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Maine's New Governor, Paul LePage, Tells NAACP to 'Kiss My Butt'

3 years ago
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Maine's new governor has been in office for less than two weeks, but he's already created a stir after telling the NAACP to "kiss my butt."
Paul LePage, the state's first Republican governor in 16 years, made the remark last week after drawing criticism from the civil rights organization for saying he would not attend events commemorating Martin Luther King Day.
"They are a special interest," he told the Portland's WCSH-TV. "End of story. And I'm not going to be held hostage by special interests. And if they want, they can look at my family picture. My son happens to be black, so they can do whatever they'd like about it."
He added, "Tell [the NAACP] to kiss my butt. If they want to play the race card, come to dinner and my son will talk to them."
LePage has a Jamaican son named Devon Raymond, who attended the new governor's swearing in along with LePage's four other children, the Portland Press Herald reported.
According to LePage's spokesman, Dan Demeritt, the governor could not attend King events because he had previous personal commitments on Sunday and is attending the funeral of a retired state trooper on Monday, the Waterville (Maine) Morning Sentinel said. The Associated Press reported Monday, however, that LePage changed his plans and appeared at a breakfast honoring King, even taking part in an African dance.

In a statement following the governor's initial comments, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said, "LePage's decision to inflame racial tension on the eve of the King holiday denigrates his office. His words are . . . out of touch with our nation's deep yearning for increased civility and racial healing."
Rachel Talbot Ross, the state director of the NAACP, also weighed in: "I don't care who he's got in his family," the Morning Sentinel reported her saying. "And he's saying we're playing the race card? The makeup of his family isn't the issue and it never was the issue. For him to say we're playing the race card shows a real lack of awareness of the very important issues we're working to address. Our kids deserve better. Maine deserves better. His son deserves better."
LePage, a businessman who served as mayor of Waterville before running for governor, won a close race over independent Eliot Cutler and Democrat Libby Mitchell in November.

In the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and 19 others nine days ago in Tucson, there have been widespread calls for greater civility in the nation's political discourse. LePage, however, appears not to have gotten the memo.

"I'm sure the governor wishes he'd used different words, but he's a blunt, outspoken person, and that's one thing people like about him," Charles Webster, chairman of Maine's Republican Party, told USA Today.

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344 Comments

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oc4pc

Geeze Lets hope there is always a NAACP rep at every event that honors a white president ie. Lincolns, Washingtons birthday celebration ... They are just as dead, just as honored, and yes, old.. Lol You wanna heal racial tensions? Then stop with orgs such as Naacp, that only contribute to isolating the races, and further split us apart. Lets have the White Association for the Advancement of Non Colored People.. but sigh, that would be discrimination .. huh? Unfortuately i think the naacp is just some power hungry individuals, who dont realize, that everyone faces some type of discrimnation.. the poor white pple, the uneducated whites..as well as blacks ect It not just a color problem any longer Weve come a long way since the inception of the naacp Why not make it the Assoc for the Advancement for All Ppl.. Out with the old guard .. We see right through it ..

January 24 2011 at 9:26 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Richard V. T.

About Time aomeone stood up to Anarchy in Governments ! . . What is good governance if all the "leaders" do is cave to the requests of a special interest group ? . . Now maybe they can get on with governing for all the people of Maine. . . . You can bet that the NAACP will hound on this to try and get more favors !

January 24 2011 at 8:48 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
nos2001

naacp is a farse. i remember when most service jobs were black employees. now its mostly hispanic. naacp supports these mostly illegals. they don't support their own anymore. they should change their name to NAAHP. the HP is for hispanic people.

January 24 2011 at 3:25 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
hhhannah123

Way to go, governor!

January 23 2011 at 8:36 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
stopthelies1

So Governor, it is OK for you to help a minority, but the rest of the minorities should not have any help, because you label that special interest. Then you use the word special interest, and the fact that you have a black son, to justify you and anyone else or the government (or god forbid public money) NOT or refusing to help any black people? How I would hate to be your son, and be used by you, like that.

January 23 2011 at 5:28 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
tievolu

The Governor of Maine is correct in his stance. NAACP is without a doubt "A Special Interest Group" and should even be disbanded. You don't see any NAAWP do you? You don't see a Miss White America contest. Maybe it is time "THEY" made the change to the new America. I totaly agree with the Governor's stance.
There are those who want a "Get ahead without work card" and then there are those who don't cry about slavery over a 100 years ago affecting their race. They develope a plan for the future and work to get it done.

January 23 2011 at 2:30 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
ettu

It is about time someone told this minority interest group that they do not run a State, nor our Country. They certainly should have a voice, and certainly are allowed to give their opinions and work toward their own goals, but they are a small part of Americana, and must compromise, just as the rest of us try to do.

January 23 2011 at 10:26 AM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
muppetsbabygirl

While grace and tact may have been the better way to go, I have to say that for once a politician that isn't out to "kiss butt" is so darn gratifying! I want to go on record as saying "Enough is Enough!" The race card thing is so over played! I mean really? He had other things he had already committed to and why should this man be forced to go to every single event? How about instead we let the man do his job so that Maine can get a better economy already! What is more important? Jobs and a balanced budget? Or everyone ensuring that they all get the popular crowd to their little party?

January 23 2011 at 12:21 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
simon102006

And if they want, they can look at my family picture. My son happens to be black, so they can do whatever they'd like about it."
He added, "Tell [the NAACP] to kiss my butt. If they want to play the race card, come to dinner and my son will talk to them." It appears as if he disrespected his son also. So what if he has a black son? didnt jefferson have black children? he was'nt that interested in attending the funeral either because he changed his plans. It's about respect and courtesy, and from his comment he doesnt appear to have much or either.

January 22 2011 at 10:06 PM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to simon102006's comment
Paul MacLeod

jeez .. did you ever miss the point..

January 23 2011 at 8:37 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
quito539

The Governor would never, ever say something like that to a Jewish organization. I don't care what the issue. He wouldn't do it because the press/media would have been all over him attacking and labeling him anti-semetic. Not so for a Black Organization. Press/media doesn't seem to get to excited about disrespect for Blacks. America!!

January 22 2011 at 5:35 PM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply

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