Harriman: Senate Republicans demanding response to Willette’s bigotry

Phil Harriman, a former Republican State Senator and commentator for the Portland Press Herald and WCSH 6/WLBZ 2, revealed on air last night that at least some Senate Republicans are demanding action from Senate leadership in response to a long series of bigoted Facebook posts by Senator Michael Willette.

“Sen. Willette has obviously not recognized the significance of his words and now his apology has rung hollow to say the least,” said Harriman. “My sources tell me that not only the Republicans but the Maine Senate is asking what is the President of the Senate going to do about this latest revelation and I’m told there will be a response before the end of the week.”

This report comes after Senator Michael Willette’s apologies proved to be somewhat less than heartfelt, judging by his continued social media posts, and new screenshots emerged showing his bigoted words and images are still online and are more extensive than was previously reported.

Up until now, Senate President Michael Thibodeau has shielded Willette from any real repercussions for his actions, saying Willette’s semi-apology was enough. He has deflected calls from the Democratic Party for Willette’s resignation and from the Maine NAACP for an investigation by the Ethics Committee.

No Republican lawmakers have yet spoken out publicly for further action on the issue by their caucus or the Senate.

One of the new posts on Willette’s timeline, which he liked, suggested that Harriman and co-commentator Ethan Strimling should “GO TO HELL.”


Mike Tipping

About Mike Tipping

Mike is Maine's longest-writing political blogger and explores state politics and policy with a focus on analysis and explanation. He works at the Maine People's Alliance and Maine People's Resource Center.