LePage rejects critics: 'Tell 'em to kiss my butt'

SANFORD — In response to allegations from the NAACP that he is displaying a pattern of non-participation of their events, LePage told reporters today "Tell 'em to kiss my butt."

The Press Herald reported today that NAACP leaders were concerned that the governor declined invitations to a Martin Luther King Jr. Day dinner in Portland the night before and a lunch in Bangor the following day.

WCSH6 is reporting that the governor explained why he did not plan to attend the events hosted by the NAACP while at a meeting for business leaders in Sanford.

"They are a special interest. 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 that," LePage told reporters on camera.

According to an October article in the Waterville Morning Sentinel, Paul and Ann LePage's son Devon Raymond is from Jamaica. Raymond goes to school at the University of Louisiana, and is not a U.S. citizen.

When asked what his response was to the NAACP suggesting that his rejection of its invitation was more than just one instance, but a pattern, LePage replied, "Tell 'em to kiss my butt. ... If they want to play the race card, come to dinner and my son will talk to them."

According to a press release from the governor's office, LePage has personal commitments on Sunday and he is attending the funeral of a state trooper on Monday.

WGME interviewed Portland NAACP President Rachel Talbott-Ross for a response to the governor's comments. Ross said, "What is the message to all Mainers when their governor feels he can arrogantly, with all the power he's been bestowed, to arrogantly tell the whole history of a people that they don't matter, they do not matter." She said that she hoped the governor would meet with the NAACP in the future.

This afternoon, the president of the NAACP, Benjamin Todd Jealous, responded, “Governor LePage’s decision to inflame racial tension on the eve of the King holiday denigrates his office. His words are a reminder of the worst aspects of Maine’s history and out of touch with our nation’s deep yearning for increased civility and racial healing. “

According to the press release from the governor's office, when LePage was mayor of Waterville, he gave the Martin Luther King Jr. Day welcome addresses at the Muskie Community Center in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. According to Carmen Benard, the organizer of the MLK events at the center, LePage attended "most, if not all" of the MLK breakfasts held at the center in the past eight years.

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Comments

Larry T. Doughty's picture

Posters to be fully identified.

Looking forward to February 1, for that major change coming. People making comments, will have to be responsible for whatever it is they wish to say. Won't that be a breathe of fresh air. Hoping that the Bangor Daily News follows suit, and soon. Isn't it ironic, that if a newspaper chooses to print a letter, then one must provide full name, address and phone number. Then verification is done via a simple phone call. Wishing Lewiston Journal in that endeavor.

Talks like a regular Joe not a politician

I guess I don't see it. He talks the way the average guy talks to his buddies. He does not try to think about how to make things sound better. If you guy's don't like it you can kiss my butt also...

 's picture

FatandHappy

Hi, what part of Arkansas did you grow up in? How long have you been doing,"life as it should be"?

 's picture

Fatand???

Sorry, I was being friendly?? I like Arkansas.

 's picture

hehehe

Not really, I sure did miss my cue that guy that "says" he is from Arkansas gave me.......
If Kiss My Butt wouldn't been appropriate then, I don't know when it would have been. ? :(

Fatuous Fellow

Well done Maine!

First you chase the gays over the stonewall by opposing gay marriage, and now your undignified governor calls civil rights "special interests." I'm sure glad your fatuous fellow is making waves this way.... Wonder if he would consider treating old special interest in such a way....

I thought not.

Steve Lindsey
Keene, NH

RONALD RIML's picture

How about a Recall Petition......

What needs to be done??

Rufus Ham's picture

Keep up your Indepence, Gov.

I agree with our Gov. 100%. More, if it was mathematically possible. When he was in the early stages of running for office, I got a little upset with a couple of comments/statements that he made. (Most of us know what they were). So I pulled his campaign sign off my lawn. Less than a day later, I evaluated what I had done. BIG MISTAKE. At least in my estimation. I was being a hypocrite for doing that. I myself had always professed that our Politicions (which as we all know, are largely hypocritical), should be up front with their feelings, thoughts, ideas, etc. Negative or positive, which our Gov seems to fit in the latter category. NAACP, not only them, but many other organizations, LOVE TO HAVE THEIR BUTTS KISSED by our Politicians. I honestly believe that is one of the BIG reasons why our Country is in not the BEST position it is in now. Many laws passed are not for the Majority of the Peopke but for the Special Interest Groups. Maine has always been known as an Independent State which I sure hope does not cease to be.
So, Governor Lepage, please KEEP up your rhetoric. I certainly believe it will always work for you. (And us the People of the State of Maine). Am confident with you at the HELM that we as a STATE are going to see/have many, many POSITIVE changes.
The best of luck to you and GOD bless you and the STATE of MAINE.
Sincerely,
Rufe

Paul Caron's picture

Let the games begin

People, stop and think of how this began. Do you think he invited the media to ask that question. NAACP couldn't get Lepage to bend under their pressure so the NAACP tries to use the media to put pressure on him. He had 2 choices, either bend under the pressure or choose to blow them off since it isn't a worthy question but merely a political tactic. The NAACP tried a little politics and got burned. I doubt they had expected someone to stand up to them and ignore their childish foot stomping.

GEORGE MCLEAN's picture

Gov. LePage

Good, finally have a governor who will not make me feel that I am a minority in Maine.

