Maine’s outspoken Republican Governor Paul Richard LePage, left a vile and homophobic message on the voicemail of Democratic state rep. Drew Gattine last week.
“Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage. I would to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you cocksucker,” he says in audio released by the Portland Press Herald. “I want to talk to you. You want — 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 cocksucker. You — I need you to just frigging— I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”
Gattine said he was stunned to receive the voicemail. “My first thought after I listened is I’m really glad I’m not in the room. He sounded like if I’d been in the room with him that he’d be attacking me physically,” he said.
After leaving the voicemail, LePage told reporters that he wished he could turn back the clock so he and Gattine could face off in a duel.
“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, according to the Portland Press Herald. “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.”
The governor has doubled down on his remarks earlier this year, that black men are coming to Maine, selling drugs, and impregnating white women on their way out.
Last week, he referred to people of color as “the enemy” during a press briefing. He also informed reporters that he has compiled a three-ring binder of photos of drug dealers arrested since January, and that more than 90 percent are black or Hispanic.
According to the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Service, 1,211 people in Maine were arrested on charges of drug sales or manufacturing in 2014. Of them, 170 (14.1 percent) were black, the vast majority were white.
Our governor, Paul LePage, is a bigot, a homophobe, and a racist. I think that about covers it.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 27, 2016
“Our governor, Paul LePage, is a bigot, a homophobe, and a racist,” Maine native and renowned horror author, Stephen King, tweeted Saturday.
“I think that about covers it,” added King.
The Advocate adds:
“We strongly and regretfully feel that he is unfit to serve as governor of the state of Maine right now,” said Rep. Sara Gideon of Freeport, the assistant House Democratic leader. “We have real concerns and reservations about how we move forward together as lawmakers as well as Maine people.”
The city of Westbrook released an “open letter to the people of Maine” Friday that also condemned the governor’s conduct.
“Once more Governor LePage has humiliated himself and the Office of Governor,” the letter says.
“LePage’s voice mail to Representative Gattine is so outrageous it is beyond our ability to know how to respond,” the letter continues. “His threat to want to ‘shoot him between the eyes’ would be reprehensible coming from anybody, but from the individual holding the position of Governor of our State is insanity.”