LePage Holds Presser to Address Racism Charges, Blames Media For Bad Drug Coverage

Posted on January 18, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Maine Governor Paul LePage found himself in hot water recently, as his racially-charged comments made regarding Maine’s heroin crisis at a Bridgton town hall event made international news.

    “These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty… these types of guys… they come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home. Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road.”

Some reactions are below.

1. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree: “Governor LePage’s comments were disgraceful and racist. Once again, just a week before Martin Luther King Day, the governor has made a comment that is offensive to the African American community and to all of us. It does not represent the values of Maine people and is embarrassing to our state. And although the governor seems to regret getting caught making those remarks, he also seems unwilling to apologize to the community that he has insulted.”

2. 2CD Democratic candidate Emily Cain (D-Orono): “We need to be talking about real solutions to the serious epidemic of heroin addiction afflicting our state. Governor LePage’s appalling remarks this week embody the very worst of fear-mongering in politics that hold us back as a state and a nation, and they do not reflect Maine values. There is absolutely no place for this in our public discourse – especially in Maine. Unfortunately, Congressman Bruce Poliquin – who in the past has referred to himself and LePage as ‘good friends’ – has still remained silent on LePage’s ugly remarks. Does Bruce Poliquin defend LePage’s comments?”

3. Senate Democratic Minority Leader Justin Alfond (D-Portland): “At best, the governor’s comments were careless or poorly stated. At worst, they were purposeful and deeply offensive. Either way, they were completely unproductive. Maine’s drug addiction crisis is complex, and impacts ever aspect of life for those affected by it. We need to work on solutions, not reduce the problem to racially charged soundbites.”

4. House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan): “Today, at a national summit of rural state leaders, I am being bombarded by questions about Governor LePage’s hateful statements rather than about what Maine is doing right. At a time when Maine needs leaders to move our state forward, the governor is making national headlines for the wrong reasons yet again. He is making it harder for us to work on policies important to Maine people, whether it’s energy, substance abuse or growing the rural economy.”

5. Assistant Majority Leader Sara Gideon (D-Freeport): “The governor keeps saying he wants to address the state’s drug epidemic. Comments like the one he made in Bridgton keep Maine from moving forward on this front. If the governor is serious about tackling this crisis, he should stop standing in the way of the Legislature’s comprehensive plan and help Mainers desperate for treatment get the care they need.”

A few days later, the governor held a press conference in his Cabinet Room in hopes of clarifying his remarks and discussing the state’s heroin epidemic. From a media advisory:

    AUGUSTA- Governor Paul R. LePage will hold a news conference at 10:00 AM in the Cabinet Room to discuss his recent remarks regarding Maine’s drug crisis. All verified media is welcome to attend.

    When: Friday, January 08, 2016, 10:00 AM
    Where: Cabinet Room, State House, Augusta

Here is full video from that press conference.

Here are a few parsed out moments from the press conference.

1. Maine Governor Paul LePage to Media: “You Don’t Like Me, and I Don’t Like You”

2. Governor Paul LePage Describes Drug Bust He Personally Witnessed While in Office

3. LePage Accuses Press of Being in Bloggers’ Backpockets

4. LePage To NECN: “Your comment is inappropriate”; “Never said anything about being black”

5. Maine Governor Paul LePage on Drug Omnibus Bill: “Ecstatic” Legislature Taking Up Issue

6. LePage on Media Role in Solving Maine’s Drug Crisis

7. Maine Governor Paul LePage Tells Stories of Addicts, Narcan Usage

8. LePage Tells Media What They Are Missing in Reporting on Maine’s Drug Crisis

9. LePage to WMTW: “Only time I see you in this building… is when you are criticizing me”

10. LePage Verbally Attacks Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond (D-Portland) At Press Conference

11. Maine Governor Paul LePage Hints at New County Jail Program

12. LePage Takes Followup Question, Re: Drug Busts He Has Witnessed

The governor will conduct another public town hall event tomorrow evening in Windham.

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Governor Paul LePage Holds Town Hall at USM in Portland (VIDEOS)

Posted on December 27, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Full video of the event, recorded 12/8/15, here.

Maine Governor Paul LePage took a question from an audience member relating to the Lands for Maine’s Future bonds. Here is that moment from the overall event parsed out for consideration:

Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond (D-Portland) spoke with the media after the conclusion of the town hall.

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Maine Democrats Hold Better Deal Town Hall in Brunswick (VIDEOS)

Posted on May 7, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

alfFrom the event page (photos here):

    Join House Speaker Mark Eves and Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond for the third town hall meeting on the Better Deal for Maine plan. The Better Deal for Maine rejects Governor Paul LePage’s trickle-down economics. It is a tax reform plan that grows the economy from the middle out, not the top down. It cuts taxes for the middle class, lowers property taxes for all Maine homeowners and invests in Maine schools, workers and communities.

    Read the full plan here: http://betterdeal.me/

Below are the videos of the full event, held at the UU Church in Brunswick last night. Attendance was high and the questions ranged from the Democrats’ plan to other issues being weighed in the Legislature and Augusta currently. Unlike the Governor’s events, neither the questions nor people asking them were not screened before speaking.

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Democratic Leaders Unveil ‘Better Deal for Maine’ Plan

Posted on April 16, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Last Thursday’s press release read in part:

Top Democratic leaders in the State House on Thursday countered Gov. Paul LePage’s budget with their plan to grow the economy from the middle out rather than the top down.

Speaker Mark Eves, Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond, House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe and Assistant Majority Leader Sara Gideon announced the plan at Cony High School, which is in a school district that could see a $1 million cut in funding if the governor’s budget passes.

The Better Deal for Maine:

  • Puts more money in the pockets of Maine families: Cuts property taxes by $120 million annually for Maine residents by doubling the Homestead Exemption for all Maine homeowners and by increasing the Property Tax Fairness Credit by more than $57 million per year.
  • Invests in Maine’s future: Bolsters investment in Maine students, workers and seniors. Increases funding for K-12 education by $20 million per year.
  • Prevents property tax hikes: Increases revenue sharing to $80 million each year for local services like police, fire, and public works, while rejecting the governor’s new taxes on non-profits.
  • Targets income tax cuts for the middle class: Cuts income taxes by hundreds of dollars for the vast majority of Maine families while asking the wealthiest 5 percent to pay their fair share. Under the Better Deal for Maine, 98 percent of income tax cuts go to the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers. Under the governor’s plan, 50 percent of the tax break goes to the top 10 percent.
  • Is fiscally responsible: Unlike the governor’s budget, the Better Deal for Maine is fully paid for now and into the future.
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LePage, Portland, Homeless Advocates Battle Over General Assistance

Posted on March 8, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sen. Justin Alfond, Sen. Anne Haskell, Rep. Mark Dion, Rep. Diane Russell, Rep. Drew Gattine , Rep. Peter Stuckey, Rep. Erik Jorgensen, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, Portland City Council Ed Suslovik, Preble St ED Mark Swann, and many others at 2/27/15 Oxford St Homeless Shelter press conference.

Sen. Justin Alfond, Sen. Anne Haskell, Rep. Mark Dion, Rep. Diane Russell, Rep. Drew Gattine , Rep. Peter Stuckey, Rep. Erik Jorgensen, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, Portland City Council Ed Suslovik, Preble St ED Mark Swann, and many others at 2/27/15 Oxford St Homeless Shelter press conference.

At the end of the coldest February on record in Maine, political leaders and homelessness advocates held a press conference in Portland to discuss the needs of some of the region’s most needy and address the attacks by the LePage administration regarding the city’s spending of General Assistance monies.

A reminder: this is part of an ongoing legal battle between Portland/ Westbrook and the state over GA funds.

    Alfond, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan and others on hand at the shelter Friday said they can explain why Portland seems to have an outsized share of the state’s General Assistance allocation, but that they can’t get a prompt audience with LePage or DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew to discuss it.

    “We want the coordinated attacks on Portland to end, and the work to make our social services better to begin,”
    Alfond said, pointing out that Portland is not only an “outlier” in its distribution of General Assistance funds but also in that it represents an outsized share of the state’s economy.

    Alfond acknowledged Friday the audit was “troubling” and that Portland’s city officials and state representatives were eager to meet with the administration to discuss ways the city could better administer General Assistance. Brennan said he called the governor’s office on Monday to set up an appointment to discuss the audit.

    “I thought it was urgent, but the first date they gave me [for a meeting] was the end of March,” Brennan said Friday. “Obviously, it’s not as urgent to them as it is to us.”

Governor LePage immediately fired back and issued the following statements via a press release:

    “My quarrel is not with the people who stayed at the shelter,” said Governor LePage. “Mental illness often plays a role there. It’s a matter of who pays. The City of Portland knew these people had this money in the bank, but they decided to bill the taxpayers anyway for years’ worth of welfare reimbursement. Municipalities complain about losing revenue sharing, but then I see abuse like this. When municipalities set priorities that unfairly burden Maine property taxpayers, it’s hard to have sympathy for them. Tax relief should go directly to the property taxpayer, not to fund more government. That’s why my tax reform plan gives money directly to the Maine people by tripling property tax fairness credits, doubling the homestead exemption for those over 65 and significantly lowering income tax rates. The most recent news out of Portland shouldn’t surprise anyone, but it serves as an example of why Maine needs real tax reform.”

