The “Bernie or Bust” era of the election season was a particularly frightening prospect for me, because I live in Maine, a liberal state that hasn’t voted for a Republican for President since 1988, the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage by referendum, and one of the first states to decriminalize cannabis, legalize medical marijuana and, in Portland, one of the first cities to completely legalize marijuana.
And yet — thanks to third-party candidates splitting the vote — we have the worst, most racist Governor in the country and arguably a guy even worse than Donald Trump when it comes to blatantly racist remarks and “telling it like it is.” In case you need a refresher, here are 17 reasons why LePage is the worst governor in America. After last week, a few more reasons can be added to that list, because the man may have even crossed the Trump line.
Our governor is a racist. He doesn’t think he’s a racist, but he’s super racist. He’s suggested in the past that drug dealers — “D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” — come to our state from New York and Connecticut and “impregnate our white women.” The nationwide backlash to that statement was swift and powerful, but it didn’t ultimately temper LePage’s racist remarks.
Last week, LePage — calling back to those earlier remarks — asserted that “90-plus percent” of drug dealers arrested in Maine “are black and Hispanic people.” In fact, he says he has a “a three-ringed binder” with mug shots of all the people arrested, and that they’re almost all black and Hispanic people, except “there are a whole lot of white girls, too. A whole lot of white girls.”
This would come as a surprise to most Mainers, because it would be shocking if over 90 percent of the drug dealers arrested here were black or Hispanic. Maine is 98 percent white. Literally. In fact, FBI statistics show for the last year on record that only 14 percent of the people arrested for drugs were black. LePage is basically trying to turn our state against blacks and Hispanics, just as Trump tried to turn us against our Somali community in August.
After a predictable round of backlash about the comments, LePage naturally doubled down, arguing that people of color “are the enemy.”
A bad guy is a bad guy. I don’t care what color he is. When you go to war, if you know the enemy, the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, you shoot at red. … You shoot at the enemy. You try to identify the enemy. And the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.
Then LePage got super Trumpian after a reporter told LePage that a state congressman Drew Gattine, called LePage a racist. LePage called up Mr. Gattine, and he left the following voice mail:
Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage. I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you cocksucker. I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son of a bitch, socialist cocksucker. You… I need you to… Just friggin’. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.
Our governor just called a state representative a cocksucker, and later, to the press, he said that he wanted to challenge that representative to a duel and shoot him between the eyes.
“When a snot-nosed little guy from Westbrook calls me a racist, now I’d like him to come up here because, tell you right now, I wish it were 1825. And we would have a duel. That’s how angry I am. And I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee you; I would not be [Alexander] Hamilton. I would point it right between his eyes, because he is a snot-nosed little runt and he has not done a damn thing since he’s been in this legislature to help move the state forward.”
This all happened in the course of a few days. Now, for the second time during his administration, people are talking impeachment. Many are asking that LePage resign. The state senate, meanwhile, is already suggesting censure, according to a state senator.
“What I do not know is whether it is due to substance abuse, mental illness or just ignorance. I certainly hope that his family and small circle of close staff are considering how best to address the issue. Things definitely appear to be out of control. Leadership is considering whether we need a special session of the legislature. Some sort of censure would seem appropriate and I would welcome the ability to go on the record with a vote.”
You want to know what a Trump presidency might look like? It might look a lot like this. In fact, the only good thing about a Trump presidency for Maine is that Trump would almost certainly put this guy in his cabinet and get him out of our state.