Republican leaders react to Maine Wire report on welfare abuse


Fredette and Willette

House Republican Leaders Ken Fredette of Newport (right) and Alex Willette of Mapelton

AUGUSTA – Top Republicans reacted to The Maine Wire’s exclusive report on the scope of welfare abuse in Maine with renewed calls for welfare reform in Augusta.

“I am disappointed but not surprised by this information,” said House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport).  “We hear about this kind of welfare fraud and abuse from our neighbors and constituents all the time, but it was always dismissed by many on the left as anecdotal.”

Fredette said he would like to think the revelation of widespread welfare abuse will finally convince Democrats to support reforms to our welfare system.

[RELATED: Maine Welfare Cash Spent in all 50 States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands…]


“But I’ve thought that too many times before only to see them defend the status quo,” he said. “I hope that my Democratic colleagues will prove me wrong and join us in enacting commonsense reforms on a bipartisan basis.”

Assistant House Minority Leader Alex Willette (R-Mapelton) echoed Fredette’s call for reform.

“We’ve made many improvements to our welfare system under Republican leadership in recent years,” said Willette. “But this data proves that we still have a long way to go.”

On Tuesday, a Maine Wire investigative report revealed that Maine cash welfare has been spent in all fifty states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Also on Tuesday, Republican Gov. Paul LePage announced that his own investigation into Maine’s cash welfare program, known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), has revealed welfare spending at bars, liquor stores, smoke shops and strip clubs.

The Maine Wire has obtained a massive collection of public records related to Maine’s TANF program and will be reporting further details in the coming days. Stay tuned for updates.

Steve Robinson
Maine Wire, Editor

About Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson is the former editor of The Maine Wire and currently the executive producer of the Kirk Minihane Show. Follow him on Twitter @BigSteve207.

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