This weekend, State Senator Anne Haskell (D-Portland) responded to the governor and administration via the Democratic radio address:

    At 8 p.m. last night it was 12 degrees. And it’s March–not January. Together we’ve experienced one of the longest, most frigid, and snowiest winters in history.

    Good Morning. This is State Senator Anne Haskell of Portland. And, I don’t really want to talk about the weather. But I do want each of us to stop for a second and think about a time this winter: Think about the ten minutes it took you to walk from your office to your car on a blustery cold day. Your cheeks froze. Your fingers and toes hurt and you couldn’t wait to seek shelter from the wind.

    What if you didn’t have a home. If you didn’t have a place where you could crank the heat, pull up the blankets, and settle in with a cup of tea.

    What if, at sun down, you had stand in line for hours with the hopes–not the guarantee–that you could get a mat to sleep on at a shelter. A mat, by the way, that is only three inches thick. A mat that is placed in an open room–flanked on each side by strangers–only five inches from you. Clutching all that belongs to you, in a bag or a backpack.

    Mark Swann, executive director of Preble Street Homeless Shelter: We are just trying to keep people alive

    Mark Swann, executive director of Preble Street Homeless Shelter: We are just trying to keep people alive

    Mark Swann, the executive director at Preble Street in Portland, said, one day this winter, there were 282 people who showed up for one of the 142 mats. The math on this one is easy: 140 people were left to find shelter elsewhere that night. Some slept on the floor of the soup kitchen down the street. Others, had to sit up in chairs all night at city offices. And, a few others waited at the shelter–hoping a mat would open up. One person waited 11 hours; only to lay his head for two hours before the morning came, and the shelter closed for the day.

    Who chooses this?

    The answer is, nobody.

    Nobody chooses to be homeless. Nobody chooses to be mentally ill. Not one of the 282 people who lined up at the Oxford Street Shelter that night was trying to get away with something. Nobody working at the shelter or the city who is trying to provide life-saving shelter is trying to get away with something.

    At its core, this service of providing EMERGENCY shelter is serving the most basic and fundamental and crucial needs of humanity.

    Yet, in recent weeks, it’s become a political football. The LePage administration has attempted to garner salacious headlines by vilifying the people who utilize the shelter, and also those who provide the service.

    It’s not an easy story to tell. Why? Because we are talking about mental illness. We are talking about diseases like Schizophrenia.

    Recently the City of Portland studied 30 of the so-called “long stayers” at the shelters. What did they find? All of them, 100% had serious and persistent mental health issues–often untreated. Some had money in the bank. Some even had thousands of dollars in the bank.

    What does this mean?

    It could mean many things.

    For some, it means that perhaps a special account was set up by family members to put money aside for them. Perhaps intended to pay for things like dental and medical care.

    For some, it could be the remnant of another time in their life–before they got sick.

    For all, it is money that–because of their psychosis, they are unable or unwilling to use.

    DSC_0132They are not staying at homeless shelters to save a buck. They are staying there because they believe staying at a shelter is the best option available to them.

    And…most importantly, they are not numbers on someone’s spreadsheet. They are our brothers and sisters, our parents, our aunts and uncles. They are our fellow human beings–living much more difficult lives than we can imagine.

    Mental illness is not easy to understand. But it is something that we all need to take a closer look at. We can’t be afraid of it. And most of all, we can’t play the blame-game–that serves no purpose other than to distract and delay from a meaningful solutions-based dialogue.

    Long before this administration, the mental health system in Maine has been broken. The overflowing shelters in our state is one symptom of that–as are our jails–that are also overflowing with people who would benefit more from mental health intervention and treatment.

    As a member of the Health and Human Services Committee and a former member of the state’s Criminal Justice Committee, I can tell you that there are dozens of lawmakers who are interested in solving this problem and helping our fellow Mainers who are suffering. But the first step toward a solution has to be one that is honest.

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State Senator Joseph Brannigan (D-Cumberland) Remembered

Posted on January 24, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Sad news to report, as it was announced last weekend that former State Senator Joe Brannigan (D-Portland) passed away last weekend.

From a press release issued by the Maine Senate Democrats:

brannigan

    Brannigan served 28 years in the Maine State Legislature: seven terms in the Maine House from (1979-1986, 2001-2006) and seven terms in the Maine Senate (1987-1994, 2007-2012). He served on ten committee, most notably, on the state’s budget writing committee, Health and Human Services, Insurance and Financial Services, and State and Local Government. During his time in the Legislature, Brannigan led the way on issues such as access to mental health services, expanding health insurance to low income Mainers, bail reform, and strengthening Maine’s “lemon law.” In 2010, Brannigan retired from 34 years of service as the Executive Director of the Shalom House, a housing and mental health program for adults with severe mental illness.

State Senators Justin Alfond and Anne Haskell issued the following statements:

“Joe Brannigan touched thousands of lives through his work and commitment at the Shalom House and his public service in the Legislature,” said Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland, who served with Brannigan in the 124th and 125th Legislatures. “Joe’s sharp wit made him a tremendous leader and we will miss him.”

“Joe’s compassion was legendary. He was a tireless advocate and he meant so much to all of us,” said Senator Anne Haskell, who has known Brannigan for more than 20 years and is the current State Senator for Brannigan’s district. “Joe was more than a mentor. He was a great friend and a neighbor. I will miss him and his quiet way with words.”

On last Tuesday, Senator Haskell asked the Senate to join her in remembering Brannigan:

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LePage, Democratic Leaders Finally Meet To Discuss Riverview Woes, Alexander Report Payments

Posted on August 8, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Democratic leaders had waited for more than two months for an opportunity to speak with Governor Paul LePage on a number of concerns, not the least of which were the troubling news of Riverview once again failing to qualify for federal re-certification and final resolution of the monies owed back to the state from the Alexander Group for their now widely discredited and plagiarized report.

DSC_0032A reminder: It was reported back on May 23 that Maine had finally suspended payments to Alexander and at that time, Paul LePage indicated that the option was on the table.

    On Tuesday, the governor released a statement to the Portland Press Herald, saying, I will take every action we can. I am not happy about this.”

    He added that the state may attempt to reclaim the $500,000 it has already paid The Alexander Group.

    “It’s all a matter of the extent of what the damage is,” he said.

Apparently “the damage” ultimately wasn’t that bad in Paul LePage’s eyes.

Yesterday Democratic leadership finally got their chance to question the governor and others, albeit in a closed door meeting. The news for Maine was pretty bleak, as LePage now has no intention of recouping the $475,000 already paid to the Alexander Group.

While the Governor’s office has had very little to say about the meeting, Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves quickly issued a joint statement about the first meeting between the three since January:

    “Our top priority for the meeting was to press the Governor for answers on the Alexander Group refund and on the latest developments at Riverview,” said House Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick. “It’s clear that he has abandoned the effort to recoup a full refund for the discredited and plagiarized report from the Alexander Group. Of the nearly $500,000 in taxpayer funds paid to the Alexander Group, the state has recouped only $27,000.

    During the meeting, the Governor reiterated the administration’s position that it was confident the state would correct problems at the Riverview Psychiatric Center despite a recent failed bid to qualify for federal re-certification. The state psychiatric hospital lost its certification last September due to mismanagement and dangerous conditions at the hospital. As a result, the federal government said it could [hold back] approximately $20 million in funding for the hospital.

    Senate President Justin Alfond (r)answers questions at weekly media availability meeting as Speaker of the House Mark Eves (l) looks on.

    Senate President Justin Alfond (r)answers questions at weekly media availability meeting as Speaker of the House Mark Eves (l) looks on.

    “We hope the Governor is right, but we remain concerned,” said Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland. “We expect the Governor to take seriously the deficiencies in safety conditions for patients and workers that led to the loss of $20 million.

    During the meeting, Governor LePage complained that lawmakers did not pass his 11th hour proposal to increase funding for the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. The bipartisan Appropriations Committee passed an amended bill to include funding for substance abuse treatment. At the time, the Governor said he would veto anything but his original proposal so no further votes on the bill were taken.

    “The Governor sat on the sidelines when lawmakers were doing work, whether it was the budget or other important bills. He continues to blame others for his unwillingness and inability to work constructively with the legislature,” said Senate President Alfond.

Mike Michaud at June 2014 press conference discusses plans as governor to create inspector general office, charged with investigating DHHS issues. Also pictured: State Senator Colleen Lachowicz (D-Kennebec)

Mike Michaud at June 2014 press conference discusses plans as governor to create inspector general office, charged with investigating DHHS issues. Also pictured: State Senator Colleen Lachowicz (D-Kennebec)

Today Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Mike Michaud issued a statement of his own:

    “The Alexander Report has been a case study in government waste and poor judgment from the very beginning,” Michaud said.

