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WASHINGTON – Just days after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested during a televised debate that Hillary Clinton should be jailed, Maine Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday that his political opponents should be imprisoned in a speech to the Lewiston-Auburn Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Portland Press Herald, LePage said at a Thursday morning breakfast that two leaders with Maine People’s Alliance, Ben Chin and Mike Tipping, “should be sent to jail for what they’re doing to the elderly.”

The comments appear to be a reaction to a new TV and online advertisement that shows how increasing the minimum wage could be a boost for people like Kathy Rondone, a 72-year old Mainer who is struggling to support herself and her husband who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

On Friday, LePage reiterated his comments, likening a minimum wage increase to “attempted murder.”

LePage, an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump, has been actively intimidating Chin and Tipping for months, threatening to sue Tipping and making a “wanted” poster of Ben Chin. Earlier this week, LePage said that Donald Trump needs to show “authoritarian power” because the country is “slipping into anarchy” (although he later partially walked back the statement).

Friday morning, Chin and Tipping debriefed LePage’s words on their weekly political podcast. They took the anti-democratic assault in good humor, asking what statute they had violated. However, Chin and Tipping are dead serious about working to pass Question 4 on the Maine ballot, which would raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2020.

“Mainers are struggling to get by on a minimum wage of just $7.50 an hour. Seniors like Kathy Rondone have to chose between getting their car fixed and buying the medicine her husband needs,” said Chin. “Gov. LePage’s comments are an insult to democracy, and they show just how out of touch he and other Republican leaders are with the realities that Mainers face everyday.”

To interview Ben Chin or Mike Tipping, contact Kathy Mulady at k.mulady@peoplesaction.org

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Peoples Action

About People’s Action

People’s Action is a national network of 40 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations united in fighting for justice. Our organization recently released a vision for a national Homes Guarantee that has already prompted major legislation from champions including U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. Prior to endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, we completed a national forum series that The Nation called “the most in-depth, people-powered forum” of the 2020 cycle.”

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