Trump-Supporting ME Governor: “The enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in, are people of color”
Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) has spent much of his tenure blaming people of color for his state’s troubles. At a town hall meeting in August, he claimed he was “collecting every single drug dealer who has been arrested in our state” and storing their pictures in a three-ring binder.
“I don’t ask them to come to Maine and sell their poison,” he said. “But they come and I will tell you that 90-plus percent of those pictures in my book…are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Conn., the Bronx and Brooklyn.”
But when LePage released a digital version of the 148-page document. the “90-plus percent” figure was wildly inaccurate:
Of the 93 people pictured in the binder, 37 appear to be either black or Hispanic, or about 40 percent of all the photos, while 56, or about 60 percent, appear to be white.
[…] ACLU of Maine Executive Director Alison Beyea said it appeared LePage had “greatly” exaggerated the information in his own binder when he used the 90 percent figure.
“He then used his false claims as the basis for calling people of color the enemy,” Beyea said in a prepared statement referencing an Aug. 27 LePage news conference. “Whether or not his assertions were deliberately misleading, they were dangerous and racist.”
LePage is an annual contender for worst governor in the country. He vetoed legislation that would have provided relief for struggling homeowners, was accused of blackmailing an anti-charter school politician, and pressured unemployment officials to side with businesses over employees.
Regarding the not-so-minority-after-all drug dealers, LePage appeared to endorse vigilante justice when he told gun owners to “load up and get rid of the drug dealers” because “they’re killing our kids.” LaPage clearly identified “the enemy” during a town hall in January, according to the Daily Beast:
“These aren’t the people who take drugs. These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty. These type of guys. They come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home,” LePage said in January. “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’ve got to deal with down the road.”
He didn’t stop there:
LePage, a Donald Trump supporter, continued to suggest shooting drug dealers in August, describing policing as a war against an enemy, which he perceives as people of color
“You’ve been in uniform?” he asked a fellow Republican legislator during a press conference. “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.”
LePage, whose initial 2010 election win was facilitated by a three-way race (only 38% of voters chose him), is up for re-election in 2018.