Only four Republican legislators support considering sanctions against LePage

Governor Paul LePage at a town hall in Ellsworth | Sue Aubrey

Democratic Maine House Speaker Mark Eves released the results of a formal poll of House members last night, asking whether they supported returning to Augusta for a special legislative session to “to take action regarding the Governor’s conduct” following a series of racist statements, obscenities and threats of violence made by Governor Paul LePage.

The tally shows that all but four Republican House members either answered in the negative or refused to answer at all.

“With the whole country and world watching, it is now official and in the record books. Elected Republican leaders have failed Maine people,” said Eves in a statement. “They are unwilling to even say ‘yes’ on the need to have an open, public discussion on how to move Maine forward. Republicans – by hiding today – are enabling two more years of distraction and dysfunction by Gov. LePage.”

The four Republicans who voted to hold a special session are Representatives Kevin Battle, Bruce Bickford, Paul Stearns, and William Tuell. Three of the four face difficult races in November, according to a Bangor Daily News analysis.

One House Democrat, Rep. Barry Hobbins, joined the bulk of House Republicans in opposing considering action against LePage. In the other chamber, Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau refused to circulate a question on returning. Majority support of each party’s caucus in each chamber is required before a special session can be called.

“The idea that the Maine Senate – or any Maine senator – could not even take up a debate on the simple, nonpartisan issue of how to take some kind of action to deal with Gov. LePage’s conduct is utter nonsense,” said Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond. “By refusing to bring Senators in for a special session, Republican leaders have prevented any possibility of healing the damage and turning the page for Maine.”

Watch Eves and Alfond’s press conference here:

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