PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A small group of legislators sent a letter questioning the Governor's competency to the Secretary of State yesterday.
Secretary of State
Dear Secretary of State Dunlap,
We the undersigned members of the Maine Legislature hereby formally request that you exercise the mental "competency" clause of the Maine Constitution for the purpose of having the Maine Supreme Court conduct a hearing and evaluate Governor LePage's inability to discharge the duties of Governor of the State of Maine. Specifically, Article 5, Part 1, section 15 of the Maine Constitution states that:
" When the Secretary of State shall have reason to believe that the Governor is unable to discharge the duties of that office, the Secretary of State may so certify to the Supreme Judicial Court, declaring the reason for such belief. After notice to the Governor, a hearing before the court and a decision by a majority of the court that the Governor is unable to discharge the duties of the office of Governor, the court shall notify the President of the Senate, or if that office is vacant the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of such inability and that officer shall exercise the functions, powers and duties of the office of Governor until such time as the Secretary of State or the Governor shall certify to the court that the Governor is able to discharge the duties of the office of Governor and the court, after notice to the Governor and a hearing before the court, decides that the Governor is able to discharge the duties of that office and so notifies the officer who is exercising the powers and duties of the office of Governor."
Mr. Secretary, we the undersigned believe there are more than reasonable grounds to invoke this clause of the Maine Constitution to examine mental health issues and possible substance abuse issues that prevent Governor Paul LePage from undertaking his duties as prescribed in his oath of office. Governor LePage has made repeated threats of violence against sitting Legislators and members of the public. He recently was recorded on tape in what can only be described as a drunken rage, denigrating a member of the House of Representatives, followed by threats to reporters that he wanted to point a gun "right between his (Rep. Gattine's) eyes."
Had this been a single isolated incident, perhaps it could be forgiven.
However, Governor LePage's abuse of power has included a continuous stream of profane and violent statements that run counter to his duty to maintain public safety for all Maine's people. In June, 2015, "LePage told a group of about 200 high school juniors attending Dirigo Boys State in Waterville that he would “like to shoot” cartoonist George Danby. LePage made the comment after Danby’s son, Nick Danby, who was in attendance at the meeting, asked the governor what he thought of the cartoonist." (B. D. News 6/25/15). In that same month, Governor LePage stated that Democratic state lawmakers from Lewiston should be “rounded up and executed in the public square.”
Mr. Secretary, these are not isolated instances, they are perverse statements of mental instability, characterized by pervasive threatening behavior that has memorialized Governor LePage's tenure in office. There are dozens of additional threats of violence that have come from LePage that should also be subject to the Supreme Court's inquiry. For example, Governor LePage has made statements in support of extra judicial killings, promoting the use of the guillotine to deal with drug dealer offenders and encouraging vigilante
justice: "we have constitutional carry,” he said. “Load up and get rid of the drug dealers." (Portland Press Herald Jan 27, 2016.)
Our nation's democracy has been deformed by acts of political violence in our lifetime. Both Dr. Martin Luther King and President John F. Kennedy were assassinated in the 1960s after repeated and irresponsible statements supporting violence from their political opponents. In fact in Israel, on March 28, 1996, the Shamgar Commission that investigated the death of Prime Minister Rabin stated in their findings that "verbal violence" combined with "political anger" were the contributing causes of Rabin's assassination."
While our Legislative leaders have universally condemned Governor LePage's promotion of political violence and irresponsible statements, leaders from both major political parties are hopelessly deadlocked about how to proceed with holding Governor LePage accountable for his irrational behavior. Therefore it is incumbent that we the undersigned Legislators formally request the intervention of the Secretary of State to empower the Maine Supreme Court to conduct a full review and hearing before the court to determine whether Paul LePage is mentally fit to serve our State as Governor.
Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos
Senator David Miramant
Rep. Kimberly Monaghan
Rep. Janice Cooper
Rep. Ben Chipman
Rep. Roberta Beavers
Rep. Deane Rykerson
Rep. James Davitt
Rep. Adam Goode
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