Gov. Paul LePage blasted Skowhegan Savings Bank for parting with Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro after he made a disparaging tweet against David Hogg, a teenage survivor of the mass shooting at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A recall campaign against Isgro, who has had a long history of posting vulgar, xenophobic and anti-Muslim rants on social media, has also begun in Waterville.

In a letter to Skowhegan Savings Bank CEO John Witherspoon, LePage said that firing Isgro from his job as the bank’s controller was “a mistake you will likely come to regret,” even though Witherspoon later told the Waterville Sentinel that it was Isgro’s decision to leave the bank.

“You have fallen prey to the leftist hate ideology that refuses to recognize free speech. Had the Marden’s company discharged me when the Maine People’s Alliance and the MSEA demanded my release when I was Mayor of Waterville who knows whether I could have become Governor,” wrote LePage — who once famously had Democrat Mark Eves fired from Good Will-Hinckley because he disagreed politically with the former House Speaker. “Actions speak louder than words — Maine is currently in the best fiscal shape it has been in 50 years. Yes, I am a reformer and as such am controversial and hated by the left ideology. Their only solution is to destroy those who have a different position.”

Maine People’s Alliance and the Maine State Employees Union deny ever having called for LePage’s ouster when he was mayor of Waterville.

“We did not call for LePage to be ousted as mayor of Waterville. We also didn’t call for Isgro to be fired or recalled,” said MPA spokesman Mike Tipping. “The governor did call for me to be imprisoned for publicly advocating for raising the minimum wage.”

Isgro created a firestorm of controversy last week after he tweeted “Eat it Hogg,” in response to news that right-wing talker Laura Ingraham still had a job at Fox News after mocking gun-control activist David Hogg for not getting into the colleges he applied for.

 


In a statement last Friday, Witherspoon said the bank was “disappointed and dismayed” by Isgro’s tweet, according to the Waterville Sentinel. Isgro has refused to apologize for his remarks and instead blamed the controversy on “dark money-funded outsiders” and “well-connected and wealthy political elites.”

But Isgro has been stirring up controversy on social media since long before his “eat it” comment. The Waterville mayor has accused refugee resettlement agencies, which he calls the “refugee racket,” of supporting “mass importation from third-world hell holes while Americans look for work and go hungry.” He has blasted cities for being “welcoming to refugees,” accused them of stripping away resources from “Maine kids” and made the false claim that Lewiston schools teach 40 different languages. Isgro has also called for anti-fascist protesters to be labeled as “terrorists,” spread posts by alt-right Pizza Gate conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, and often posts articles about immigrants committing crimes.

Isgro frequently brands Republicans he disagrees with as “cucks,” which is an alt-right epithet used to portray men as weak for sacrificing their beliefs and values to please women. The term is short for “cuckold” — a man who allows his wife to sleep with other men. Back in December, Isgro implied Mitt Romney was a cuck after the former Republican presidential candidate tweeted that Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore, who had allegedly preyed on several teenage girls, “would be a stain on the GOP and the Nation” if elected.

“The cuckolded battlecry: Lose gracefully! It’s better than winning!” replied Isgro.

Isgro described Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s bill to improve sexual harassment training for members of Congress as “cucked shit” and once declared that “Weak cuckolded Republicans need to go.”

In a series of tweets last week, Colby professor Aaron Hanlon recounted the story of how his wife, who is a refugee, was screamed at to “Go Home!” by a biker in Waterville. But when he tried to urge the mayor not to defame refugees because they are also his constituents, Hanlon says he was “mobbed” by Isgro’s allies who accused him of “personally profiting from a refugee trafficking ring” and superimposed his face on lewd photos.

“The crass nativism here is not simply an embarrassment, it’s a deterrent to people looking to make a better life here,” wrote Hanlon. “And it’s a deterrent to young entrepreneurs and professionals whose first impressions of the state are bumbling xenophobes and conspiracy theorists.”