The 13 members — including six state committee members, six members of the party, and Republican National Committee member Mark Willis — cited a long list of grievances that paved the way for their departure, in a letter obtained by the Bangor Daily News.
The letter, written on Sunday and addressed to Maine State GOP Secretary Chuck Mahaleris, declares that the “Republican Party has lost its way,” and highlights the former Republicans’ issues with congressional Republicans, Maine Republican legislators, the RNC, and the administration of Republican governor Paul LePage.
The group is angry with the “cowardly leadership of John Boehner,” and the “House Republican leadership’s utter disdain for the United States Constitution, specifically the Fourth Amendment,” and believes that the House did not try to “constrain the NSA to the boundaries of the Constitution.”
They also criticize Senate Republicans for their continuing “support” of “undeclared wars,” and claim that Senate Republicans are in support of “supplying arms to our ‘terrorist enemies.’”
According to the letter, Senate Republicans have also spent time passing “feel good” gun control legislation that “would do nothing to stop another Sandy Hook massacre, all the while restricting Second Amendment rights of law abiding American citizens.”
The ex-Republicans are also disappointed with Maine Republican legislators, who “failed to sustain” Governor LePage’s veto of their budget.
The unpopular GOP governor, known for his many absurd and inappropriate comments that include urging “Obama to go to hell” and telling the NAACP to “kiss my butt,” appears to be one of the biggest problems with the Republican Party, according to the group.
“Not to be outdone by the legislators, this [LePage] administration’s support for common core education standards, the internet sales tax, the atypical meddling in the business of the Maine State Committee, as well as the vetoes of the drone and cell phone bills left many of us incredulous,” the group wrote in the letter.
The “straw that broke the camel’s back” was LePage’s veto of the “Raw Milk Bill.” The Raw Milk bill would have provided Maine farmers and consumers their “God-given rights to buy, sell, and consume” raw milk.
The letter concludes:
“For the above-stated reasons, we can no longer allow ourselves to be called nor enrolled as Republicans; we can no longer associate ourselves with a political party that goes out of its way to continually restrict our freedoms and liberties as well as reaching deeper and deeper into our wallets.”
Recently re-elected Maine GOP Chairman Rick Bennett responded by saying he “regrets losing them from the party,” but still believes the Republican Party remains “very broad.”
Ironically, Bennett added: “My job isn’t to pick sides.”
Mark Willis, the first of the group to sign the letter, said that he and the others would only return to the GOP if the party started “governing like Republicans are supposed to.”
Until then, Willis and the 12 others “cannot and will not support nor defend these actions.”