The Tea Party governor of Maine keeps publicly joking about killing people

Gov. Paul LePage said, for example, that state lawmakers should be "rounded up and executed in the public square"

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published June 26, 2015 2:10PM (EDT)

  (AP/Robert F. Bukaty)
(AP/Robert F. Bukaty)

Paul LePage, the Tea Party Republican governor of Maine, keeps publicly joking about killing lawmakers and political cartoonists in his state according to the Sun Journal.

On Wednesday, LePage told the son of a Bangor Daily News cartoonist that he would "like to shoot" his father during an event in front of 200 high schoolers.

LePage also allegedly suggested that state lawmakers be "rounded up and executed in the public square" during a heated meeting on the expansion of passenger rail earlier this month.

Tony Donovan, a passenger rail advocate, said the governor took particular aim at the House chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, Democrat Peggy Rotundo, during a private meeting on June 8, but later expanded his wrath more generally. "He was pretty vulgar and said he thinks the entire Lewiston delegation should be rounded up and executed in the public square. He did say that to me,” Donovan told the Sun Journal.

Both the editor of the Bangor Daily News and the cartoonist LePage joked of shooting, George Danby, were not too amused by the governor’s antics.

Danby told the Huffington Post that in light of the attacks on the office of Charlie Hebdo, the French political satirist, joking about shooting cartoonists was particularly unfunny and the editor of the paper has demanded an apology from LePage.

LePage's communications director said the governor intended to handle the matter “personally” by writing a note to Nick Danby.

LePage’s crass language has been excused away in the past. When LePage joked last year during a campaign event for Chris Christie (R-NJ) that a local newspaper columnist be put on suicide watch because LePage intended to win reelection, the New Jersey governor known for his own brash style laughed off the remarks, telling the audience, “You know, every once in a while, my friend Paul LePage may say things in a way that are rather direct.”

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Gov. Paul Lepage Maine