Via commentor LAMH. Report from Maine’s Portland Press Herald:
… About 30 minutes into the meeting, which was rebroadcast Thursday night,[Gov. Paul] LePage responded to a question about how he was tackling substance abuse in Maine. He began talking about how much of the heroin is coming into Maine from out-of-state drug dealers.
“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,” LePage told the crowd. “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.”
Peter Steele, the governor’s communication director, said in a written statement Thursday night that LePage’s remarks were not about race, but about the emotional toll drugs have on children.
“The governor is not making comments about race. Race is irrelevant,” Steele said. “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, who rarely answers telephone calls from reporters and insists on email communications, did not respond to an email requesting an interview with LePage; nor did he respond to an email follow-up question to his statement.
Phil Bartlett, chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, said in an interview that the comments “at best were coded racism,” designed to divide Maine people. He said the comment fits into a national narrative being expounded by Republicans, who are increasingly using “pretty overt racist language and imagery rather than talking about the merits of public policy.”
“It’s outrageous,” Bartlett said. “Everybody should be denouncing his comments and what they’re intended to provoke. I would call upon all Republicans to stand up and say this is wrong and it’s not acceptable in our public discourse. It’s simply indefensible.”
Lance Dutson, a Republican operative who runs the Get Right Maine website, which seeks to restore a more moderate brand of Republicanism in Maine, described the remark in a blog post as “one of the most offensive statements yet from this Governor.”
Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine Republican Party, refused to comment on the governor’s remarks, instead he took aim at Dutson. “We don’t respond to attacks from disgruntled former staffers,” Savage said…
Additional Repubs in Disarray! details at the link. With all due respect, Mr. Dutson — if I were you, I’d switch my registration before these guys devolve to actual cannibalism.