was in central Florida, where he and his wife own a home, on at least 39 days.
LePage was known for not making his daily schedule public ahead of time, unlike his Democratic predecessor, and the records also revealed some trips that had never been disclosed. His spokeswoman didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.
LePage took five trips to Washington, D.C., to visit Trump administration officials. That includes a previously undisclosed Sept. 23-24 stay at the Trump International Hotel for a meeting at the White House. It’s unclear who the former governor met with during that trip; a White House spokesman declined to comment.
LePage’s last year in office also included a trade mission to the Balkan nation of Montenegro, which receives assistance from Maine’s National Guard through a Defense Department program. The records showed that the trip cost nearly $30,000 in airfare for LePage, four staffers and two security officers.