Adding a little international embarrassment to the mix, Maine Governor Paul LePage spoke at a gathering also attended by Canadian officials where he continued his public crusade against black and Hispanic drug dealers.
LePage has previously stated that "90 percent" of drug dealers arrested in Maine are black or Hispanic men who come from other states such as New York, but at yesterday's conference he broke his statistics down to specific drugs and assigned each one to a different race.
“Nobody wants to listen,” LePage told State House News Service. “What I said was this: Meth lab arrests are white. They’re Mainers. The heroin-fentanyl arrests are not white people. They’re Hispanic and they’re black and they’re from Lowell and Lawrence, Massachusetts, Waterbury, Connecticut the Bronx and Brooklyn. I didn’t make up the rules. That’s how it turns out. But that’s a fact. It’s a fact. What do you want me to lie?”
To the best of my knowledge, LePage has never actually said white people are exclusively responsible for Meth nor has he attributed heroin exclusively to people of color. LePage says "nobody wants to listen," but I've been watching him fairly closely and I think I would remember him saying specific races are responsible for specific drugs.
LePage is only digging a deeper hole for himself, raising more questions than answers.
Access to LePage's imaginary binder of drug dealers could clear at least some of this up, but LePage has denied requests for its contents. It remains to be seen if the public records request filed by the ACLU of Maine will end up in court where the governor could be forced to publicly explain that he made the whole thing up.
But it's possible LePage has a plan for avoiding all of that.
The Portland Press Herald reported this morning that LePage is considering resigning from office while also confirming a personal theory of mine regarding his binder of drug dealers.
“The fact of the matter is this: I got all of my info in my book from the press. It’s that simple,” he said. “Every drug arrest, we get the story and the people, and when it comes to meth labs it’s all white people from Maine. When it comes to heroin, it’s just the opposite. Whether it’s right or wrong and I’ll leave you to make that judgment, but I spoke fact.
When I quipped that LePage's binder is actually a collection of newspaper clippings fastened together with Elmer's glue, I really was joking. I didn't necessarily imagine that's literally what it might be.
It's not clear if LePage's personal scrapbook of media reports would be subject to a public records request.