Yes, Really: Maine Gov LePage Met With Terrorist Group That Wants to Hang Democratic Leaders

What's that weird flag doing behind him?

In Maine, administration officials have confirmed that Governor Paul LePage took multiple meetings with members of the Sovereign Citizens, a political group that has been labeled a domestic terrorist organization by the FBI.  

Among the group’s beliefs are the rejection of taxes and US currency and the belief that the US Government is illegitimate.  The group also believes that the government is led by Jewish leaders who wish to inflict a Christian holocaust that will commence when citizens lose the right to bear arms.  According to two members of the group, who host a show called Aroostook Watchmen on WXME, they spoke to the governor at the state house about their belief that Democratic leaders should be tried for treason.  All in all, the group met with the governor for 16 hours.

Maine Public Broadcasting has more of the scoop:

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,” Martin responded.

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

Much of the information made public about LePage’s extreme right wing ties comes from writer Mike Tipping, who recently wrote a book on the subject titled “As Maine Went.”  The book looks at the Tea Party’s role in the 2010 Maine Gubernatorial election.  Speaking to NPR, Tipping noted that many in LePage’s inner circle tried to convince him not to take meetings with the groups.  

“It’s interesting looking through these Freedom of Access documents and seeing his staff trying to convince him not to meet with and believe these people,” Tipping says. “I mean, it’s just very strange, disappointing and a little scary all around.”

Maine Senate President Justin Alfond said that he was shocked LePage met with the group, but unsurprised that he responded to their message: “He chooses to associate himself with an organization that uses the threat of violence, and violence, to meet their goals.”

In response to allegations that the governor had met with domestic terrorists and discussed the hanging of Democratic leaders, LePage’s press secretary Adrienne Bennett said Democrats were blowing the story out of proportion, saying: “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.”

Meeting with terrorists is a pretty unique approach to getting re-elected. The latest polling numbers from the Portland Press Herald show LePage four points behind Democratic challenger Michael Michaud.

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