Sovereign Citizens

Barbara Cariddi

In this week's edition of Across the Aisle, the focus is on the political fallout around Gov. Paul LePage's meetings with members of a group that critics describe as right wing extremists - and allegations that they discussed the arrest and execution of Democratic leaders. For some perspective we turn to Cynthia Dill, a practicing attorney and former Democratic state senator; Dick Woodbury, an economist and tax policy consultant for the independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler; and Josh Tardy, an attorney and lobbyist, who also served as House Republican leader in Augusta.

Susan Sharon

Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud, who is challenging Gov. Paul LePage for the Blaine House, says the governor exhibited poor judgment by meeting with members of a domestic terrorist group eight times. And Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler says it's unfortunate that LePage gave them so much time when there are so many real challenges facing Maine. But LePage supporters in his hometown of Lewiston are sticking by him.

Kennebec County Sheriff Randy Liberty is recounting his meeting earlier this year with Gov. Paul LePage, and three members of a group that critics say is tied to a right wing extremist movement on the FBI's watch list.

Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud says Republican Gov. Paul LePage has shown a "lack of judgment" by meeting several times with a group that is on the FBI's domestic terrorist watch list.

Michaud, who is also a candidate for governor, says he's especially concerned by reports that LePage allegedly discussed the execution of Democratic leaders at the State House with members of the group known as Sovereign Citizens.  

Michaud says such comments, whether made in jest or not, have no place in public discourse and can lead to violence.

The LePage administration confirmed today that Gov. Paul LePage had several meetings with members of a group tagged as a domestic terrorist organization by the FBI. The Sovereign Citizens, whose members reject taxes, U.S. currency, and believe that the U.S. government is illegitimate, say the governor met with their representatives for 16 hours during several sessions last year.