Maine Grassroots Group Creates New Caucus

March 31, 2021

Patriots are fed up with elected Republican officials disloyal to their party, so some in Maine have created a separate party because of it. 

There is clearly a division within the GOP with some elected officials crossing party lines in their voting. An example would be several Republicans voting for the impeachment of Donald J. Trump.

Do you believe party line loyalty is important?

Overall, do you think creating an additional right-leaning party is a good idea or a bad one?

Opinion: C-VINE Contributor

Grassroots Republicans Form New Caucus After Maine GOP Declines to Censure Sen. Collins

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the nomination of William Burns to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 24, 2021. (Tom Brenner/Pool via AP)

March 31, 2021, Updated: March 31, 2021

A group of around 25 conservative Maine Republicans have broken from the state Republican Party to form a new grassroots caucus, with the announcement coming hot on the heels of the Maine Republican Party’s vote against censuring Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) for her backing former President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

John DeVeau, who chairs the Aroostook County Republican Committee—one of the committees that voted to censure Collins—said in a statement Monday that the group has formed their own Maine Grassroots Republican Caucus.

DeVeau said the political subgroup is “a kind of Maine-based version of the U.S. House Freedom Caucus,” and dismissed concerns that the new group might divide Maine’s Republican Party.

“We didn’t create the division, we’re actually trying to unify the Republican Party by giving the disenfranchised a voice at the statewide level and to restore the Constitutional balance of powers,” DeVeau said in a press release, which noted him as the chair of the newly formed grassroots caucus.

The Maine Grassroots Republican Caucus includes at least six county chairs, several sitting legislators, and state committee members, according to the release.

“The Maine Republican Party is not listening to the voices of disenfranchised Republicans that are trying to hold their elected officials accountable,” DeVeau added, in apparent reference to the Maine GOPs recent vote against censuring Collins.

Republicans in Collins’s home county of Aroostook voted last week to censure her for voting to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial in the Senate.

Senator Susan Collins, R-ME., questions Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee at the US Capitol in Washington DC, on February 23, 2021. (Photo by LEIGH VOGEL / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LEIGH VOGEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump was charged by the House of Representatives with inciting an insurrection, mostly because he spoke near the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in the lead up to the breach of the building.

Proponents of the “incitement of insurrection” charges pointed to phrases Trump uttered such as “fight like hell” to paint his words as incitement, while opponents noted he urged the crowd to remain peaceful when they marched to the Capitol. Trump later condemned the violence at the building and urged people to vacate the premises.

US President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. – Thousands of Trump supporters, fueled by his spurious claims of voter fraud, are flooding the nation’s capital protesting the expected certification of Joe Biden’s White House victory by the US Congress. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Aroostook County Republican Committee censure resolution, which was backed by 19 members, stated that, “Senator Collins public statements in support of the language, actions, and promotion of an illegal, unethical, unconstitutional ‘impeachment’ of former President Trump, undermines the conservative and ethical values promoted by the Aroostook County Republicans and the Maine Republican Party and as demonstrated, is a purely self-serving, vindictive and punitive action by those with establishment political objectives.”

On Saturday, the Maine Republican Party voted 41-19 to reject censuring Collins.

Jason Savage, Maine GOP executive director, told NEWS CENTER Maine  that the censure issue is “an internal matter” and it’s time to look forward to other priorities.

“Leadership of the party believes it’s settled in time to move forward with the 2022 elections in mind,” he told the outlet.

Collins said in a statement that the decision “is a testament to the Party’s ‘big tent’ philosophy that respects different views but unites around core principles.”

“Our party has been most successful when it has embraced this approach to advance our shared goals of providing tax relief to families and small business job creators, pursuing fiscal responsibility and government accountability, promoting personal responsibility, protecting constitutional rights, and ensuring a strong national defense,” she said.

Collins was one of seven Republicans who joined all 50 Democrats and Independents to vote in favor of a conviction. Trump was acquitted because 67 votes were needed to convict. Five of the seven Republicans were censured in their home states.

President Donald Trump arrives on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24, 2017. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

After her vote during the Senate impeachment trial, Collins faced backlash from the Maine GOP.

The state party organization said in an open letter to Collins that the trial itself was unconstitutional because Trump was no longer in office and there were serious concerns with how House impeachment managers “altered video of President Trump to cast his speech in the worst possible light, ignoring his calls for peace, similar to the way a campaign might cut a dishonest 30-second campaign ad.”

“We have now set a precedent that we fear will undermine the foundation of our country and could greatly diminish our status and integrity into the future,” the Maine GOP wrote last month.

The Epoch Times reached out to Collins with a request for comment on the grassroots caucus.

According to the group’s press release, the first official event of the Maine Grassroots Republican Caucus will be in support of a Tax Day Rally by Maine Taxpayers United at the Capitol in Augusta on April 17.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM

JoLynn LiveNews Posted by: C-VINE Citizen Journalist, JoLynn Live! She is a Singer; a Wife of 37 years; Home-school mom to 10; Grandma to 11; Chicken Farmer; Patriot; and an active C-VINE News contributor.

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