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Monday, August 29, 2016

Challenged Over 'Racist' Remarks, Maine Governor Leaves Unhinged Voicemail

Top contender for worst Governor in the nation

"I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a 
racist, you cocksucker," Maine Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday in a 
voicemail to a state legislator. 
(Photo: Maine Department of Education/flickr/cc)
Maine's Donald Trump-supporting, race-baiting, Republican Governor Paul LePage has gotten into hot water—again—after leaving a state lawmaker an expletive-laced and threatening voicemail on Thursday.

In the phone message, LePage—who was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014—demands that Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine "prove" that he's a racist, calls him a "son-of-a-bitch, socialist cocksucker," and says: "I am after you."

Gattine has denied that he called the governor racist after his latest diatribe on the racial background of drug dealers in the state. LePage on Wednesday said that "90 percent of drug dealers coming into Maine are black or Hispanic."

The Portland Press Herald reports:
LePage left the message after a television reporter asked the governor what he would say to people who are calling him a racist. LePage asked who had called him that and the reporter said he had talked to Gattine, but didn't say Gattine had called the governor a racist.
LePage then reacted, told the reporters "you make me so sick," and stormed off.
He later called the same reporters to the Blaine House for an interview, told them he had called Gattine and said he hoped the lawmaker would make the governor’s phone message public. The Press Herald made a Freedom of Access Act request for the phone message, and Gattine provided a copy to the Press Herald around 8:50pm.
LePage also reportedly told journalists from the Press Herald and local station WMTW on Thursday:
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.
The governor apologized on Friday for his remarks, while also challenging Gattine to a debate next Wednesday and vowing not to resign—despite calls for him to do so.

Meanwhile, Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett said LePage's latest outburst shows him to be "unfit" for office.

"Gov. LePage's direct threat against Rep. Gattine is both erratic and disturbing, and he is clearly unfit to lead our state," Bartlett said in a statement on Friday.

"Not only did the governor blatantly say he would take violent action against a sitting lawmaker, he also twice invoked a homophobic slur to drive home his point," Bartlett said. "Those reckless remarks may incite others to violence. ... Paul LePage is an increasingly menacing figure who does not reflect the values of our state."

Indeed, as Black Girl in Maine blogger Shay Stewart-Bouley noted on Twitter in response to the incident:
What do think is the very real impact on Black/Latinix people who are living in Maine at a time when our governor labels us as criminals?— Shay Stewart Bouley (@blackgirlinmain) August 26, 2016
Imagine driving in northern Maine this weekend after LePage's latest "gaffe" and being pulled over as a Black/Latinix person?— Shay Stewart Bouley (@blackgirlinmain) August 26, 2016
During a visit to the state earlier this month, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump told the Press Herald that there could be a spot for LePage in his hypothetical cabinet.

"I don't know that he would want that but he is a very talented guy, he is also a great person, a tremendous person and if he were available I would certainly find something for Paul because he's done a great job up here, he's not only popular, he's done an unbelievable job so I would certainly say that he would be a candidate," Trump said in an interview.

Also this week, LePage called Muslim American Khizr Khan a "con artist."