Two days ago, I wrote a post titled “You Get What You Pay For Even When You’re Thinking Outside the Box: An Addendum to Brian Mitchell’s Post on an ‘Innovative’ Pricing Strategy from Maine” [https://academeblog.org/2016/01/06/you-get-what-you-pay-for-even-when-youre-thinking-outside-the-box-an-addendum-to-brian-mitchells-post-on-an-innovative-pricing-strategy-from-maine/].
The post closed:
“With more specific reference to what is occurring in Maine, a state cannot hope to sustain a system of public colleges and universities when state policy is being determined by wingnuts like Paul LePage.”
I could not have anticipated that little more than a day later, LePage would not only confirm that he is a wingnut, but in the process demonstrate that he is also a racist and a very inarticulate one at that.
Here is an account written for CNN by Gregory Krieg [http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/07/politics/paul-lepage-maine-heroin/]:
“Less than 48 hours after using racially-charged language to explain his state’s drug epidemic, Maine Gov. Paul LePage at a Friday news conference semi-apologized for his wording “slip-up” but accused the press of trying to twist his words.
“’I made one slip-up,’ LePage conceded. ‘I may have made many slip-ups. I was going impromptu in my brain, didn’t catch up to my mouth. Instead of saying, “Maine women,” I said, “White women.” I’m not going to apologize to the Maine women for that because if you go to Maine you will see we are essentially 95 percent white.’
“Later he clarified, ‘If I slipped up and used the wrong word, then I apologize to all the Maine women.’ . . .
“Asked at a town hall meeting on Wednesday night what his administration was doing to combat the state’s drug issues, LePage referenced new legislation aimed at traffickers, then delivered his roiling explanation.
“’These aren’t the people who take drugs,’ LePage said, in comments first picked up by the Portland Press Herald. ‘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. 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.’
“LePage denied using names like ‘Smoothie’ for their racial connotation.
“’What’re they, black?’ he said. ‘I don’t know if they’re White, Black, Asian, I don’t know.’
He also rejected the suggestion that race played any role in his reference to ‘a young, white girl.’
“On Thursday, a spokesman for LePage, Peter Steele, said the governor wasn’t discussing race.
“’The governor is not making comments about race. Race is irrelevant. What is relevant is the cost to state taxpayers for welfare and the emotional costs for these kids who are born as a result of involvement with drug traffickers. His heart goes out to these kids because he had a difficult childhood too. We need to stop the drug traffickers from coming into our state,’ Steele said.
“LePage, a Republican, has been a controversial figure in Maine for years.
“In 2011, he once famously told unhappy members of a local NAACP chapter to ‘kiss my butt.’ . . .”
By the way, LePage has endorsed Chris Christie and has been campaigning with him in New Hampshire. So much for the “mainstream” GOP and the GOP “moderates.”