The Maine chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus on Sunday posted on its blog the details of a recent meeting with U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.

The post says the meeting took place on “neutral ground,” at a hotel conference room in Augusta — a description that underscores the tension between Snowe, considered a moderate, and the right wing of the GOP.

The RLC is a national organization. It’s considered a libertarian group that is connected to the tea party. According to the post by Ken Lindell, chairman of Maine RLC, also invited were representatives from other conservative organizations including tea party activists, constitutional conservatives, libertarians and devotees of the John Birch Society, as well as representatives from the Maine Legislature and the Republican State Committee. The common thread, Lindell said, was that “all the participants represented factions of the Republican Party that were either critical of Senator Snowe’s moderate track record, and in some cases outright hostile to the senator.”

The Maine chapter of the RLC last spring backed Gov. Paul LePage in the GOP primary.

Snowe has been targeted by the tea party. The movement has promised to run a challenger against her in the 2012 GOP primary. 

Snowe’s decision to meet with the group is her latest attempt to reach out to the tea party.

Asked to comment on the meeting, Snowe issued a short statement that said, “I have found these meetings to be constructive, forthright exchanges on the key issues facing our state and nation. Obviously there are some matters on which we’ve agreed, and others where we have differences. Ultimately, the input of my constituents has always been invaluable to me in doing my job as Senator.”

This article was updated to remove statements saying the national RLC has links to the John Birch Society and was born out of the John Birch Society movement. National RLC leaders emphasize the group has no link to the John Birch Society.


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