As many of you may already know, on Friday Maine's newly elected right-wing Governor Paul Le Page told critics of his decision not to attend celebrations for Martin Luther King to "Kiss my butt".
Frankly we aren't interested in kissing any part of you. Kicking you out of office next time around seems like a worthier, and more sanitary goal.
Kossak Spud1 had this diary yesterday:
The story has been picked up by major news sources but I think it merits more discussion here.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's governor told critics Friday to "kiss my butt" over his decision not to attend the state NAACP's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations over the holiday weekend. Gov. Paul LePage declined the organization's invitations to a dinner in Portland on Sunday night and a breakfast in Orono on Monday because of prior commitments. The NAACP's state director said the group felt it was being neglected by the new governor, who was elected in November. The head of a Portland immigration group said it would have been nice if he'd at least send a representative from his office to attend. When asked by a reporter Friday to respond, LePage said: "Tell them to kiss my butt."
"If they want to play the race card, come to dinner and my son will talk to them," LePage said, referring to Devon Richard, a 25-year-old black Jamaican whom LePage took into his home at the age of 17.
After LePage declined the invitations, NAACP state director Rachel Talbot Ross told the Portland Press Herald the group was beginning to feel "we're not welcome, we're not part of the Maine he's preparing to lead for the next four years." A phone call to Ross was from The Associated Press was not immediately returned.
Beth Stickney, executive director of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Portland, said LePage's remarks are discouraging given that the NAACP events are about unity.
Playing the race card? Sorry Paulie but Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr is a hero to all races.
Wapo's Capehart Paul LePage's offensive RSVP to the NAACP:
In my last post, the one on civility so dripping with hope you could hear the violins sweetly playing in the background, I asked, "Who knows how long the calls for civility will last? Who knows how long it will take for some modicum of civility to take hold?" Well, seems like those calls never reached Maine's new Tea Party Republican governor, Paul LePage.
When told that the NAACP was complaining that he turned down numerous invitations to take part in events celebrating the Martin Luther King holiday, LePage said, "Tell them to kiss my butt." He went on to say, "They are a special interest -- end of story. And I'm not going to be held hostage by any special interests." Wow. Uncivil. Uncouth. Appalling. Reducing the NAACP and its venerable history of fighting for civil rights to "special interests" is pure ideological laziness in the extreme.
But wait, there's more. To the suggestion that his refusals are rooted in racial bias, LePage played what he thought was the ultimate trump card. "If they want, they can look at my family picture," he said. "My son happens to be black, so they can do whatever they'd like about it." As the kids -- and Jon Stewart -- would say, "Oooooh snap!"
When the reporter asked Mr. LePage to respond to the suggestion that he had a pattern of slighting the N.A.A.C.P., he replied, "Tell them to kiss my butt," adding, "If they want to play the race card, come to dinner; my son will talk to them." Mr. LePage’s spokesman, Dan Demeritt, later released a statement reiterating that the governor’s decision about the events was not about race. "This is about a special interest group taking issue with the governor for not making time for them," the statement said, "and the governor dismissing their complaints in the direct manner people have come to expect from Paul LePage."
Mr. Demeritt also released the text of a prerecorded radio address, scheduled to air on Saturday, in which Mr. LePage praises Dr. King as someone who "spent and ultimately gave his life making sure that people got a fair shake regardless of race."
During the campaign, Mr. LePage made news when he told a group of fishermen that if elected he would tell President Obama "to go to hell."
Sorry Paulie - I think your remarks regarding Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King are off kilter. Dr. King attacked racism and recognized that folks have been discriminated against because of their race (or color or creed)
The reporter found his remarks "amusing".
I am not amused.
He has taken other offensive positions.
Here's his stance on transgender issues:
On the topic of transgender students in grades K-12, he says, "You know, our children are being used as pawns." He then said, "I just don't understand how people, at least sane people, would want to allow transgender in our primary schools and our high schools." LePage then pledged to oppose legislation for transgendered students. "If I claim I'm a woman in my philosophy and my thinking, I can play on the girls' hockey team or the girls' basketball team. I think it's absolutely insane, I think it's gone too far and we have to push back. As governor, I would never allow that to be signed into law," he said.
LePage supports a school voucher system and structuring pay to reward teachers for performance. He has stated that curriculum should be determined by local school boards, but that he does not object to teaching creationism in public schools.
As dopper0189 remarked yesterday in Black Kos
"... I wonder when progressives in Maine will start asking Snowe and Collins "on the record" what they think of Lepage's actions!"
Real class act this guy. NOT.
Here's his contact info from his webpage:
Office of the Governor
#1 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0001
For Martin Luther King Day I promise to let LePage know how I feel.
And I hope Maine Kossaks (and others) will join me.