    “This deeply flawed and controversial report has never been anything more than a political document meant to further Gov. LePage’s re-election. And now, despite public outrage and evidence that parts of the report were plagiarized, the LePage administration is still refusing to seek a full refund of hard-earned taxpayer dollars that could have been used to help working families, improve education and meet other important priorities. This is pure mismanagement and fiscal irresponsibility on the part of Gov. LePage. Mainers deserve better.”

    Michaud released a plan earlier this year to appoint an Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services and cited the ongoing scandal revolving around the Alexander Report as an example of one of the many issues of waste and mismanagement the office would be tasked with preventing.

    “Gov. LePage has made a big issues about waste, fraud and abuse as governor, but it’s clear that the biggest culprit of wasting taxpayer dollars is the governor himself,” Michaud said. “Mainers deserve a governor who will work with Democrats, Republicans and independents to address the issues facing Maine and who will use tax dollars wisely.”

In July it was reported that LePage thought Maine should give up on the Riverview Psychiatric Center re-certification efforts, throwing away more than $14 million in federal funding. Michaud’s response at that time:

    “Since taking office, Gov. Paul LePage’s Department of Health and Human Services has been a case study in government waste and mismanagement,” said Michaud. “His mismanagement of Riverview Psychiatric Center is the pinnacle of this and it needs to be addressed immediately. The list of issues at Riverview is exhaustive, troubling and a black eye on this administration and state. Rather than pledging to Mainers that he will address these issues, Gov. LePage is choosing to give up and throw away millions of dollars in funding. His inaction makes Maine vulnerable to lawsuits, puts Riverview on the brink of crisis and leaves Maine taxpayers to foot the bill for his failed leadership.”

Maine Republican Party spokesman David Sorensen took to Twitter, as the thus far sole GOP reaction on the meeting:

Not quite accurate, as the federal government is demanding Maine pay back monies dating back almost a year and will be still on the hook for a hefty sum, even were the hospital to become re-certified.

    We will be seeking the return of that money because the facility has been decertified,” Richard McGreal, associate regional administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told the Press Herald this week.

    If Riverview becomes certified, federal money will flow back to the center. But even then the center would not be funded retroactively, and Riverview will still owe the federal money it has used in the months it was ineligible, McGreal said.

    State officials said they have not been told of the pending “disallowance” action and have been drawing from the federal account the entire time. Maine is entitled to $20 million per year in federal money to operate Riverview, representing more than half of the hospital’s $36 million budget.

(To be updated as needed.)

*RELATED: Paul LePage And Gary Alexander: A Timeline

*RELATED: Emergency Hearing On Riverview Psychiatric Center Held; Dems Voice Concerns

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Weekly Address of Governor Paul LePage: “New Welfare Rule: State to Start Drug Testing Convicted Felons”

Posted on August 6, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Audio link here.

    New Welfare Rule: State to Start Drug Testing Convicted Felons
    Drug testing of convicted felons who are applying or receiving welfare is nothing new.

    Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

    In 2014, at least 18 states introduced plans that would require drug screening or testing for welfare applicants or recipients.

    DSC_0113Today, I am announcing that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services is moving forward with its plan to conduct drug tests of convicted drug felons who are applying for or receiving welfare benefits.

    Over the last several months, the State has been focused on drug-testing measures that not only ensure privacy and fairness, but also reinforce accountability in the program.

    The tests will be required for drug felons who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF. Federal rules support drug testing as part of the federal TANF money that Maine receives.

    When people apply for welfare benefits, they must report whether they have a prior drug-related felony conviction. If the answer is yes, the State will schedule a drug test and notify the individual 24 hours prior to the actual test.

    If a person tests positive, they will have the option to be tested a second time. At any time, an individual can avoid termination of benefits by enrolling in an approved substance abuse program. Those who fail to disclose they are convicted drug felons will lose their welfare benefits immediately.

    Our welfare programs, including TANF, are designed to be a short-term benefit that assists families and children with the basics of everyday living. If someone tests positive, they are putting their drug habits or addictions ahead of their family’s needs. We must do all that we can to ensure children’s needs are being met and that TANF recipients have the best possible chance at economic independence.

    Being drug-free is a critical aspect of escaping from poverty and moving toward self-sufficiency.

    Protecting the trust of taxpayers is one of my greatest responsibilities. I will do everything in my power to ensure welfare benefits are used for the truly needy and not provided to support people’s drug habits or addictions.

    However, it’s no secret: Maine has a drug problem. When we identify people who are on drugs, we must make an effort to help them break their addiction. Our welfare system depends on it, but more importantly, our society does.

    If you have a drug problem or know someone struggling with addiction, the State has resources to help. Please call 2-1-1 and someone will help you find services in your area. Addiction does not have to control your life. Again, call 2-1-1 for help today.

    Thank you for listening.

—–

Democratic leaders Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves have issued their own responses in a press release, agreeing with the Governor’s statement that this is “nothing new” while accusing the chief executive of politicizing enforcement of a three year old law.

More later on the Mike Michaud proposed “Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services” mentioned in the release- here is a clip from his June press conference, rolling out the idea to Maine media in Augusta.

    LePage Continues to Play Politics With Welfare to Distract From Lagging Jobs Record

    Governor announces he’ll finally enforce a law that’s been on the books for years to score election year political points

     

    AUGUSTA — Top legislative leaders on Wednesday said Governor LePage’s latest announcement that he’ll finally enforce a 2011 law* to drug test convicted drug felons whose families rely on temporary assistance from the state is just the latest in his campaign effort to distract from his lagging economic record. The leaders also said the Governor’s failure to enforce the law was another reason to support an independent Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services.

    Speaker of the House Mark Eves of North Berwick, who helped negotiate the 2011 law to ensure substance abuse treatment was included, called the Governor’s announcement “pure politics.”

     
    eves alfond

    “This law has been on the books for years, yet LePage hasn’t enforced it,” said Eves. “We need leaders who are serious about solving problems and enforcing the law, not simply scoring political points in an election year at a time when Maine’s economy is lagging. It’s also one more reason to support an independent Inspector General at the Department.”

     

    Earlier this week, Business Insider ranked Maine 47th for economic growth in the country, so now the Governor is stepping up his welfare rhetoric.

     

    This is more election year politics. The governor is trumpeting a law that already exists and he hasn’t enforced,” said Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland. “The timing is peculiar given that he made this stale announcement the day after another report ranks Maine’s economy at the bottom of the pack. The evidence is mounting that Paul LePage’s policies are failing Maine people.”

     

    According to national labor statistics, the country has recovered 106 percent of the non-farm payroll jobs lost during the recession. Regionally, New England has recovered 116 percent of jobs. Maine lags behind, recovering only 63 percent of the jobs lost in the recession.

     

    Under Paul LePage’s economic leadership, Maine has experienced, a job creation record among the worst in the U.S. since the bottom of the recession, ranking 42nd out of 50 states in the latest report (June 2014). Additionally, Maine has the 5th highest rate in the country of people who work only part-time because they can’t find full-time jobs.

     

    ###

     

    *According to Title 22, Section 20, Denial of assistance based on positive drug test:  A recipient of TANF assistance may be denied TANF assistance as described in this subsection. A. The department may administer a drug test to a recipient of TANF assistance who has been convicted of a drug-related felony, as described in Section 115 of PRWORA, within 20 years of that person’s date of conviction…If the 2nd drug test confirms that the person is using an illegal drug, the person may avoid termination of TANF assistance by enrolling in a substance abuse treatment program appropriate to the type of illegal drug being used by that person. [RR 2011, c. 1, §33 (RAL).]

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(UPDATED) Paul LePage and Sovereign Citizens “Maine Constitutional Coalition”: A Timeline

Posted on July 17, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

(As two of the coalition members have this week been reported to have been either arrested or convicted recently of charges related to their sovereign citizen actions, this post has been updated with more videos, statements and links.)

Originally posted 7/10/14.

—–

  • December 5, 2012- Governor Paul LePage swears in the newly elected 126th Legislature. He had previously enjoyed Republican majorities in both chambers with the 125th Legislature; that was erased in the November elections, as Democrats retook both the House and Senate.

    The chief executive immediately sets an acrimonious tone with his co-equal legislative colleagues with family members, media and others as witnesses:

    Senate President Justin Alfond, Speaker of the House Mark Eves and the rest of the Democratic leaders hold their first weekly media availability event with Maine press, immediately after all had taken their oaths of office:

  • 12/12/12- Forbes ranks Maine as the worst state for business for the third year in a row.
  • 12/14/12-The world learns of a horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT, as 20 children and 6 teachers are slain by a single gunman.

    Maine leaders issue statements:

      Governor Paul LePage: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, and community affected by this horrific event this morning in Connecticut. It is difficult to comprehend the loss of so many innocent lives. Ann and I will continue to pray for the families of the children and staff members who lost their lives in what should be the safest of places, their school.”

      Speaker of the House Mark Eves (D-North Berwick): “My thoughts and prayers are with the families of Newton, whose lives have changed forever by this unbelievable tragedy. Like so many parents across the nation, I will find solace in hugging my children and tucking them in tonight. As a state and nation, we must come together to support the community of Newton as they mourn this unspeakable loss.”

