“I’ve been collecting every single drug dealer who has been arrested in our state,” LePage said during a town hall meeting. “I don’t ask them to come to Maine and sell their poison, but they come and I will tell you that 90-plus percent of those pictures in my book, and it’s a three-ringed binder, are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut, the Bronx and Brooklyn.”
He made a similar claim during a town hall meeting in January.
“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,” he said.
LePage’s racist tirades have included claims that drug dealers are also impregnating innocent white women of Maine.
“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.”
LePage has specifically claimed to have kept a three-ring binder full of “drug dealers of color” since late August, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union to file a Freedom of Information Act request to see it.
“According to the governor, Maine police are nine times more likely to arrest people of color for selling drugs than white people, even though we know white people are just as likely to commit drug offenses,” executive director Alison Beyea of the ACLU said in response to LePage’s claims. “This alarming disparity in arrests raises significant concerns that Maine law enforcement is participating in unconstitutional racial profiling.”
The contents of LePage’s binder have now been published on the Press Herald’s website, but those contents do not include race statistics for those arrested for drug crimes, and only a small percentage of the pages have photographs or additional geographic information on the suspects.
“Of the 93 news and booking photos in the binder featuring people, 37 of them appear to be people who are either black or Hispanic, or about 40 percent of the photos in the binder, while 56, or about 60 percent, appear to be people who are white,” the Press Herald reported.
LePage also sparked controversy in August, after he delivered an abusive verbal message to a political rival, challenging him to a duel.
“Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage,” the governor can be heard saying in a recording of the message obtained by the Portland Press-Herald. “I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you c**cksucker. 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 c**cksucker. You … I need you to, just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”
LePage then invited reporters to hear him double-down on his over-the-top remarks.
“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,” LePage said. “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.”