Paul LePage is in his second term as the Governor here in the great state of Maine, and I always feel compelled to mention that the right-wing nutjob is only Governor in a liberal state — the first to legalize same-sex marriage by referendum — because we lack a run-off system. In the last two elections, a Democrat and an independent split the vote, allowing LePage to squeak in as Governor.
LePage is a terrible Governor. He’s also a terrible person. He’s a big Trump supporter. In fact, is angling for a position in the Trump administration. The two are made for each other.
While I don’t think we have anything real to fear about Trump winning in the fall, LePage provides a cautionary tale for left-leaning voters who decide to sit this one out. Our choices on the Democratic side here in Maine were not amazing in either election, but they were better than the alternative, because the alternative was responsible for the below.
1. In his first year of office, the nation got to know Governor Paul LePage when he inexplicably removed a mural from the Maine Department of Labor because he thought it promoted a “one-sided view” of organized labor. It sparked outrage and a federal lawsuit, which was eventually dismissed.
2. In 2013, while sitting in a fighter jet simulator, he said that he’d like to “blow up” the offices of the Portland Press Herald, a newspaper that often uses those damned facts to criticize the Governor.
3. During a town hall meeting last year, he made a racially charged (er, straight-up racist) comment about drug dealers who sell their wares in Maine:
These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty — these types of guys — they come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home. Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road.”
Hide your white women, folks: D-Money from Connecticut is gonna knock her up.
4. He once implied that Stephen King fled Maine in order to avoid paying higher taxes here, which was so untrue that Stephen King took him to task for it himself. (King splits his time, and paid $1.4 million in taxes here the year LePage called him out.)
5. Impeachment charges (which ultimately failed) were leveled against LePage earlier this year after he threatened to pull $530,000 in funding for a school for troubled and indigent children after it hired a political enemy of LePage’s as president of the school. The school terminated the contract of the president out of fear of losing funding. I still don’t understand how LePage avoided impeachment.
6. He once suggested that a state Democrat “claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.”
7. He once stated that he “wanted to shoot” a local political cartoonist in response to a question from the cartoonist’s SON during a high school youth leadership program.
8. Just last month, LePage refused to attend a swearing-in ceremony for a state Senator-elect because he was mad at the Democrats for rejecting his nomination of a conservative talk radio host for the head of the Maine Unemployment Insurance Commission.
9. Recently, LePage vetoed a bill allowing pharmacists to dispense an anti-overdose drug without a prescription, saying it “serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction.” Last week, in defending the decision, he completely fabricated a story about a local high school providing the anti-overdose drug to a student three times in one week. He just pulled the anecdote completely out of his ass (the local high school was quick to call him on it)
10. At the end of last month, LePage stormed out of an event for a local university and called a protester holding up a sign an “idiot,” after he spotted this sign:
During an event last week, protesters retaliated:
LePage dismissed them as “rich college kids.”
11. LePage mocked the accents of foreign people who work in the restaurant industry at the state Republican convention this year:
“You already have restaurants in the summer, if you go on the coast, it’s hard to hear what they’re saying. Do you ever try to say ‘What’s the special of the day,’ to someone from Bulgaria. And the worst ones if they’re from India. I mean, they’re all lovely people, but it takes ‘em … you’re going to have an interpreter.”
12. He’s an advocate of beheadings:
“I think the death penalty should be appropriate for people who kill Mainers. What we ought to do is bring the guillotine back. We could have public executions and we could even have which hole it falls in.”
13. He once said at a fundraiser that President Obama “hates white people.”
14. He refused to attend MLK, Jr. events and told the NAACP to “kiss my butt.”
15. He called the IRS the “new Gestapo.”
16. To pressure the state legislature, LePage has vetoed countless bills — regardless of their merit — to manipulate them into voting for his initiatives. He holds the record for most vetoes in the state, with 182 and counting. Basically, the legislature has to come back for an extra day at the end of every session to override LePage’s vetoes. Despite having a Republican controlled House of Representatives, many — if not most — of the vetoes are overridden.
17. Speaking of vetoes, he recently named his new dog, Veto. However, he got the dog by using his position as Governor to cut in line in front of a victim of sexual abuse seeking a therapy dog. He adopted the dog before she could. The woman was heartbroken.
THE MONSTER DEPRIVED A WOMAN OF A DOG.