  • 12/17/12- LePage orders that the flags across the state be lowered to half-staff immediately through sunset on the following day, in accordance with a Presidential proclamation.
  • 12/19/12-Governor LePage announces a moment of silence for Friday, Dec. 21 in memory of the Newtown, CT victims.
  • 12/19/12- While delivering the keynote speech at a Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Governor LePage agrees with Forbes’ assessment, blaming the state’s economic woes on a variety of factors including high energy costs, the $484 million in overdue Medicaid reimbursements to the state’s hospitals, “generous welfare” spending and the “double dipping” of school superintendents.
  • 12/21/12-Senator Dawn Hill (D-York) is appointed Senate Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs for the 126th Legislative session.
  • 12/27/12- Governor LePage issues an executive curtailment order to reduce state spending by $35.5 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.
  • 1/4/13- Aroostook Watchmen radio show hosts discuss on-air that Fort Fairfield Journal editor David Deschaine is “an ideological ally” of theirs.

    Here is a 2014 article written by Deschaine, “Feds Back Down After Hundreds of Militia Show Support for Nevada Rancher”,, in sympathy with the land ownership and property rights claims of Cliven Bundy.

    Governor LePage administers the oath of Office to Attorney General Janet T. Mills of Farmington.

    Governor LePage administers the oath of Office to Attorney General Janet T. Mills of Farmington.

  • 1/4/13- The state’s budget-writing Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee convene to begin reviewing the impact of the $35.5 million spending curtailment cuts, as part of a larger supplemental package needed to close a projected shortfall of $100 million in Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) budget.
  • 1/8/13- Governor LePage swears in Maine’s three Constitutional Officers (Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, State Treasurer Neria Douglass, and Attorney General Janet T. Mills) and Statutory Officer (State Auditor Pola Buckley).

    Dunlap and Mills had both previously served in the same offices under LePage predecessor Democratic Governor John E. Baldacci.

  • 1/8/13- In Alaska, Sovereign Citizen Francis August Schaeffer Cox aka “Schaeffer Cox” is sentenced to twenty-six years in prison for conspiring to murder federal and state government officials, including judges and law enforcement agents, and for stockpiling illegal weapons and explosives.
    Image used as icon for "The Sovereign Family" Radio Show, hosted by Jim and Trisha White, promoted and aired on the same stations as the Aroostook Watchmen.

    Image used as icon for “The Sovereign Family” Radio Show, hosted by Jim and Trisha White, aired on the same stations as the Aroostook Watchmen and promoted by same.

    Cox served as an Alaskan delegate to the “Continental Congress 2009”, which saw 116 delegates from 48 states in attendance. Some members of the “Constitution Club” offer support comparing him to “Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty” and others wish to distance themselves from Cox. Maine’s three “Continental Congress 2009” delegates are listed as Wayne Leach, Jack McCarthy, and Alan Lowberg.

  • 1/11/13- Officials from the LePage administration present the governor’s budget to the state and his office releases a statement from the governor, blaming the federal government and Medicaid for Maine’s fiscal woes.
  • 1/12/13 the Monticello-based “Aroostook Watchmen” radio show hosts discuss plans to deliver a “remonstration” (EP1129-“A remonstrance to Maine State government”). They opened the show with a Scripture verse, then discussed translating it as being directed to sell one’s clothing for weapons to arm one’s self.

    Roger Ek’s show is first referenced at the 3:45 mark; Jim and Trisha White of “Sovereign Families” at the 4:11 mark.

  • 1/14/13- A group calling themselves the “Maine Constitutional Coalition” (leader Wayne Leach, Aroostook Watchmen host Jack McCarthy and others) submit a set of “remonstrances” to Maine Senate President Justin Alfond, Speaker of the House Mark Eves and Governor LePage at the State House in Augusta, accusing all of acting unlawfully and declaring that they must surrender their elected offices.
  • 1/17/13- Coalition member Gary Smart posts an “Introduction to the Remonstrance”, signed himself and the other three coalition members: Wayne Leach, Phil Merletti and Jack McCarthy.

    A portion of it reads:

      To the People:

      You are most likely aware of the enormous problems existent in America, at all levels, most of which were created and/or exacerbated directly by burdensome government rules, regulations, requirements and policies. This especially holds true for Maine. The People have endured egregious violations committed by government against their rights for many, many years, and this must come to a rapid halt.

      To that end, we have put together a Declaration, Remonstrance and Demand to be presented to the governor and the members of the Legislature when there are ENOUGH SUPPORTERS behind this proposal who will actively work to implement its provisions. Many causes exist in Maine, with many different, diverse groups espousing individual positions. Virtually all of these are valid, but the one common denominator that occasions the need to champion these causes is the fact that the elected and appointed officers in Maine in virtually all positions do not honor their oaths and instead routinely violate them, as well as the rights of the People.

      This document references and makes provisions to correct such situations.

  • 1/19/13-Assistant Majority Leader Senator Troy Jackson (Allagash) points out in a weekly Democratic radio address that the recently released LePage budget in its current form would “dump more than $420 million dollars worth of problems” with its zero revenue sharing from the state to municipalities and shift the financial burden onto them by withholding nearly $300 million in “revenue sharing” dollars from Maine’s towns.
  • 1/30/13- “Maine Constitutional Coalition” spokesman Phil Merletti speaks with WABI as the coalition hold a press conference in the State House’s Hall of Flags:

      “A Remonstrance was served on Maine’s Governor Paul LePage on 14 January, 2013 (1/14/13) asking that wrongs upon the people of Maine be addressed and a receipt was obtained. The Governor was asked to respond within ten days. There was no reply to this Remonstrance. On 30 January, 2013 (1/30/13) a press conference was held in the Capitol outside of the Governor’s office in the Hall of Flags. Shortly after the press conference Governor Paul LePage finally did contact those who signed the Remonstrance saying that he never received his copy of the Remonstrance from his office staff. The Governor is set to meet with those who signed the 1/14/13 Remonstrance.

      Stay tuned.

      This is from the Maine State Constitution: Section 15. Right of petition. The people have a right at all times in an orderly and peaceable manner to assemble to consult upon the common good, to give instructions to their representatives, and to request, of either department of the government by petition or remonstrance, redress of their wrongs and grievances.”

  • 2/2/13-The Maine Constitutional Coalition meet with Governor LePage. When discussing Democratic Senate President Justin Alfond and House Speaker Mark Eves, McCarthy claims that both were guilty of “high treason”, noting that the penalty for treason hadn’t changed in a hundred years.

      “I never said it, but the governor said it. I never opened my mouth and said the word,” explained McCarthy. “The governor looked at us and looked at his buddy and said, ‘They’re talking about hanging them.’ (The “buddy” was apparently a member of LePage’s legal staff.)

      According to McCarthy, at another point in the conversation, when discussing federal funding, LePage said, “If I go any further with this bill, with this refusal to accept federal money, they will surround this building and kill me.”

      “I believe he thinks that literally, absolutely literally. I said if you call we will come and defend you,” said McCarthy on his show.

  • 2/3/13- A video of Wayne Leach explaining the remonstrance (taped in January) is uploaded to YouTube.

    From “maineporcupines”:

      Published on Feb 3, 2013
      This video explains the work of some of the people of Maine to hold Maine’s government officials to their oaths of office. PLEASE BE SURE TO SIGN THE REMONSTRANCE SHOWING MAINE PEOPLE YOUR SUPPORT FOR THIS MOVEMENT TO HOLD THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR OATHS.

      http://www.mainerepublic.com/?page_id=24

      Background: Governor Paul LePage was elected with strong Tea Party support in Maine. He promised a strict adherence to the Constitutions of the United States and that of Maine. Once he took office he began the work he’d agreed to perform, but then something went amiss. It is the belief of many of those who elected him that something is keeping him from performing the [authority?] delegated to him, and to stand as trustee, as elected, by the people of Maine. It is the intention of some of these people to discover what is keeping Governor LePage from performing the duties he swore an oath to uphold. Remonstrance delivered 14 January, 2013. A response was demanded by 29 January, 2013.

      People in other states may want to go to the linked page and copy our Remonstrance serving them at state and local levels to suit your own circumstances. Long live the Republic!

  • 2/4/13- Aroostook Watchmen hosts discuss with their audience the meeting with LePage.

    Jack McCarthy (full audio of the show), who was involved with at least one meeting with the governor, told his audience that the Coalition objected to a section of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy training manual on how to handle encounters with Sovereign Citizens.

      McCarthy said Phil Merletti, another member of the Coalition, showed the manual to LePage.

      “That document says that all four of us are domestic terrorists, do you understand where we stand?” McCarthy recalled. “The governor looked at that and his eyes got real big … and he handed it to his cohort (presumably a staffer) next to him and said, ‘Have you ever seen this before?’”

      He added, “This is a government issued curriculum mandatory for every law enforcement officer in this state and it’s telling them that anybody that says they’re a Sovereign Citizen is a domestic terrorist. The FBI statement at the beginning says that the Sovereign Citizen is the greatest domestic terror threat in this country.”

