Maine governor again compares IRS to Gestapo

The actual Gestapo leadership in Germany in 1939. From left to right are Franz Josef Huber, Arthur Nebe, Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich and Heinrich Müller. The actual Gestapo leadership in Germany in 1939. From left to right are Franz Josef Huber, Arthur Nebe, Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich and Heinrich Müller. Wikipedia Commons/Swedish Red Cross

Maine Gov. Paul LePage apparently cannot help comparing parts of the U.S. government to Nazis, to the point where even when he backtracked on his original comment Thursday, he wound up doubling down.

Ever since the Republican governor called the IRS "the new Gestapo" during his weekly radio address on Saturday (because it's going to make us buy health insurance under Obamacare, which is apparently a Gestapo thing?), he seems to have realized it was a bad idea. But damned if he can't stop reiterating his own point whenever reporters get him going.

On Tuesday, the Boston Herald reported that the governor had called Emily Chaleff, director of the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, to apologize. The governor issued a statement that said "Clearly, what has happened is that the use of the word Gestapo has clouded my message," the Herald's Steve Mistler reported. But "at the same time, LePage told WMTW-TV in an interview Monday: 'It was never intended to offend anyone and if someone’s offended, then they ought to be goddamned mad at the federal government.'"

Then on Thursday came an even bigger non-walk back. The governor's comment still fresh on people's minds, he chatted with Paul Heintz, a reporter from Seven Days, a Vermont alt-weekly, at a fundraiser in Burlington. He started out by apologizing to the Anti-Defamation League but then, when pressed... went right back to comparing the IRS to the Gestapo.

Read the full story at the Atlantic Wire

National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley weighed in on LePage's Thursday comments, saying, "It is extremely disappointing and distressing to witness not only the continuing refusal of Maine Gov. Paul LePage to apologize for his gratuitous insult directed at Internal Revenue Service employees, but to see him continue his attacks at a fundraising event today. I would hope the governor would take the time to reflect on the importance and dignity of the office he holds, the responsibility it imparts to him as the individual holding that office, and the harmful impact his words have on hard-working federal employees in Maine and across the nation whose primary goal is to serve the public."


Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.