Local legislator calls for investigation into LePage's meetings with constitutionalists

By Juliette Laaka | Jul 03, 2014
Gov. Paul LePage

Augusta — A local legislator is calling for an investigation into eight meetings Gov. Paul LePage had with constitutionalists last year, citing allegations the group and the governor spoke of treason by the Senate President and Speaker of the House that warranted hanging.

Jeffrey Evangelos, an Independent representative from Friendship, said he waited a few days before contacting Attorney General Janet Mills after the news broke a story about LePage and a meeting with the Maine Constitutional Coalition in 2013, contending that during one meeting, the subject of executing legislative leaders was discussed.

The meetings were first reported by political columnist Mike Tipping, where he gathered information from Freedom of Information Act requests and audio recordings from an Aroostook County radio show.

Evangelos said if the allegations are true, the governor should resign. He spoke with Mills' office, requesting an investigation be done, whether by the AG's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or an independent investigator.

As of now, there is no investigation, said Mills' office July 3.

"Hot talk of political extremism can set off a radical," Evangelos said. "We can't acquiesce to that kind of language and let it go. We need to determine the facts," he said, adding nobody else has stepped up to speak out about the alleged discussion. "I don't know what it is, he said, citing the November election for the complacency.

Evangelos said during the time LePage was meeting multiple times with the constitutionalist group, he was refusing to meet with the Senate President and the Speaker of the House, because he said he had no time.

Penobscot County resident Philip Merletti, of the Maine Constitutional Coalition, said July 3 it is laughable he could be considered violent. He said he and three other group members met with the governor eight times, for about 13 hours in total, but said there was never talk of execution, or hanging legislators for treason.

He said his coalition is concerned with the weakening of the Constitution, where political figures will gain more power if they are allowed to alter the Constitution.

Merletti also said he is not affiliated with the Sovereign Citizen's movement, which is listed as a domestic terrorist organization by the FBI.

He said his group acted as a liaison between LePage and the public about concerns citizens had, such as private property rights, The United Nations, Common Core Standards in education, and wind energy. Merletti said the meetings began, and continued for about nine months, after the coalition sent LePage, Senate President Justin Alfond, and Speaker of the House Mark Eves a right of petition, in order meet and discuss concerns and redress their grievances.

LePage agreed to meet with the group. Alfond and Eves ignored the request, and thus, violated the Constitution, said Merletti. He said it is treason to violate the Constitution, but reiterated nothing violent or threatening was said during the meetings with LePage.

He said the group filed a complaint with the Attorney General's Office about the violation of the Constitution, but nothing was ever done. Merletti asserts if the Office was to investigate their concerns, it would implicate itself, he said. He said there are criminals in the legislature, but would not speak of who, in case of a legal issue. He said power, control and economics motivate legislators.

Merletti said he often carries two briefcases filled with files.

"I never say anything I can't prove," he said.

Merletti said the group's goal is to protect the Maine Constitution, adding there have been 176 changes to the Constitution, creating more laws and regulations to restrict unalienable rights, including the right to bear arms. He said the state cannot take away a right and attach a fee to it. Talking with legislators, Merletti said many of them have either not read, or do  not understand the Constitution.

"How can you take an oath to protect the Constitution if you have not read it or understand it?" he asked.

He said the governor was interested in what they had to say, and if LePage really thought the group's message was off the wall, he would have asked them to leave.

Merletti said LePage has now distanced himself from the group, after they have been labeled as terrorists, which is ridiculous, he said.

" We're constitutionalists, we're the furthest thing from terrorists," said Merletti.

Merletti said LePage, in distancing himself from the group, is losing votes because his voting base follows the Maine Constitutional Coalition. He said he called the governor's office July 3 and asked the staff to tell the governor to stop throwing the group under the bus.

"He's finished right now because people will think he is a coward," Merletti said.

The governor was once their hero because he believes in the Constitution, but as he wants to win reelection, is listening to his advisers who are steering him wrong, Merletti said, also claiming there is a mole in LePage's office.

A message left for LePage's spokesman, Adrienne Bennett, was not immediately returned.

Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at jlaaka@villagesoup.com.

Comments (11)
Posted by: glen r thompson | Jul 06, 2014 20:51

You are really throwing out some wild and crazy statistics there Ben Ellison old boy.  Lots of bazaar assumptions and far out and crazy analyses.  Methinks you will be in for a major let down come election day.



Posted by: Ben Ellison | Jul 05, 2014 20:56

Actually it looks like the most recent poll puts Michaud ahead by 4%. But the average of the four most recent polls is close to a tie, and the oldest has LePage ahead by 2%. Did I miss something newer?

 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/governor/me/maine_governor_lepage_vs_michaud_vs_cutler-3558.html

 

Of course the only reason LePage has any chance is because the voters that oppose him are splitting their votes. Polling shows that a two-way race between Michaud and LePage, or Cutler and LePage would not be very close.