  • 2/5/13- Rep. Ricky Long (R- Sherman) of Aroostook County introduces LD 220, “An Act To Ban the United Nations Agenda 21 in Maine”. The bill eventually dies in the Legislature mostly along party lines.
    Gov. Paul LePage displays his concealed weapons permit in this photograph released by his office on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. (photo via BDN)

    Gov. Paul LePage displays his concealed weapons permit in this photograph released by his office on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. (photo via BDN)

  • 2/13/13- Bangor Daily News sends a Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) request to the Maine State Police for information about concealed weapons permit holders in the state.LePage takes to Twitter to share a photo of himself holding his own permit and issues a statement:

      “If newspapers would like to know who has concealed weapons permits, then they should know the governor has his,” LePage said. “I have serious concerns that BDN’s request will incite fear among gun owners and nongun owners alike regarding their safety. There is no reason why these records should be public, and I encourage the Legislature to act quickly to make this personal information confidential.

      As I have said, the rights of law-abiding citizens to own firearms will not be questioned while I am governor. That is especially true for those who respect the law enough to go through the process of obtaining a permit to carry concealed.”

  • 2/14/13- Governor LePage teamed up with Democratic Senate Assistant Majority Leader Troy Jackson to submit an emergency bill, temporarily and immediately blocking the release of personal information about concealed weapons permit holders while the legislature works on a permanent solution.
  • 2/16/13- Maine Governor Paul LePage, at the invitation of the Constitution Coalition, meet and take the stage with right wing conspiracy theorist Michael Coffman of Bangor.

    ‘Agenda 21’ is mentioned at the 3:25 mark and the clips final comments suggests that the 1776 option (revolution) is ‘on the table’.

    More on Coffman, considered within the tea party/ liberty/ sovereign citizens movement to be an expert on property and economic rights, as well as an article he penned in 2014 (“The Bundy Standoff- A Century of Abuse”).

  • 2/20/13- The Fort Fairfield Journal reports of the meeting (“Governor LePage Meets with Maine Constitutional Coalition”) with first-hand accounts from some of the participants:
    Ad within the Ft Fairfield Journal newspaper available to the public outside Governor LePage's office. Note the reference to "The Bundy Family" above the racially charged anti-President Obama ad.

    Ad within the Ft Fairfield Journal newspaper available to the public outside Governor LePage’s office. Note the reference to “The Bundy Family” above the racially charged anti-President Obama ad.

      “After we got into the office, I was so relieved. He was cordial, he was open, frank and expressed frustration that we had so much trouble getting to him and he had so much trouble responding to us,”
      said Jack McCarthy, co-host of the Aroostook Watchmen radio program on AM780 in Monticello, Maine. “This was not an inquisition into our governor,” said McCarthy. “It was not, ‘we’re going to hold you accountable and this is what you did wrong.’ That was not the purpose of this Remonstrance. The purpose of this Remonstrance was to delineate the abuses of the Constitution and demand a resolution.”

      “I can’t wait to hear the Bolsheviks in Bangor screaming why he would even have a meeting with radical centrists like us,” said Steve Martin, co-host of Aroostook Watchmen with McCarthy.

      “We produced this Remonstrance and submitted it in writing to the proper channels,” said McCarthy.“This is a constitutional process whereby the people, according to Maine Constitution, have the right at all times to peaceably assemble and address their legislature. We did this through the Remonstrance process.”

    Ft Fairfield Journal available outside LePage offices and stamped as approved by the Governor's office. None of Maine's major newspapers are made available to the public in a similar fashion.

    Ft Fairfield Journal available outside LePage offices and stamped as approved by the Governor’s office. None of Maine’s major newspapers are made available to the public in a similar fashion.

    More details of what was said by LePage at the meeting, which went on for over an hour and a half, are revealed:

      Governor LePage was asked during the meeting if this Remonstrance was the legal way to bring these points up.

      “His answer was, ‘Yes, this is the legal way to do this.’ So, that was encouraging,” said McCarthy.

      The Coalition received a signed receipt of the Remonstrance from the Governor’s office, the President of the Senate’s office and the Speaker of the House’s office.
      “We know that they got these hard copies of this Remonstrance.” The Remonstrance was delivered on January 14 and each office had 10 business days to respond to the grievance.

      “They didn’t respond. They ignored it. We heard nothing. So a press conference was set up in the Hall of Flags. Before the press conference we gave them a last chance to respond before we went public. So we went to the governor’s office and handed another copy to the secretary and said ‘we’re going to do a press conference at 11:00, be warned.’ The governor said he never saw it.”

    Coalition member Gary Smart calls actions of the Legislature “treason”, declares Maine lawyers to be “foreign citizens” and claims that the coalition’s “Remonstrance” has more legal authority than those in elected office or in Maine’s courts:

     Aroostook Watchmen via their Facebook page demand the release of federally convicted domestic terrorist Shaeffer Cox.

    Aroostook Watchmen via their Facebook page demand the release of federally convicted domestic terrorist Shaeffer Cox.

      “The house and Senate have not responded, and placed a lawyer between us and them. Which I think is treason because a lawyer is a foreign citizen according to the [original] 13th Amendment and the BAR is associated with the Communist Party through the Lawyers Guild as reported to Congress through special hearings in the 50’s,” said Coalition member, Gary Smart. “This should make for a treasonous act where our Legislature only wants to deal with the Remonstrance through a lawyer who is a foreign citizen. Sounds like a misprision of Treason to me.”

      Mr. Smart explains the Remonstrance has more authority than any legislation or court authority because it has the authority of Article 1 Section 2 Citizens authority to ordain or abolish the government and reset to a new administration. “Just remember that ‘We the People of Maine,” by the grace of God, established this free and independent state styled as the State of Maine and ordained the constitution of the same.”

  • 2/24/13- News of the Maine Constitutional Coalition members meeting with LePage is shared by Gary Smart.
  • 4/15/13- Maine Constitutional Coalition members discuss at a Tea Party rally in Augusta’s Capitol Park, Augusta having “served on the Governor a formal demand that he and the state not infringe on our Constitutional rights. They describe what they did and the next steps.”
  • 4/20/13- LePage attends and speaks at a presentation about Agenda 21, considered a conspiracy theory by the Tea Party with a goal of creating a “New World Order” stripping Americans of property rights and Constitutional liberties, at Lake Region High School in Naples along with featured speaker Michael Coffman of Bangor.

    LePage opened the discussion with a few remarks and then was available for a question-and-answer period afterwords, where he was quoted as saying, “I am very, very strong in personal property rights.”

  • 4/29/13- An “Education Remonstrance: Holding Augusta Accountable” was announced by Aroostook Watchmen on Facebook.
  • 5/19/13- LePage unexpectedly appears at an emergency Appropriations and Financial Affairs work session, called to address his own recent claim that the Department of Health and Human Services would not be able to pay MaineCare providers past May 28.
  • 5/21/13- LePage starts working out of offices in the Blaine House, the residence of the Governor and First Family, rather than in his offices in the State House across the street.tv hall of flags
  • 5/23/13- It is announced that LePage is moving his offices out of the State House and across to the street to the Blaine House, due to “efforts by majority Democrats in the Legislature to censor his speech”, citing the refusal of the Appropriations Committee to allow him to address them on May 19, and later being asked to obtain permission from the Legislative Council to have a TV outside of his office displaying the number of days since his budget was proposed.

    State law requires the Governor to have his office within the Capitol building, but his staff may remain there and work in his absence.

  • 5/29/13- LePage returns to his State House offices, while still criticizing what he called censorship.
  • 5/29/13- Members of the coalition try again with LePage, this time asking that Kennebec County sheriff Randall Liberty or a judge also be involved.
  • 6/6/13- A follow up memo from the Constitutional Coalition is sent to LePage:
    Kennebec County Sheriff Randall "Randy" Liberty

    Kennebec County Sheriff Randall “Randy” Liberty

      As seen in this selection from the document (obtained by Mike Tipping by a Freedom of Access Act request), the governor was asked about connecting them to Sheriff Liberty or a judge.

        #1. Jack’s question concerning a meeting with Sheriff Liberty, to access or convey our remonstrance to the proper channel(s) (Grand Jury/Superior Court), to start legal proceedings, was never really finalized?

        Can you approach Sheriff Liberty or a judge to set up a meeting with us?

        #2. This discussion led to the fact that you were meeting with a Superior Court Judge over dinner and you said you would raise the issue of the Remonstrance. Could you share the discussion with us?

    • 6/26/13- LePage expresses deep frustration with the veto override of his budget bill LD 1509, blaming “the third floor”, hinting he might not run for re-election (“I don’t know how you recover from this.”)
    • 6/26/13- Aroostook Watchmen post the following message from Constitutional Coalition leader Wayne Leach onto their Facebook wall:

        “Aroostook Watchmen
        June 26, 2013

        Join us at the state house in Maine:

        To all:

        Well, the mail has come, I got a bill but nothing from the alleged criminals, so we are on for tomorrow @ 1 PM at the rear entrance to the State House, and at the Capitol Police Office just inside that door to the left of the security station. I will obtain the required permit for the event. Signs are OK, but none with stakes on them inside the building. If anybody can, I’d appreciate them informing any media that we will be presenting evidence of alleged crimes within the People’s House, some of which are perjury of the oath of office, malfeasance of office, and violations of the public trust placed in the offenders by their position.
        This event will probably last for a maximum of an hour – probably somewhat less.

