Local gubernatorial candidate Phillip Morris NaPier was banned last week from taking part in a debate among candidates in this November’s governor’s race.

But while NaPier may have been kept from directly participating, he managed to put forth his views by standing outside the venue with a megaphone.

Last Thursday, E2 Tech sponsored a gubernatorial debate in the Hannaford Lecture Hall at the University of Southern Maine campus in Portland. Not on the invited list was gubernatorial candidate “Phillip Morris NaPier – The People’s Hero,” NaPier’s full legal name. He said he changed his name a few years back after he was shot in a skirmish with Windham police, convicted, and processed through the state’s legal system.

NaPier entered the lecture hall last Thursday with his service dog and a megaphone looking to join in on the debate. According to the university’s security officials, NaPier explained why he was not invited, and was then asked to promise not to use his megaphone during the event.

“Our decision was to stay with the major players,” said John Ferland, executive director of E2 Tech.

Ferland explained that there were four candidates who met criteria E2 was focusing on for invitations.


“We were looking at those which had major financing, fully operating campaigns, and a significant following at the polls,” Ferland said.

Although officials asked NaPier not to use his megaphone during the debate, he did not make any such promise, and after using the device was escorted outside of the hall by security. He stood outside the education center, protesting the debate’s selected candidate representation. While outside, he spoke on the issues he seeks to address should he be elected this November.

The university contacted the Portland Police Department as backup. When they arrived, NaPier was told he could continue his protest and public forum, but was asked to cease the use of the megaphone. NaPier complied. Shortly afterward, he left the premises.

“I’m a very soft spoken man,” NaPier said. “What’s the point if I can’t be heard?”

In addition to the recent events at USM, NaPier has encountered several obstacles in attempting to add his name and party to the ballot. He has been denied the entire length of his name and is currently pursuing a state court ruling on the matter. He was also denied his initial party name (the “Pissed-Off Patriots” party), and has hence changed his party’s designation to read as the “Tax Equality Rebellion” party. The former name was deemed as vulgar, which the state has the right to refuse.

All of this strife has not discouraged him from pursuing his goal. He says he is “no stranger to hard work.” He traveled statewide to collect more than 5,000 signatures required to put him on the ballot.

NaPier plans to attend the political tent at the Unity Common Grounds Fair this weekend.

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