Last summer, with the possibility of impeachment hanging over his head, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) appeared on a radio show and said he’s prepared to give up his office – under the right conditions.
“If the people of Maine want me, I’ll do the job,” the Republican governor said. “If they don’t want me, just ask me to leave, you don’t have to impeach me.” LePage added that in his state of 1.3 million people, a grand total of four Mainers wrote to him, urging him to resign.
And that gave those of us here at The Rachel Maddow Show an idea. In fact, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request, asking the governor’s office how many other letters he may have received. Rachel explained on the show what happened next:
“We finally got the letters and a couple people did write to him. So, now, we know why it took so long. And this is just the letters, it turns out, that came in, in the first month, after Paul LePage asked for letters from the people from the state of Maine to tell him if they wanted him to resign.“By our count, more than 1,800 people in Maine, just in that first month, did actually take the time to write to him and ask him to resign. Just in the first month after he asked. We don’t even have the letters that came in after the first month. This is just what came in, in that first month.“And it’s interesting. Going through them, they are heartfelt letters, polite letters. There are a few rude letters. There’s a lot of hand-written letters. Most of them, though, are very short and polite and to the point.”
If you watch the segment, note the very large piles of paper – all of which show the letters LePage received in the first month after issuing the challenge.
All of which raises the question of what, exactly, the threshold might be for the governor. He told his constituents, “[J]ust ask me to leave.” Quite a few of them did.
How many letters would it take for LePage to follow through? We’re not sure, but if we find out, I’ll let you know.