        Thanks to all who can attend, and bring, notify friends.
        Wayne”

    • 7/3/13- Governor LePage summons Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty to the State House, to meet with the Maine Constitutional Coalition.
    • 7/11/13-Gary Smart of the Coalition offers his support on a “Constitution Club” forum for compiling a list of names of leaders for formation of a “conference of the greatest patriots”:
        Reply by Gary Smart on July 11, 2013 at 9:08pm

        It would be a great idea to have a conference of the greatest patriots to gather together to conference their ideas of a common ground plan to get their members to act upon a concerted effort to taking our individual states back to citizen authority.. This could be done through private talkshoe and private bullitan board conferences to hone out a national plan of actions that the many patriot groups of the nation could join in to do some emergency plan of actions to protect the citizens of the individual free and independent states from the federal governments Martial law plans and to bring our states back to constitutional order.I would like to add two more patriot to my list is Keith Broaders who is working tirelsessly in his endevers to bring a focus to the Sheriff community..

        Also Bob Shultz for his efforts of many years battling the front lines.

    • 7/17/13-Aroostook Watchmen post the following “cut/paste” notification onto their Facebook wall.
        July 17, 2013
        LEGAL NOTICE
        LEGAL NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN TO ALL PERSONS NAMED BELOW WHO HAVE

        failed to answer a demand for response to a People’s Remonstrance that was served on them at their offices in the State Capitol on January 14, 2013, and said persons have also failed to respond to a follow-up Presumptive Letter mailed by Certified Mail to each of them on April 19, 2013 at 11:16:22 AM, which was delivered to both persons named below on April 22, 2013 at 9:16 AM. The persons named herein are therefore violating the public trust and are in breach of their official duty to answer their constituents’ demands. Replies to said Remonstrance must be received from JUSTIN L. ALFOND, whose last known address is 134 Sheridan Street, Portland, Maine 04101, and MARK W. EVES, whose last known address is 29 Acorn Avenue, North Berwick, Maine 03906, within twenty (20) days after service by publication is complete, and failure to do so will be considered an admission to malfeasance of an office of public trust, a breach of fiduciary duty, and an admission that all claims in said Remonstrance and Presumptive Letter are true and factual. Replies may be mailed to
    • 8/7/13- LePage’s legal counsel submit their five page memo regarding the demands of the coalition to the governor.

    • 10/1/13- Due to gridlock in Congress, the Federal government is shut down, with ripples being felt immediately across the country down to the local level.

      Governor LePage’s first response was to minimize the effect of the shutdown caused by Tea Party Republicans in Congress.

        “Although some positions and programs in state agencies are federally funded, all functions of state government will proceed as normal through the end of the week,” Governor LePage said. “The shutdown of the federal government is a result of the failure of leadership in Washington, D.C.

        A short-term shutdown won’t impact the operation of Maine state government. But if the shutdown continues for an extended period, then it could affect some state agencies. With the politicians constantly fighting over the budget, sequestration and the debt ceiling, in addition to $17 trillion in national debt, we cannot rely on the federal government to pay for public assistance programs or state services for Maine people.”

    • 10/9/13- Maine Governor Paul LePage unexpectedly decides to call a civil emergency in response to the federal shutdown, the only governor in the country to evoke such a response to the ongoing crisis in Washington DC.
    • 10/10/13- LePage holds an emergency meeting with some Democratic leaders to discuss his decision to declare a state of civil emergency the previous day.

      Towards the end of this clip, LePage discusses how the decision to declare a civil emergency came to be as part of an impromptu discussion between members of his administration. There is also some inconsistent statements regarding whether or not the state’s employee union was involved in the discussions and when, as well as meetings with Democratic leaders within the Legislature.

      Democrats then held their own press conference:

    • 10/17/13- LePage visits the Cobscook Bay State Park, located and operated on land leased from the then closed Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. Aside from the state park itself, the area also contained a boat launch ramp used by many local fishermen.

      LePage criticized the federal government for interfering with the operation of a state park and closing the boat ramp. He further stated that in the event of another shutdown, he would order Sheriff Donnie Smith of Washington County, where the park is located, to keep it open if necessary.

        … with Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith looking on, the governor vowed the park would not be closed again by federal action. “They won’t close this park again,” said LePage. “I guarantee you that. The sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer of the state of Maine. I would authorize him to keep this place open.”

      Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst) and Gov. Paul LePage address media at Cobscook Bay State Park, 10/17/13 (via WABI).

      Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst) and Gov. Paul LePage address media at Cobscook Bay State Park, 10/17/13 (via WABI).

      WABI gets video footage of the governor, Tea Party freshman legislator Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst), 2CD GOP candidate Blaine Richardson and Constitutional Coalition member Gary Smart at Cobscook; only LePage and Lockman are recorded as speaking to media.

        “What happened here this week in Washington County was a federal assault on state sovereignty and individual liberty,” said Representative Lawrence Lockman, an Amherst Republican who represents some of the fishermen impacted. “And I salute these fishermen for standing up to the federal bullies, pulling the barricades down and going to work.”
    • 10/18/13- Governor LePage lifts the civil emergency order.
    • 1/5/14- FOX News runs an article (“Sovereign citizen movement rejects gov’t with tactics ranging from mischief to violence”) discussing sovereign citizens within the country and some of the known patterns of dismissing their activities.
        Dubbed sovereign citizens by law enforcement, the movement numbers anywhere from 80,000 to 300,000 nationwide, according to experts contacted by FoxNews.com. While many live on society’s fringe and pose no immediate threat, police are being trained to be wary of sovereign citizens, knowing that they may not respect cops’ authority and could be prone to violence.

        “Sovereign citizens don’t call themselves that,” JJ MacNab, who is currently writing a book on the movement, recently blogged. “In fact, if you ask a person if she is a member of the movement, she is likely to respond that the ‘sovereign citizen’ label is an oxymoron, and that she is an individual seeking the truth.”

        The Southern Poverty Law Center, which released an authoritative study on the movement in 2010, estimated that up to 300,000 U.S. citizens consider themselves sovereign citizens, with about 100,000 being seriously involved in its techniques.

        FBI officials, meanwhile, characterize sovereign citizens on a wide spectrum, some dismissed as mere nuisances while others are accused of specializing in financial scams or impersonating law enforcement officers.

        Historical hotspots have included pockets of Missouri, Ohio and Michigan, as well as central Florida, but now a “fair amount” of sovereign citizens can be found in every state, Pitcavage said. “This movement has been in a state of growth for several years now and we have not seen any signs of it slowing. And that could mean more people killed, more standoffs, more paper terrorism.”

    • 2/24/14- The Aroostook Watchmen again take to Facebook to inform their followers of the Governor’s handlers interfering and influencing LePage, and that they refuse to meet further with him directly.
        Contact us for your copies of the referred to documents

        Aroostook Watchmen
        FLAGS UP

        To All: O.K. people, this is it. Since we last met with Governor Lepage (the 8th time) and we refused to meet with him any more since he seems to have been fooled by his handlers, gate keepers and lawyers and supports their corrupted beliefs, we have been planning the next and probably last effort to bring the Constitution for the State of Maine, back to the Capital building in Augusta.Periodically, I have been sending out drafts of two reports call “100 Years of Law & (un)Justice”, just in case I could not finish them. Well, the reports are done and 5 Remonstrance resulted as a need to be served to the Governor and the Legislature, to be followed if we are to have our Constitutionally secured and protected rights returned.

        We are attending a hearing in the Capital Building, in the office of the Judiciary Committee room At 01:00 P.M. Tomorrow (02/25/2014). We had to wait until the hearing became a platform to give public opinion for the Re-Appointment/confirmation of Non-Commissioned Judges.

        This is it folks, we have put our life, our jobs and money, our families and repairs on cars and our homes and property on hold for this effort. If you could attend this hearing, we would appreciate your support if you can be there.

        I am still not sure if the Kennabec County Sheriff will be able to attend at this late date, but, we are going ahead with our plans to release the Remonstrances and 2 reports on the “100 years of Law & (un)Justice anyway.

        Thankx Phil

        PS: Please find attached the Master file of Remonstrances and the 2 reports.
        3 Attachments

    • 4/16/14- Coalition member Gary Smart on a “Constitution Club” thread discusses “protecting his property:

        In Maine We have a Constitution which is the Law of the State that is prefixed to all Legislative Law, The rest is Fraud upon the People. The State Constitution is ordained by the People by the Grace of God as Stated here in Maine. There is no law description on how we the People acquire our Property. It is true that when you finance that contract is in error. But Fraud is Fraud and that negates any contract. I financed and paid my note off to Acquire my property with the only currency available to earn money for my labor and I worked and exchanged my labor for each and every one of those FRN’s and satisfied the payment and interest of the contract and received my note marked Paid. I acquired my property. No where in in the Maine constitution, the Federal Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which are the laws of the land (Also the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation) has the people granted the government rights over our private property unless we contract those rights to someone else.

