- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Latest on fallout from GOP Gov. Paul LePage’s obscenity-laced tirade against a Democratic legislator (all times local):

9:01 p.m.

The Republican leader of the Maine House says national media coverage of Gov. Paul LePage’s controversial remarks is a “punishment in and of itself.”

About 55 House Republicans gathered Tuesday night in August to figure out potential punishments for the GOP governor over his latest crisis, involving his racially charged comments about drug dealers.

The lawmakers met while approximately 1,000 people rallied nearby calling for LePage’s resignation.

Rep. Ken Fredette says no one agrees with the governor’s behavior, but Republicans don’t support holding a $43,000-a-day special session to censure him.

Fredette says LePage is addressing his behavior himself, and that lawmakers must discuss more pressing issues ahead of the November election.


5:45 p.m.

The Democratic leader in the Maine House is reaching out to mayors of two Massachusetts cities to disavow comments Maine’s governor made linking the communities to drug crimes.

Rep. Jeff McCabe, a Democrat, says in a letter to the mayors of Lowell and Lawrence that Gov. Paul LePage “failed” by making the comments.

LePage, a Republican, said blacks and Hispanics from places like Lowell and Lawrence account for the majority of heroin trafficking arrests in Maine. LePage also mentioned Waterbury, Connecticut, and the New York city boroughs of the Bronx and Brooklyn.

LePage made similar comments at a town hall meeting last week and has drawn widespread criticism since.

McCabe is a Skowhegan resident and the Maine House’s majority leader.


3:45 p.m.

Democrats and critics of Republican Gov. Paul LePage will hold a rally outside the Maine statehouse to call for his resignation.

The rally is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Capitol Park in Augusta. Democrats are hoping the rally also brings together residents who are frustrated with the brash governor.

The Democrats say attendees will cross the street after the rally and form a circle around the governor’s residence. They then plan to join hands and call for LePage to resign.

LePage has been criticized in recent days for leaving an obscene voicemail on the cellphone of a Democratic legislator and for blaming minorities for the state’s heroin crisis. He has said he was upset because he believed the legislator had called him a racist. The legislator denies it.


1:05 p.m.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has tweeted that reports of his “political demise are greatly exaggerated.”

The Republican governor made the comment Tuesday, hours after he said on a radio show that he was going to meet with family and close advisers to decide his next steps amid calls for his resignation following an obscene voicemail message he left for a Democratic lawmaker.

LePage declined to say on the show whether he intended to serve out the reminder of his term.

He said: “I’m not going to say I’m not going to finish it. I’m not saying I am going to finish it.”

LePage has recently come under fire for saying blacks and Hispanics are largely responsible for Maine’s heroin trade and then for leaving a voicemail that said, “I am after you.”


10:30 a.m.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage says he will not hold a public a town hall meeting as planned in the hometown of a Democratic legislator he targeted with an obscene voicemail rant.

The Republican governor planned to hold the event in Westbrook on Wednesday evening, but the event has been canceled. The board of the teen center where LePage wanted to hold the event voted to cancel it, citing space concerns.

Westbrook is the home of Drew Gattine (gah-TEEN’). LePage left a profane voicemail on Gattine’s cellphone last week because he thought Gattine had called him a racist, which Gattine denies.

The governor has been under fire for comments he made that appeared to link the state’s drug crisis to minorities.


9:50 a.m.

Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage says he plans to meet with a Democratic lawmaker to make amends for leaving an obscene rant on his voicemail that said, “I am after you.”

Speaking on WVOM-FM radio, LePage said Tuesday that his tirade was “unacceptable and totally my fault.”

He says he’s going to meet with family and close advisers to decide what to do next. He says he hopes Maine residents will forgive him and say, “You clean up your act and let’s move forward.’”

LePage had been angry with Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine (gah-TEEN’) because he thought Gattine called him a racist. Gattine denies it.

Democratic lawmakers last week warned that LePage was coming unhinged and called for a political intervention with LePage. Some also asked for him to resign.

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