(UPDATED) “Arrest for Treason/ Execution” Docs Released, Proving LePage Lied to BDN, Re: Sovereign Citizens Talks
But a Republican strategist, also not active in the gubernatorial race, said the revelations are both demoralizing for the governor’s staffers and could genuinely harm fundraising.
“It’s demoralizing and stressful for their inner circle to fight battles like this because they all know it’s true. So what they are going to be doing is fighting this while they should be putting a field operation together,” he said. “Crazy [stuff] like this is going to take a precarious slush fund and drain it.”
A review of last night’s two phone calls by Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage to the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News (“LePage denies he discussed ‘executing’ Maine Democratic leaders”). The first call:
- “I was never in the room where ‘execute’ was used,” the governor said in a phone call to the BDN managing editor.
“It never happened,” he said later in the call. “We did not discuss execution, arrest or hanging.”
When told that the audio of the show was included on Tipping’s blog, LePage said he wanted to see the tapes.
“None of this stuff ever happened,” he said again. He said he talked with the group about the U.S. and Maine constitutions. Further, he said, he disagreed with much of what the men said.
“I listened and listened and listened,” LePage said. “Some points they were making were reasonable and some were off-the-wall.”
The second call by LePage:
- In a second phone call to the BDN, LePage said he didn’t know about a Freedom of Access Act request that Tipping had filed to secure details of his meetings because “no one told me about it.”
He said he didn’t stop meeting with the Sovereign Citizens after the FOAA request was filed, as Tipping contends, but stopped meeting with them “because they were not listening.”
“They got mad and called me all kinds of names,” he said.
LePage said the group called again Monday to meet with him after Tipping’s blog post, but he said “no way.”
A few reactions to the BDN headline alone:
Actual headline: "LePage denies he discussed ‘executing’ Maine Democratic leaders” http://t.co/6cFZpU3WQo
— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) July 1, 2014
Maine Democratic Party: "We're speechless. America's Craziest Governor has officially outdone himself." http://t.co/cZnpDX6lMt
— Working Maine (@WorkingMaine) July 1, 2014
Earlier today, “As Maine Went” author Mike Tipping sent out an email to various reporters and editors, which reads (stresses added):
- Yesterday evening, Governor LePage claimed that he never discussed the arrest of Speaker Mark Eves and President Justin Alfond for treason during his meetings with Sovereign Citizens.
In addition to the many times Constitutional Coalition mention discussing this topic with the governor in the publicly available audio archives of their Aroostook Watchmen radio show (including in this clip, where they say LePage brought up the subject of hangings), there are also several documents obtained through Freedom of Access request that show these conversations occurred. There are also letters sent to the governor by the sovereigns specifically accusing Eves and Alfond of “treason” and “domestic terrorism.”
For one example, please see this document titled “Subject for discussion #1″ sent to Governor LePage and his staff by Jack McCarthy before one of their meetings with the governor in May, 2013. Not only does it mention some of their previous conversations about the subject and steps LePage has taken to further their cause, but it warns that their options are diminishing and “we will be left with the 1776 or the 1865 option.” 1865 was the year President Lincoln was assassinated.
I look forward to receiving LePage’s notes from these meetings, which I have again requested and which are apparently written in code. I also look forward to hearing more about his plans to sue me.
Here is that document referenced above by Mike.
And so much for LePage’s claims last night to the BDN’s managing editor that such a five page legal memo arranged by his legal counsel didn’t exist!
This morning, Democratic gubernatorial challenger Rep. Mike Michaud issued a statement regarding yesterday’s revelations:
- “Gov. LePage’s words and actions are out of step with Maine values. By meeting repeatedly with these individuals, he’s given credence to their dangerous beliefs. We must take threats of violence from extremist groups seriously. Gov. LePage has once again shown a severe lapse in judgment that proves he’s not fit to lead the state of Maine.”
In a 20-minute audio recording of the Maine Watchman Radio show taped after meetings with the governor, hosted by Steve Martin and Jack McCarthy, both members of the sovereign citizens movement, listeners get a firsthand account of these individuals extreme beliefs. They espouse anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT conspiracy theories and warn of a “holocaust against America’s Christian population.”
“There is no place for this. It’s completely unacceptable. Gov. LePage owes the people of Maine an explanation and should denounce this at once,” Michaud said.