        SO THEREFORE I ACQUIRED, AM POSSESSING AND HAVE MY NATURAL INHERENT AND UNALIENABLE RIGHTS TO PROTECT MY PROPERTY ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF THE LAND.

        These are facts Found in the current Fraud done to the Maine Government System. Look in the Revised statutes of your own state for what we found in MRS Title 1, Section ! Item #1 Sovereignty and Jurisdiction. http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/1/title1sec1.html

        “The jurisdiction and sovereignty of the State extend to all places within its boundaries, subject only to such rights of concurrent jurisdiction as are granted by the State over places ceded by the State to the United States.”

        Then look at the Definitions of

        15. Person. “Person” may include a body corporate.

        21. State. “State,” used with reference to any organized portion of the United States, may mean a territory or the District of Columbia. [ 1965, c. 513, §1 (AMD) .]

        26-A. United States. “United States” includes territories and the District of Columbia.
        [ 1969, c. 433, §7 (RPR) .]

        Maine’s Corporate Laws are laws of the PERSON not the PEOPLE

        You can beat any of these laws by stop consenting to being a Person and exerting your rights as People, it is just that simple.

    • 5/31/14- Coalition member Gary Smart discusses using sheriffs to arrest police chiefs and officers on a “Constitution Club” forum discussion on rights to travel.

        Reply by Gary Smart on May 31, 2014 at 6:00am

        I was just talking with a man this morning about some possible campaigns on this driving vs traveling issue. We are individual attacking this issue, but if we organize a 25 man Board of review Article 61 Magna Carter and walk into the Sheriffs Department and present the known laws and rights of the people and organize the law of the county and shared among many counties. This needs to be organized and discussed on common grounds and bring about a formal complaint to the sheriff, and then start arresting Cheifs of Police and police officers for UCC241 violations to people rights. This simple procedure would work in Administrative (unlawful) courts.

    • 6/30/14- Excerpts from the first chapter of Maine People’s Alliance communications director Mike Tipping’s book, “As Maine Went”, are released.

      The focus of the beginning chapter are details of the eight meetings between Maine Governor Paul LePage and the Constitutional Coalition members. This sparks multiple news stories, opinion pieces, examinations, interviews with many concerned and more, as listed below in chronological order.

        1. BDN “Latest charges could dry up crucial funding for LePage”

        2. MPBN LePage Official: Governor Did Meet With Group on FBI Terrorist List

          McCarthy, whose Sovereign Citizen ties include the Constitutional Coalition, says that he was at the State House to discuss the group’s concerns with the governor. Among those topics, McCarthy says, was their belief that Democratic Maine Senate President Justin Alfond and House Speaker Mark Eves should both be tried for treason.

          “And we also discussed this there, that as far as I know, the penalty for high treason hasn’t changed in a hundred years, and I didn’t say it, but the governor said it – I never opened my mouth and said the word – the governor looked at us and looked at his buddy and said, ‘They’re talking about hanging them,’ McCarthy said.

          “That’s right,” (co-host Steve) Martin responded.

          “I said, Praise the Lord – we’ll hang a few and be done with this crap,’ ” McCarthy said.

          Governor LePage’s office responded:

          Adrienne Bennett, LePage’s press secretary, says the timing of the Sovereign Citizens report story is more than a little suspect, as the governor is seeking reelection in November. “We’re not even into the month of July and we’re hearing this political rhetoric from Democrats, and clearly they have already jumped the shark.”

        3. BDN LePage denies he discussed ‘executing’ Maine Democratic leaders

          “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.”

    • 7/1/14-
      as maine went

        1. BDN “Group that met with LePage denies terrorist links”

        2. MPBN “Details Emerge in LePage’s Meetings with Group Tied to Extremist Movement”

          Sheriff Randy Liberty says he was contacted earlier this year by Gov. Paul LePage and asked to come to his office for a meeting. “I drove over and we met in the cabinet meeting room,”Liberty says, “and the governor was there with three individuals.”

          Liberty did not know it at the time, but LePage had called him in for a meeting with members of the Constitutional Coalition, a group that progressive blogger and Democratic activist Mike Tipping says has direct ties with a national movement known as the Sovereign Citizens. The group has been linked with violent acts against public figures in other states, and its members reject taxes, the U.S. currency and perceive the U.S. government as illegitimate.

          Liberty says the group wanted a sheriff to help them deliver their grievances concerning a list of constitutional infringements.

          “They wished to have their grievances addressed by the president of the Senate, the speaker of the House and the attorney general,” Liberty says. “And when I was there, the governor seemed generous with his time and he listened a lot.”

          Liberty says he accommodated the group’s request, delivering the message to the respective staffs of the three elected leaders, all Democrats. Liberty says he though he’d completed his assignment, but then he heard from the coalition again earlier this year. This time, they wanted Liberty to arrest the the speaker of the House, the president of the Senate and the Maine attorney general on charges that ranged from dereliction of duty to treason.

          “I was not certain of my jurisdiction in that environment and so I met with District Attorney Meghan Maloney and she did some research and she met with us regarding that,” Liberty says. “They wanted them to be indicted by the the grand jury – the three political figures – and of course that never happened. And that was sort of the end of it.”

        3. Salon “Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage held several meetings with FBI-designated terrorist group”

        4. Mother Jones “There’s Some Serious Weirdness Up In the State of Maine”

        5. MSNBC “Casting Paul LePage in a more alarming light”

        6. MSNBC “Maine Gov. denies talk of ‘hanging’ opponents”

    • 7/2/14-
    • 7/5/14-
    • 7/6/14-
        1.PPH “Agree to Disagree: Is LePage in political trouble after ‘domestic terrorists’ meetings?”

        2.LSJ “Constitutional Coalition speaks out: ‘We’re researchers’ not terrorists” (AUDIO)

          (Wayne) Leach and (Phil) Merletti haven’t yet given up on the governor. They hope he’ll come around and do the right thing. In their way, they feel bad for LePage because he’s so heavily influenced by the lawyers who surround him — a group they call “the gatekeepers.”

          Wayne Leach and phil Merletti (photo via Lewiston Sun Journal, 7/6/14)

          Wayne Leach and phil Merletti (photo via Lewiston Sun Journal, 7/6/14)

          “We put the remonstrance in so that we could have a dialogue,” Merletti said, “and have a meeting.”

          “We almost begged them (lawmakers and others) to respond in some fashion, either negatively or positively,” Leach said.

          “They were just silent. They didn’t even said no. They refused to even recognize that we even existed. That’s a slap in the face for people who have worked months.”

          He doesn’t want to sue Tipping, perhaps, but there is bitterness about the way he was characterized. With that in mind, Merletti points to the far end of the room.

          “Now,” he said, “if we were to put Tipping down in that corner, the four of us here and Gov. LePage there, we could end this in five minutes and then we could find out who’s lying.”“Five or 10 minutes,” Leach agreed. “Tops. I don’t even think it would take that long.”

          “Once that Tipping thing hit, everybody is backing off,” Merletti said. “I think the word is out: Don’t mess with those terrorists. Don’t mess with these guys anymore.”

          “Now,” Merletti said in his slow, methodical manner, “who controls the governor?”
          When no answer is forthcoming, he answers the question himself. “The lawyers,” he said. “The thing they never wanted LePage to do was to be in contact with the outside. They set up three layers of fences around him, with gatekeepers. The only people who got through those gates was through them.”

          When the coalition met with LePage, it was directly, Merletti said. No lawyers, no gatekeepers. The flow of information was unrestrained.

          “That’s why the lawyers didn’t want us talking to him,” Merletti said, “because we were bringing this stuff to light. The man is controlled.

    • 7/7/14-
        1. BDN “Evangelos vs. AG Mills; Cutler’s property tax tour; 7 stories you need to read”

          Evangelos asked the attorney general’s office to investigate what happened during the more than 10 hours of meetings LePage held with the group. On Friday, the AG said she would not investigate because LePage’s Executive Protection Unit — sworn law enforcement officers charged with protecting the governor — was present for the meetings and did not see fit to follow-up on anything discussed at the time.

          In an email to Attorney General Janet Mills on Friday, Evangelos said that wasn’t good enough.

          “Have these officers been questioned?” Evangelos wrote. “Are you taking [LePage press secretary Adrienne Bennett’s] or Governor LePage’s word for this? Did anyone identify the officers in question? Do these officers owe their loyalty and job security to LePage? How can you possibly reach such a narrow conclusion based on such a flimsy investigative effort?”Still, it doesn’t appear likely that Mills, a Democrat, will investigate. Here’s her response to Evangelos:

          “Jeff, our information is not from political sources but from law enforcement. I really can’t say any more, as it is simply not our custom to comment publicly on requests for investigations or on investigations themselves.”

