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Perdue among governors who received extremist letter

Posted April 2, 2010

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— North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue was one of the governors across the country to receive a letter this week from an anti-government group threatening to remove them from office, a spokeswoman for the the governor's office said Friday.

A group that calls itself the Guardians of the free Republics wants to "restore America" by peacefully dismantling parts of the government, according to its Web site.

As of Wednesday, more than 30 governors had received letters saying if they don't leave office within three days they will be removed, according to an internal intelligence note by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The note was obtained by The Associated Press.

Investigators do not see threats of violence in the group's message, but fear the broad call for removing top state officials could lead others to act out violently.

Other governors whose offices reported receiving the letters included Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Chet Culver of Iowa and Jim Gibbons of Nevada.

Screening machines for visitors and packages were added to the main entrance to the Nevada Capitol as a precaution after Gibbons received one of the letters.

"We're not really overly concerned, but at the same time we don't want to sit back and do nothing and regret it," Deputy Chief of Staff Lynn Hettrick said.

Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said federal authorities had alerted the governor that such a letter might be coming, and it arrived Monday or Tuesday. Boyd, who described the letter as "non-threatening," said it was opened by a staffer and immediately turned over to the Michigan State Police.

Jindal's office confirmed the governor had received a letter from the Guardians of the free Republics and directed all further questions to the Louisiana State Police.

"They called us as they do for any letter that's out of the norm," said Lt. Doug Cain, a state police spokesman.

He declined to provide specifics about the letter, but said, "not knowing the group and the information contained in the letter warranted state police to review it." Cain said the letter has gone to numerous governors across the country.

The FBI warning comes at a time of heightened attention to far-right extremist groups after the arrest of nine Christian militia members last weekend accused of plotting violence.

In explaining the letters sent to the governors, the intelligence note says officials have no specific knowledge of plans to use violence, but they caution police to be aware in case other individuals interpret the letters "as a justification for violence or other criminal actions."

The FBI associated the letter with "sovereign citizens," most of whom believe they are free from all duties of a U.S. citizen, like paying taxes or needing a government license to drive. A small number of these people are armed and resort to violence, according to the intelligence report.

Last weekend, the FBI conducted raids on suspected members of a Christian militia in the Midwest that was allegedly planning to kill police officers. In the past year, federal agents have seen an increase in "chatter" from an array of domestic extremist groups, which can include radical self-styled militias, white separatists or extreme civil libertarians and sovereign citizens.

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  • superman Apr 5, 2010

    I am happy that the group gave her this much needed recognition. She is certainly "extreme" and needs to leave the state. Perhaps there is a movie career for her in Hollywood. She is extremely funny.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Apr 5, 2010

    Hope status quo "bev" took the suggestion.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Apr 5, 2010

    ""REPUBLICANS MADE A MESS AND NOW WILL NOT ADMIT TO THEIR MESS. THANKS TO ALL DEMOCRATS FOR TRYING TO CLEAN THIS MESS UP. YOU GUYS ARE GREAT! THANKS." ---wildcat"

    Wasn't Easley, along Jim Black, Meg Phipps, and the other politicians that were convicted and sent to prison democrats?

  • iron fist Apr 5, 2010

    She will leave not in three days but she will after the next election, there will be many new faces in government soon.

  • Garnerian Apr 5, 2010

    Please let the door hit you on the way out.

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Apr 5, 2010

    REPUBLICANS MADE A MESS AND NOW WILL NOT ADMIT TO THEIR MESS. THANKS TO ALL DEMOCRATS FOR TRYING TO CLEAN THIS MESS UP. YOU GUYS ARE GREAT! THANKS.
    wildcat

    Wasn't Easley a democrat?

  • NCPictures Apr 5, 2010

    "REPUBLICANS MADE A MESS AND NOW WILL NOT ADMIT TO THEIR MESS. THANKS TO ALL DEMOCRATS FOR TRYING TO CLEAN THIS MESS UP. YOU GUYS ARE GREAT! THANKS." ---wildcat

    Thanks indeed for the great laugh!

  • NCSU2311 Apr 5, 2010

    How cute. They sent letters. Next time they should send a Sing-O-Gram. That'll show them!!!

  • lilymae Apr 2, 2010

    soyousay -- you don't have a clue and apparently don't understand sarcasm

  • wildcat Apr 2, 2010

    WOULD VOTE FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA AGAIN. BUT NOT PURDUE.

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