I have lived in Maine my entire life. During this time, our state has contributed Margaret Chase Smith, Bill Cohen, Ed Muskie, George Mitchell, Olympia Snowe, Angus King and Susan Collins to the national scene, all people we can take pride in. Our state has been known throughout the country as a source of intelligence, civility and moderation. These days we have become a national laughingstock, thanks to our governor.

Watch closely as your leaders react to the governor’s hateful diatribe against one of my colleagues and his suggestion that people of color are the enemy. His remarks were threatening, vulgar and far beneath the office that he holds. He sounded wild with rage. He is not fit to lead our great state.

This cannot be explained as politics as usual, or that Rep. Drew Gattine somehow deserved this because he accused the governor of being a racist. First of all he did not; he took the governor to task for racially charged remarks. Second, no matter what you think of Gattine’s comments, they do not warrant an obscenity-laden, threatening response. Would Ed Muskie degrade minorities like this? Would Susan Collins speak of a colleague in such a way?

Our state deserves a forceful response to this conduct. When it becomes necessary to shield our children from the words uttered by our governor, one should also consider what company would seek to locate to a place led by such a leader. How many other people will choose to visit elsewhere?

Our governor needs to step down. If he fails to resign, we should remove him from office. Senate President Michael Thibodeau, a Republican, has proven time and time again that he is an effective leader who works well with everyone. The time for positioning and posturing has long since passed.

Rep. Lori Fowle