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Republican barred from inviting guests into State House

May 11, 2021 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine — (AP) — A Republican lawmaker has been barred from inviting guests into the Maine State House after violating rules by hosting an out-of-state activist who spread conspiracy theories about the coronavirus.

Rep. Shelley Rudnicki, of Fairfield, was disciplined by legislative leaders after bringing Naomi Wolf and a camera operator into the State House on April 28 while lawmakers were convened at the Augusta Civic Center, the Bangor Daily News reported. They approached Gov. Janet Mills’ office suite and were told to leave by the governor’s chief of staff.

Wolf has been touring the country to advocate for the end of pandemic restrictions. She has questioned the effectiveness of vaccines and suggested they could be used to implant microchips in people.

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The Legislative Council voted 6-4 to revoke Rudnicki’s guest privileges, and a letter from House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, a Democrat, said she “explicitly disregarded” the policy put in place during the pandemic.

The policy, adopted in February, permits lawmakers to bring two constituents into the State House to meet in their offices as long as they check with staff to ensure space is free.

Rudnicki said she has been trying to meet with Mills through other channels. She disagreed that Wolf should not be allowed in the building because she does not live in her district.

“It is the people’s building and there should be no reason that it should be locked to anybody,” Rudnicki said.