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Paul LePage: Secret Binder Shows Maine Drug Dealers Mostly Black, Hispanic

Image: Paul LePage: Secret Binder Shows Maine Drug Dealers Mostly Black, Hispanic

In this June 7, 2016, file photo, Maine Gov. Paul LePage attends an opioid abuse conference in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

By    |   Monday, 29 Aug 2016 09:29 AM

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is under fire for a secret binder that he said proves that more than 90 percent of in-state drug dealers arrested since January are black or Hispanic.

"I made the comment that black people are trafficking in our state, now ever since I said that comment I’ve been collecting every single drug dealer who has been arrested in our state,” LePage said during a town hall forum in North Berwick on Wednesday, according to the Portland Press Herald. “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, Conn., the Bronx and Brooklyn.”

The comment drew concern about racial profiling from the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, which made a Freedom of Information Act request for the binder, The Washington Post reported.

LePage fiercely defended himself against claims of racism, telling reporters Thursday, "Let me tell you something: Black people come up the highway and they kill Mainers. You ought to look into that! You make me so sick!"

He said race isn't a factor in his efforts to curtail drugs in Maine but refused to show reporters the binder on Thursday.

"You know and I know and everybody in the state knows that the overwhelming majority of the people that have been arrested this year, coming out of Connecticut and New York, have been black and Hispanic, it’s not a matter of race, it’s a matter of fact. Are there some white ones? Yes, there are some white people,” he said, according to the Press Herald.

LePage also left a profanity-riddled voice message for Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine on Thursday, saying, "I want you to prove that I'm a racist. I've spent my life helping black people. … I am after you."

The ongoing feud has led some Democratic leaders to call for LePage to step down from his post.

"We strongly and regretfully feel that he is unfit to serve as governor of the state of Maine right now," said Sarah Gideon, the assistant majority leader of Maine’s House, according to The New York Times.

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage is under fire for a secret binder that he said proves that more than 90 percent of in-state drug dealers arrested since January are black or Hispanic.
paul lepage, secret binder, maine, drug dealers, black, hispanic
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2016-29-29
Monday, 29 Aug 2016 09:29 AM
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