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Governor Paul R. LePage and Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage
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This is stunning: An excerpt from a (not yet published) book posted at Talking Points Memo Monday details how Maine Gov. Paul LePage met with "Sovereign Citizens," members of a group considered a domestic terrorist movement, and—as the Sovereign Citizens reported on their radio show—discussed things like state Democratic leaders being guilty of "high treason" and therefore subject to execution. Here's LePage's defense:
“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 governor mentioned that he meets with many constituents and groups, from a variety of backgrounds.

That sounds almost plausible, a governor meeting with constituents despite disagreeing with them. Except for two small things. This was not one polite meeting:
The Watchmen describe—and e-mails and documents obtained from LePage’s staff through Maine’s Freedom of Access laws confirm—at least eight meetings over a period of nine months in 2013, almost all more than an hour in duration and some lasting almost three hours. [...]

LePage agreed to attend a talk by Coffman being held two months later at Lake Region High School in Naples. According to an article in the Bridgton News describing the event, the governor attended, gave opening remarks, and then stood by as Coffman spoke to the audience not just about his UN conspiracy theories but also about a plot he claimed was underway to force the teaching of socialism in public schools and his belief that “Barack Obama’s presidency is part of a plan by the Islamic Brotherhood to turn America into an Islamic controlled nation.”

LePage also publicly described a county sheriff as "the chief law enforcement officer in the state of Maine," a Sovereign Citizen belief, suggesting that he was buying into their claims. Additionally, this is Paul LePage. He has a long history of refusing to meet with legislators and storming out of meetings. If he doesn't want to meet with you, he doesn't. So the repeated meetings with people who, again, identify themselves with a domestic terrorist movement as described by the FBI and Maine state law enforcement, are not just a governor phoning it in to stay connected to constituents. This is a far-right Republican bully governor meeting with some very scary, very extreme people, repeatedly and to all appearances enthusiastically. After his very first meeting with them, they went on the radio to say they had discussed executing state legislative leaders for treason. And LePage kept meeting with them. So "I meet with everyone" is not going to cut it as an excuse for this.

Please give $3 to help Mike Michaud give LePage the boot.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 07:22 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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