Maine lawmakers drop effort to impeach combative governor

"I can't say that I blame the Governor" said Senator Mason (R-22), "liberals in the House of Representatives have been playing political games, distracting lawmakers from addressing real issues by raising the specter of impeachment".

A major thrust behind the abuse of power claims of some Democrats was LePage's threat to withhold discretionary state funds from the Good Will-Hinckley school in Fairfield because it had hired Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves as its next president.

That did little to calm criticism of LePage in Maine.

LePage is facing an impeachment effort from a group of lawmakers.

Last week, he defended himself by announcing that: "Instead of saying, 'Maine women, ' I said, 'White women.' I'm not going to apologize to the Maine women for that because if you go to Maine you will see we are essentially 95 percent white".

For five years now, the Republican has slung crude insults at his adversaries, heaped abuse on the media and offended many with his brass-knuckle tactics and off-the-cuff remarks. Critics called the comments racist, while LePage told reporters he had misspoken.

All the governor's opponents need to start the investigation is a simple majority vote in the Democratic-controlled House.

While nobody expects LePage to stay true to his word and actually step down in the face of so many people calling for his impeachment or resignation, the vast number of people who have signed the petition highlights just how petty the governor is being by threatening to bail on the traditional State address, which normally takes place sometime in the first half of February.

LePage has said he did nothing wrong and the attacks on him are tantamount to a "witch hunt".

The proposal aims to punish the Republican governor for using influence to pressure a charter school operator into taking back a job offer from Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves, who responded by suing in federal court. "What people say to each other in good faith, is what they say to each other in good faith". Probably, I should have said, 'Maine women, ' but even then, Maine is one of the whitest states in America - whether we are No. 1 or No. 2. It also wouldn't likely have survived long because it would eventually go to the Republican-controlled Senate.

Iran says new US sanctions illegitimate, points to Washington's arms sales
The three arrived at a United States military base in Germany, after a brief stop in Geneva, a USA official said. Congressman Jim Costa sees the prisoner release and the nuclear deal with Iran as a cautious step forward.