Legislator apologizes for online rant as lawmakers try to finish work

Legislator apologizes for online rant, lawmakers try to finish work

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — As lawmakers tried Thursday to finish their remaining work for the current session, the legislator who made headlines for an obscenity-filled rant on Facebook — which included an implied threat against President Trump — made a public apology.

Rep. Scott Hamann, D-South Portland, spoke on the House floor about the Facebook post. He insisted his comments were meant as satire in an online exchange with an old friend, and that he was trying to show the friends how bad language has become in political arguments. But Rep. Hamann admitted he made a mistake.

"There is no excuse for using such vulgar and disrespectful language," Hamann told fellow lawmakers," and I deeply regret not only what I said but how I said it."

Hamann said he doesn’t typically use that kind of language and would never use violence against anyone.

His comment and what appeared to be an implied threat against President Trump also brought in the Secret Service. Hamann said he met with those agents and claimed they understood he had broken no law.

"In that conversation the Secret Service determined what I wrote was satirical," Hamann said, "protected by the First Amendment and not a direct or indirect threat of any kind."

Lawmakers also had other business Thursday, including dealing with 10 vetoes from the governor and voting on new borrowing through bonds.

The Appropriations Committee approved three bonds: $105 million for transportation, $55 million for research and development and a $40 million bond for helping pay student debt. However, Republicans in the House indicated they might only support the transportation bond, casting doubt in the date of the remaining two.

Bonds need to be passed by a two-thirds majority vote in House and Senate, and that requires a significant number of GOP votes.

Legislators are planning to return to Augusta for a final day Aug. 2.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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