 

LePage began his governorship with only 37% of the voters behind him and it doesn't seem like he's gained new ones. And right now 52% of Mainers polled disapprove of Governor LePage's job performance, which is worse than President Obama's worst ever 49%. Read all about it here:

 

http://www.pressherald.com/2014/06/21/unsure-voters-put-lepage-michaud-in-dead-heat/

 

The most interesting thing about the UNH poll discussed above is how many voters are undecided so far, apparently waiting to see whether Michaud or Cutler has the better chance to beat LePage. It seems like the majority of Mainers don't want a repeat of the last gubernatorial race, and I'm glad about that.



Posted by: Martha Seavey Boynton | Jul 05, 2014 17:20

He's got my vote and I dare say many more Mainers will be voting for him also.  FYI he's ahead in the polls.



Posted by: Catherine Cooper | Jul 05, 2014 11:16

It's funny how Governor Paul LePage makes the moonbat liberals spout nonsense. Governor LePage is ahead in the polls and is trying to stop the bleeding that is the spending crisis in Maine. I will be voting for the best candidate this state has had in a very long time, reelecting Paul LePage as governor of our fine state!



Posted by: Ben Ellison | Jul 05, 2014 10:01

"Lastly, a word to the wise, a word of caution to the reader and the criminal progressives: The Maine and U.S. Constitutions are ours. The sections and amendments are ours. This country is ours and the government is supposed to be ours. If some of the elected legislators (appointees and other state or local officials) want to violate our Maine and U.S. Constitutions, they are violating us! Either they know what they are doing against us and the Constitution, which makes them the domestic terrorist! Or if the elected leaders that we have trusted to protect us do not understand Constitutional law and what they are doing, why than, are they allowed to remain as political leaders? They will soon have their choice if they continue: either they remain and stand charged with treason, or they stand down and resign; there is no other choice for they have chosen this path of stupidity or deception!"

 

That's "Spokesperson Phil Merletti" in his own words threatening elected Maine legislators and others in government to either accept the Maine Constitutionalists' very unusual interpretation of our State and Federal Constitutions or be treated as treasonous. Which is not how the U.S.A. works, thank goodness.

 

Merletti's philosophy is pure "Sovereign Citizen" and people associated with that movement have already executed a half dozen law officers. They think it their right because only they know what the true law is. (It's probably in Merletti's briefcases.)

 

Scary stuff our Governor got quite involved in, and you can read all about at the Constitutionalists own site, no press involved:

 

http://www.mainerepublic.com/?p=219



Posted by: Ben Ellison | Jul 04, 2014 20:29

What is the penalty for treason?  "Execution" is the response most people have, and certainly that's true of the Maine Constitutional Coalition and apparently also the Governor, as reported by the Constitutionalists on their radio show. LePage supporters can put their head in the sand and claim partisanship all day, but they can't erase those radio show tapes.

 

The execution of a public official who didn't do anything outside the norm is extreme violence, and the end of U.S. democracy as we know it. It's amazing that Philip Merletti is still talking about treason after a week when his strange ideas about what the Constitution means have been so shattered. Governor LePage showed himself as a complete fool by spending so much time with Merletti and his crew, but at least his support team finally gave him a detailed analysis about how completely wrong  the "Constitutionalist" view of the Constitution is. You can read it here:

 

http://asmainewent.com/documents/mclean_fenton_remonstrance_memo.pdf

 

It doesn't take much research to learn that the "Maine Constitutionalists" also believe that the U.S. dollar is illegal currency, that all lawyers are foreigners according to a "lost" Constitutional amendment (seriously), and that the black helicopters are nearly airborne.

 

If Philip Merletti drove around in an 18-wheeler full of files, it wouldn't make his dangerous "truths" any more true. Ditto for his claim that the Maine Constitutionalists are "not affiliated with the Sovereign Citizen's movement, which is listed as a domestic terrorist organization by the FBI." Just compare their bizarre claims with what the FBI describes:

 

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/september-2011/sovereign-citizens

 

By spending so much time with the Constitutionalists and even forcing a country Sheriff and others to try to take them seriously, LePage has distinguished himself as the most ignorant Governor in my 40+ years here, and maybe the most ignorant governor in the nation.

 



Posted by: russell g york | Jul 04, 2014 16:56

lets all reelect gov lepage for a second term hes on the right trail just needs for more years yes he has my vote a lot of mainers don't like it people step on the wrongs toes im sorry



Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Jul 04, 2014 08:47

Filthy, dirty, politics has reared its ugly head!!!  The smear campaigns are starting before the November elections.  Governor LePage is a good governor and if the people of Maine cannot see that then they need their heads examined.  Governor LePage has my vote but unfortunately I am afraid Governor LePage will not win re-election.  The majority of people in Maine, I do not believe, understand that Maine is a DEATH SPIRAL state  and Governor LePage understands that and is trying to make things in this State better for everyone within a BUDGET that the State can afford.



Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Jul 04, 2014 07:50

I don't believe the "founding fathers"  would agree to citizens walking around with an AK-47. Society has changed with time and some legislation has to be updated. As far as nuts getting a life is a matter of belief.



Posted by: Susan Sinclair | Jul 04, 2014 06:34

Lord, scary. Lepage needs to go. Electorally, of course.



Posted by: Clifton Yattaw, Jr | Jul 04, 2014 06:30

you nuts need to get a life



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Juliette Laaka
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Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.

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