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The Tea Party keeps flirting with the dangerous Sovereign Citizen Movement, whose proponents believe that there is no Federal Government, and only local officials have jurisdiction over their lives. We saw this with Cliven Bundy, who said he would pay his back grazing fees to the local Sheriff but not to the Bureau of Land Management, and with two of Bundy's followers, the Millers, who killed two Las Vegas policemen in cold blood to "Start the Revolution."
And it's not just a Western or Southern movement - far from it! For the past year, the wingnut Governor of Maine, Paul LePage has had several meetings with the Sovereign Citizens in that state, and it is getting him into trouble. The problem is these groups never met a Conspiracy Theory they didn't like, and LePage seems to be a true believer.
In reality, these so-called "citizens" are a form of Anarchists who spread misinformation, fear, and distrust of Federal employees, police and elected officials. They love guns and want to be armed and dangerous - like Libertarians Gone Wild. To spread their philosophy, they are oh-so-happy to use gullible people like LePage who have managed to get into positions of power.
This information from Maine is only coming out thanks to Mike Tipping, author of As Maine Went: the story of Maine under Gov. Paul LePage.
From Huffington Post
(In) Mike Tipping's new book.... he details how LePage engaged with members of the Constitutional Coalition, which is affiliated with the Sovereign Citizen movement. Members of the organization believe the government is planning an attack on Christian Americans by collecting firearms, that it runs mind-control operations and that it was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
You can read an excerpt of Tipping's book Here on Talking Points Memo.
Here he is appearing on All In with Chris Hayes @msnbc
As Tipping writes in his book, the first meeting LePage had with the Sovereign Citizens group "Aroostook Watchmen" in February 2013 was a doozy!
. . . the meeting that weekend covered a wide range of topics. The members of the Constitutional Coalition informed LePage that the United Nations and the Rockefellers were plotting to take over Maine’s North Woods. They discussed the illegitimacy of the U.S. Department of Education and argued that the state should refuse to accept federal education funding. (According to McCarthy, the governor “hung his head and said you’re right” in response.) They also informed LePage that U.S. paper currency is unlawful. (“He was mesmerized by that,” said McCarthy.)
Also at that meeting, there was apparently some talk of "hanging" a couple of Maine Democrats for "treason."
Via Maine Public Broadcasting Network
During the airing of a segment of the Aroostook Watchmen, a radio show broadcast on radio station WXME in February, an account of a meeting between Gov. Paul LePage and members of the Sovereign Citizens movement emerged in a conversation between show hosts Steve Martin and Jack McCarthy.
. . . Among those topics ...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.
LePage denies any talk of killing Democratic politicians:
“We did not discuss execution, arrest or hanging.”
~ Via Politico
After a few more meetings, according to Tipping, the Aroostook Watchmen became more demanding, so that by the end of May they were asking Governor LePage to do their bidding in a big way, and adding an ultimatum if he doesn't comply:
Via Talking Points Memo
On May 29 the Constitutional Coalition members held a conference call with LePage and began to make some more specific requests of the governor. In a letter that Merletti sent to LePage before the meeting, the Sovereign Citizen leader asserted a constitutional right of Mainers to carry concealed weapons without a permit and asked that LePage stand up to the “anti-gun factions, supported by Socialist and Communist leaning defenders of the global left,” and bring an emergency bill to preserve this right. He also asked LePage to use the power of his office to “summon Sheriff Liberty” (Sheriff Randall Liberty serves Kennebec County, including Augusta, the state capital) to hear their complaints that the speaker of the house and president of the senate were committing treason. Sovereign Citizens believe that the only legitimate law enforcement officer is an elected sheriff.)
Merletti warned in his letter to LePage that if his group continued to be ignored by the legislature, “we will be left with the 1776 or 1865 option. In the pursuit of liberty there is no extremism.”
Make no mistake, these kooks are really domestic terrorists. Like the Millers in Las Vegas, they wouldn't mind starting a chaotic "Revolution" and trying to overthrow the government. The fact that a Governor would give them the time of day is disturbing. Even worse, in a New England state that is basically left-leaning, they are trapped with a gullible Governor who seems to agree with the Sovereign Citizens.