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June 03, 2016

Maine Green Group Hits Governor Over Missive to Donors

Maine’s biggest environmental nonprofit is accusing Gov. Paul LePage of harassing its supporters after the governor sent a letter to scores of donors asking them to “carefully review” their backing of the group, the Portland Press Herald  and Maine Public Broadcasting report.

Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said Thursday that the Republican governor is using taxpayer dollars on a “smear campaign” because the council opposes what it terms his anti-environment agenda. The organization, which has about 16,000 members and raised some $2 million in 2014, has lobbied against Mr. LePage’s efforts to step up mining and timber harvesting and roll back environmental regulations.

The governor has ratcheted up public criticism of the nonprofit in recent weeks amid controversy over a proposal to designate a large swath of Maine woodland as a national monument, which the council supports and he vociferously opposes. His letter, sent last week to about 200 of the group’s financial backers, says the council pursues “job-crushing, anti-business policies” and asks that supporters “carefully review NRCM’s policy positions before donating to them in the future.”