        2. BDN “LePage said “get our guns” as extremists wrote him on revolution”

        3. BDN Editorial “Stating the obvious: Why a governor shouldn’t meet with anti-government extremists”

          “Gov. Paul LePage apparently doesn’t understand a simple concept: As the state’s chief executive, he harms the reputation of the state by repeatedly indulging people who believe the current government is acting illegally, talk in strange ways about a new world order, urge people to not pay taxes, don’t believe President Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen, think the federal government is stockpiling ammunition to use against civilians, publicly discuss mind control, and believe the massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., was a government-orchestrated attempt to restrict Second Amendment rights.It doesn’t matter if the people who met with LePage haven’t acted violently in the past; their views are so dissociated from reality they taint the credibility of anyone who takes them somewhat seriously. The fact that LePage met with them multiple times, when he could have been addressing the state’s real problems, shows a severe lack of judgment.

          People will continue to debate the specifics of what was actually said, and what the group believes, but the fact is that LePage met eight times with people who essentially seek to undermine the state’s public safety. By meeting regularly with them, he lent their cause a level of credibility it in no way deserves. His actions should make residents question LePage’s allegiance to the state.”

        4. Politico “Paul LePage Is in Trouble. Again.”

          “And this is not the first time the governor has engaged with some of them (Maine fringe element). His transition team in 2010 included three members of another group, the Maine Constitutionalists, who had recently hosted a talk by the head of the John Birch Society. One transition team member, Dana Dyer, was an instructor at the National Center for Constitutional Studies, the ultraconservative institute founded by the infamous Mormon conspiracy theorist (and devoted Bircher) W. Cleon Skousen, whose writings inform many of Glenn Beck’s rants.”

      Jack-McCarthy

    • 7/14/14- Jack McCarthy is convicted of multiple charges of driving with an expired driver’s license:
        Prosecutors said McCarthy essentially challenged the legality of the requirement that drivers obtain and renew a license, arguing the government was too intrusive and did not have the authority to regulate driver’s licenses.

        McCarthy compared to his refusal to comply with licensing requirements to “taking a sip out of the ‘negroes only’ drinking fountain.”

        “The judge had to explain to the jury in his instructions that the law essentially doesn’t work that way,”
        said John Pluto, assistant district attorney for Aroostook County. “If he was driving on a public road and if he was driving with a license that was expired, then he was guilty of driving without a license.”

        The jury took just 15 minutes of deliberations to convict McCarthy, who was fined $200 on the first charge and $400 for the second one.

      More via BDN:

      Screen-shot-2014-07-16-at-12.05.12-PM

        The group (Constitutional Coalition) has been linked with the Sovereign Citizens, which is described as a terrorist movement by both the federal government and the Maine Department of Public Safety.

        Members of the organization claim no affiliation with the Sovereign Citizens but espouse many of the same beliefs — including the notion that the government has been “hijacked” and is thus illegitimate, that most state laws are “repugnant to the Constitution” and thus invalid, and that the U.S. dollar is a “false currency.”

    • 7/16/14- Not only was McCarthy convicted of two charges of driving with an expired Maine driver’s license, but it is reported that on May 21, fellow coalition member Gary Smart was arrested in Lincoln for expired inspection and registration of his vehicle:
        On May 21, according to reports in the Lincoln News, fellow constitutionalists Gary Smart was arrested after an encounter with officers of the Lincoln Police Department.

        After being pulled over for expired registration and inspection stickers on West Broadway in Lincoln, Smart apparently declared himself a “sovereign citizen” and refused to exit his pickup truck until a member of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department was present. (Sovereigns believe that elected sheriffs are the only legitimate law enforcement officials.) Local officers eventually removed Smart from the vehicle and placed him in handcuffs.

        Smart was also later charged with operating without a license and violating the conditions of his release, according to the Lincoln News.

        Smart, like McCarthy, is defending himself in court and has posted some of his legal submissions to his website. They contain textbook Sovereign Citizen rhetoric, including the misuse of legal terms, allegations that the government is illegitimate and quotes from bible verses and precedents from the 1800s that he says prove he is above the law.

      From the above link:

        “* I, Gary Russell Smart, Sui Juris, am one of the people of the free and independent State of Maine(original), and in this Court of record complain of the following 3 men who are employed by the Private for profit Corporation known as the Lincoln Police Department, a franchised corporation of the District of Columbia: Joshua McKechnie, John Walsh and Daniel Summers who exceeded their jurisdictions, outside of Venue, improperly performing due process of laws of Maine and have injured and damaged me as the men acting as Police officers without my consent as one of the people of Maine who was enjoying natural inherent and unalienable right to travel on the highways of Maine. I make claim on these men as the following:

        – When John Walsh claimed a false arrest and I requested a Sheriff or deputy Sheriff who is a proper law enforcement, commissioned officer, the three named corporate franchised persons of the District of Columbia denied me proper due process of law according to their sworn oaths to God and the People of Maine.
        – These men trespassed upon my private property by opening my door without my consent. and
        – Assaulted me by dragging me out of my private property, and
        – placed me in shackles that I describe as torture devices designed to inflict pain, and
        – assaulted me by pushing my face into the tar and stepping on my back, and
        – Trespassed upon me with unlawful search and seizure, and
        – taking my personal property from 6 of my pockets, and
        – putting me into a cage, and
        – kidnaped me by taking me to the Police Department, and
        – taking my vehicle unlawfully, and

        – All without my consent or due process of the law of the land that these men swore an oath to God and the People of Maine to uphold the constitutional laws.

        * While at the Lincoln Police Department these men wrote two violation summons and complaints to a court hearing for offenses that do not apply to me being a private man who is one of the people of Maine.

        * These summons are identified as being violations of the Maine Revised Statutes which is not my law as I am not a person as these legal rules or codes pertain to for the following reasons:

        – These violations are for fictions in law which are identified as body corporate while I am a man who is one of the People of Maine as identified in the Constitution of Maine.
        – I am not a Person because that is being a man of sin as identified in James 2:9 “But if ye regard the persons, ye commit sin, and are rebuked of the Law, as transgressors.” I am a man who does not knowingly sin against the natural laws of my God, the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe.
        – The jurisdiction of the Maine Revised Statutes is not my venue, where as that venue is the private State of Maine Corporation that is a territory of the District of Columbia and a franchise of the 1871 corporation of the United States which I hold no known contracts with.
        – Any contracts franchising with the United States that might identify me as being a person is a fraud which is “Any trick or artifice employed by one person to induce another to fall into an error, or to detain him in it, so that he may make an agreement contrary to his interest.”(1856 Bouvier) Because this fraud may consist either, first, in the misrepresentation, or, secondly, in the concealment of a material fact. Fraud avoids a contract, ab initio, both at law and in equity, whether the object be to deceive the public, or third persons, or one party endeavor thereby to cheat the other.

        * Therefore a violation of Maine Revised Statutes 29-A §2412-A. Operating while license suspended or revoked is not a valid summons. Not only that it would be an invalid law because it violates a free man’s natural inherent and unalienable rights which all government personnel swear an oath to honor under their duties of the constitution and the supreme court has been ruling in that favor for years. So the driver’s license was a fraud in the first place and to operate as a free man of Maine makes an operation after suspension a fraud which avoids a contract, ab initio.

        * Therefore a violation of Maine Revised Statutes 29-A §351. Registration required is not a valid summons. Not only that it would be an invalid law because my vehicle is my personal private property that the State of Maine has no constitutional authorization to require registration and fees because such laws do not either defend my rights or benefit them by any reasonable nature of natural law.

        * Therefore the violations of 29-A §2412-A. Operating while license suspended or revoked and 29-A §351. Registration required are not valid and I have not done any harm or violated rights to any other man or woman I shall declare that these summons for violations are dismissed by my authority as a man and one of the people of Maine.

        * Therefor this leaves my claims that I have been harmed by three (3) men who operated outside of their constitutional jurisdiction and venue as police officers of the Lincoln Police department and wanted these charges to be prosecuted by the Lincoln District Court and the State of Maine Government under the United States Code 241 and 242 which has the jurisdiction over these persons employed by government and private corporations
        because I did inform them that I was one of the people of Maine, I had a free right to travel, meaning upon the highways and they ignored my venue and made the assumption that I was of their jurisdiction after I informed them differently.

        This is my answer by Gary Russell Smart, Sui Juris, is complete factual knowledge to the best of my ability.”

      —-

      *RELATED: (UPDATED) Breaking: LePage Met “Multiple Times” With FBI Known Domestic Terrorist Group, Discussed Executing Democratic Leaders

      (UPDATED) “Arrest For Treason/ Execution” Docs Released, Proving LePage Lied To BDN, Re: Sovereign Citizens Talks

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  • (UPDATED) “Arrest for Treason/ Execution” Docs Released, Proving LePage Lied to BDN, Re: Sovereign Citizens Talks

    Posted on July 1, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

    UPDATE: Reactions from within the Maine GOP range from overwhelming silence to weak attempts to deflect to now this:

      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:

    lepage sots angry self

      “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:

    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.

    *RELATED: (UPDATED) Breaking: LePage Met “Multiple Times” With FBI Known Domestic Terrorist Group, Discussed Executing Democratic Leaders

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

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