Last week we told you about the strange reports of a coup underway at the highest levels of one of Maine’s largest tea party groups. A week after concerns over Maine Patriots founder Amy Hale’s leadership allegedly spilled over into a heated confrontation in a parking lot where Hale was forced to give up control of the tea party group’s website, things have calmed down quite a bit. But there’s still an information blackout that makes it hard to figure out who’s in charge up there.
Hale has responded to critics that said her head got too big to lead the grassroots Maine Patriots, but she still won’t respond to my requests for more information about the police report she filed against those she said cornered her and intimidated her into coughing up the password for the Maine Patriots website.
“While I can not talk about the actual incident in the parking lot because of the police investigation,” Hale wrote in a recent email to tea partiers in Maine, “I can say that the allegations made against me are false.”
Those allegations are essentially that she displayed hubris, and have been leveled at her by a group of Maine tea partiers led by fellow activist Jeff Cucci prior to the “coup.” Hale also said in the letter that it’s time for the Maine tea party to move on. However, it’s unclear who controls the group’s website these days.
“I think that it is time that we get all this behind us. We need to be fighting the real enemy; the big government that is taking away our freedoms,” Hale wrote. “I hope that you will stick with Maine Patriots as we turn our eyes toward the real enemy.”
Other activists shared the sentiment.
“The plain fact is there are people who just simply do not and will not like each other,” Pete Harring wrote to supporters in an email. “So I have to look at things this way. Is this person in this for the same reasons I am? If the answer is yes, then I do not have to like them or dislike them. I will stand with anyone who is on the same page as me.”
“So enough about all this crap!” Harring added. “Lets go take back our Nation.”
On the message boards — which last week were alight with accusations flung by supporters of Hale, supporters of Cucci and activists who wanted the pair to take their beef elsewhere — talk of the coup has all but disappeared. The feeling seems to be that by letting the internal politics of the tea party group take the public stage, tea partiers in Maine left themselves open to critics.
“I am so glad to see Amy Hale finally coming forward and making a statement,” activist Kathleen Heseltine writes on the Maine Refounders site, where chatter about Hale’s replacement at the Maine Patriots site was found. “Her note was a welcome relief from all the concerns I have expressed here and over at the Maine Patriots.”
“Here we go again,” activist Fran Hinkel responds in the comments section. “I feel that things that were posted on this website, on both sides of the issue, are harmful not only to newcomers who might happen by here, but give the opposition feed for the fodder.”
Talk of Hale has all but disappeared from the site. Hinkel gives some insight as to why that might be.
“I believe we are all against censorship in any form but may I suggest that we censor ourselves for the good of the whole?” she writes. “It is indeed time to move forward and I can’t stress enough my feelings that people should consider deleting their own posts on this subject matter for the good of the movement.”