AUGUSTA (WGME) — The governor is accused of sending harassing letters to donors of Maine’s largest environmental group, a group he’s clashed with for years.
The governor mailed this letter to about 200 people who donate to the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Recipients say it’s intimidating, while the governor’s office calls it informative.
Jake Plante found a copy in his Brunswick mailbox on Tuesday. He’s donated to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, or NRCM, for the past few years.
“They do a good job in representing the environmental interest,” Plante said.
But Governor Paul LePage is urging him and others to stop, calling the organization, “an activist group that says ‘no’ to every opportunity to allow Mainers to prosper.”
At a town hall meeting in March, the governor displayed an anti-NRCM wanted poster. Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann says he’s mentioned them by name at least forty times over the past two months, and this letter, she says, is crossing a line.
“The very fact he has tracked down NRCM members home addresses and sent them a letter at all is harassing,” Pohlmann said.
Press Secretary Adrienne Bennett says members weren’t getting the whole truth.
“‘What is the message the governor is trying to get across with this letter?’ That NRCM spends millions of dollars on their lobbyists that aren’t necessarily good for Mainers,” Bennett said.
Governor LePage recently vetoed a bill the group supported to expand solar power in Maine, and they stood in the way of bills the governor felt would be beneficial.
“They didn’t support mining in Northern Maine, they don’t support the opposition that many of the people in the Katahdin region have for this monument,” Bennett said.
NRCM has filed a freedom of access letter with the governor’s legal counsel, requesting information about the involvement of his staff and the use of taxpayer dollars.
The State Democratic Party has called on the governor to pay back the state for his use of taxpayer dollars to send the letters.