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ME politicians strive to stay in hospitals' good graces

Portland Press Herald, February 4, 2013

The campaign rally for Paul LePage started at a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot, across the street from Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. The crowd, chanting "Pay your bills!" and sprinkled with children holding signs that read "Save our hospitals," eventually migrated to the sidewalk. LePage, running for governor on a platform that included making a $248 million debt payment to Maine hospitals, hoped to get the rally onto the CMMC grounds. But the sidewalk was as close to the hospital as he and his campaign operatives would get. "We'd asked to do it on campus, but the hospital wouldn't allow it," said Dan Demeritt, then LePage's spokesman, of the 2010 event. "They are very careful not to engage in partisan activity."