Gov. John Baldacci is one of at least 30 U.S. governors who have received anonymous letters demanding they resign.

The governor received the letter Monday. It was passed on to his executive security detail, which is working with the FBI, said Baldacci’s spokesman, David Farmer.

“Believe it or not, we get a lot of oddball mail. This is not unusual in that regard,” Farmer said. But, he said, “We have to take these things seriously.”

What Farmer described as a manifesto was about a half-inch-thick stack of documents that looked like legal paperwork sent on behalf of the “De jure Grand Jury.”

The letter declared that the era of illicit corporations and banking cartels posing as legitimate governments is over, he said. Farmer said the letters may have been sent to all 50 governors, but not every one had alerted the FBI.

According to The Associated Press, a federal intelligence note is warning police that an anti-government group’s call to remove dozens of governors may encourage others to act out violently, even if the group doesn’t advocate that.

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 demanding that they leave office within three days or face being removed, according to an internal intelligence note by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

Investigators don’t see threats of violence in the group’s message, but fear that the broad call for removing top state officials could inspire others to act violently.

Some members of Congress received threats and saw their offices vandalized after they voted last month for health care reform. Democrats said at the time that extremely partisan Republicans had indirectly encouraged the acts, although Republicans denied it.

Farmer said he doesn’t believe that the letters to governors are in any way connected with the health care reform law.

The FBI associated the letters with “sovereign citizens,” most of whom believe they are free from all duties of a U.S. citizen, such as paying taxes or needing a license to drive. A small number of those people are armed and resort to violence, according to the intelligence report.

Last weekend, the FBI raided suspected members of a Christian militia in the Midwest that allegedly planned to kill police officers.

In the past year, federal agents have seen an increase in “chatter” from an array of domestic extremist groups, including radical self-styled militias, white separatists, extreme civil libertarians and sovereign citizens.

The Web site of the group that purportedly sent the letters to the governors says it seeks to terminate the current government structure, end government interference in people’s lives and end foreclosures, tax prosecutions, car registration requirements and bank signature cards.

The group calls its Restore America Plan a strategy for behind-the-scenes, peaceful reconstruction, and says the public and hapless media are ignorant to the loss of personal freedom.

The Web site offers people a chance to become a guardian or a member of the De jure Grand Jury of the applicant’s respective republic.

It also includes boxes to check if one wants to coordinate a republic or if one is already a member of an assembly, a jury, a posse or a ranger.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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