Legislative Leaders Consider Special Session After Paul LePage Controversies

One Republican senator says "things definitely appear to be out of control"

Maine Republicans are deciding what kind of action to take against Gov. Paul LePage after a number of controversial issues last week.

Monday morning, Republican members of the House and Senate held an emergency meeting in private to discuss options, including a censure, or a formal reprimand of the governor's behavior.

"The appropriate thing is to have a direct meeting with the governor and discuss what's going on," said Senate President Michael Thibodeau.

He, and House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, said they hope to have a private meeting with the governor as soon as possible to discuss his recent behavior, which they condemned.

At a town hall last week, LePage said 90 percent of drug suspects in his three-ringed binder are either black or Hispanic. When Rep. Drew Gattine (D-Westbrook) heard about those remarks, he called them "racially charged." LePage then left Gattine a voicemail, daring him to prove he's a racist while using an anti-gay slur and other profanities.

The governor later told reporters he wanted to challenge Gattine to a duel and aim his gun between his eyes.

"If anybody did that, that was an employee of a corporation in this state, there would be ramifications," said Thibodeau.

Republican Sen. Amy Volk is suggesting a censure would be appropriate after she wrote in a Facebook post that Gov. LePage could be dealing with mental health or substance abuse issues.

Democratic party leaders said a censure would not be enough to address LePage's behavior.

"We saw actions from the Governor that really make us question whether he can perform the duties of his office," said Rep. Sara Gideon (D-Freeport).

Gideon and other Democratic leaders have written a letter to Republicans calling on them to take action against the governor. Gideon said if Republicans simply censure him, or decline to take action, Democrats will do something.

"There are a couple options on the table," she said. "Could impeachment be one of them? It could."

"The governor has displayed behavior that indicates he is not in control of himself and is unfit to carry out the serious duties of his office. That is the fundamental problem, and it can only be resolved by his stepping down from office," a spokesperson for Democratic leaders said in a statement.

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