RONALD RIML's picture

What? Brotherhood of Bottom-Feeders Unanimous??

- Now that he's come out of the Closet...........

William L. Colburn III's picture

Funeral Notice For Maine State Trooper

For those who have been asking, the funeral which governor Lepage will be attending is for Trooper Charles Herbert "Chip" Howe IV from Vassalboro, ME, who passed away on 01/12/11.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bangordailynews/obituary.aspx?n=charles...

ANTHONY NAZAR's picture

Special Interest Groups

I'm assuming the governor is going to tell the Tea Parties (I can't believe they need more than one), the Heritage Foundation, the Maine CofC, and various other conservative, libertarian and pro-business groups to kiss his butt if they don't applaud everything he says and complain because their invitations to a gathering are rejected.

LePage is living proof that being a businessman is not any guarantee of the ability to govern. I just wish Maine enjoyed the right of recall. This guy needs to be returned to Marden's as defective merchandise.

Kevin Saisi's picture

message vs intent

I support the intent of Governor LePage's words, but not the words he chose to express himself. I agree that leaders on all levels get too wrapped up with talking to special interest groups. It is good to be informed, but beyond that, there need to be limits.

If you have an issue you would like to address with an official, send them a letter, or email and provide contact information for questions. If specific legislation is involved, you can request to speak to the official, but realize that your request may still be denied. Remember that the official represents everyone within the area he/she serves, not just you. Above all, please remember that the official has work to do, and can't achieve anything if he/she spends his/her day talking with everyone.

Roberta Greenlaw's picture

remarks

he speaks his mind as the NAAcp invited him to visit the black people in Maine prisons and he rejected that and said he would visit all Maine prisoners. No comments about that from the NAACP

Rodd St.Pierre's picture

LePage is just brainless

Maine voters got hoodwinked by this guy. Get ready to fall off the map, Maine.

What a class act we now have for a Governor

I fear that this is the start of the pattern where he opens his mouth and makes all of us in this state look like fools. Only those who voted for him are, but that doesn't matter-he got elected Governor.
Just what we need to attract new businesses, people, ideas and jobs in this state. A man who can't think before he opens his mouth and makes it obvious that he intends to make his special mark by offending everyone in sight.
Yes, indeed. Stay classy-really impress the entire world. I winced when I saw the headline, and I'm preparing to do a lot of that in the coming years.
Makes me think of moving to another state, where they don't have public officials who are quite so belligerent and antagonistic towards everyone they don't agree with in public.

Jake Smith's picture

finally a governor for the people

awesome , I wish I could say I voted for him ,

MARYMARGARET NEY's picture

Far reaching comments

Google "kiss my butt" and see how widely this story has been reported. One of Mr. LePage's goals is to create jobs in Maine. If I were a CEO of a corporation being courted to open a business in Maine, I'd think twice about having to deal with an administration represented by this man.

 's picture

State Trooper

Simon Diaz's picture

thanks

THANKS JPAT, YOU'RE THE BEST!!

Audrey Alcala's picture

It's all fine and good if he

It's all fine and good if he doesn't want to attend the NAACP event....but to publicly tell them to "Kiss my butt!!"...pleaseeeeeeeeee!!! I don't think I have ever been more embarrassed to be a Mainer!! Every state in the USA must be having a good laugh about us now....great job Govenor! Very impressive....you're supposed to be a role model...running our state........geesh!!

Jerome Young's picture

You can punch, "disagree".

You can punch, "disagree". But, this is about MLK Day. You can't answer the question? Why not? Where are you LaFlamme? It's funny, I Doubt you will even be able to google it. This publication did NOT endorse Paul. So, by tone, intent, emphasis, they wait like a jaguar waiting to pounce. The NAACP in the fifties and sixties was a true advocate in terms of civil rights, they were the legal arm for MLK, Rosa Parks, et al.. Now NAACP has become a money machine for the DNC. Like Bates College, they are coasting on past glory. By attending a NAACP "celebration" for MLK, Gov LePage will endorse them by being there. Period. In DIRECT contravention of what MLK taught all of us.
Last year, LePage was speaking to a group of fisherman and women in Brooks. Factory ships, Russian, Japanese, for YEARS, as far back as 1996. (I know I used to watch these floating cities, standing on the beach in Cape Ellis) were scraping gouging our fish stocks including LOBSTAH. This group of nine and tenth generation fisherman expressed themselves. They had for those hundreds of years KNEW how to preserve their fishery's. The federal gov't deployed their pseudo scientists, and BLAMED the locals. Rather than point to an international issue. So Paul said, "I d tell OBama to go to Hell, which was the ONLY part published. So, in this instance, what did the NAACP say, exactly, not edited, to Paul to elicit that reponse. Did they call him a racist? Directly? Or by inference? That s the only reason Paul would say such a thing. And you know, I would too.
Incidentally, the greatest minds ever produced in America, in my opinion were, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Abraham Lincoln, George Whitfield. Frederick Douglas, and MLK Jr. Martin Luther king Jr. was an accomplished SCHOLAR. He had a PHD at 23 yrs old. Leading the Civil Right movement was an accident of history. Did you notice two out of the five were African-Americans? I bet Paul thinks the same thing, and would NOT disgrace MLK Jr's memory by meeting with the facsimile of what once was the NAACP.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You mean just like we should

You mean just like we should think of oBAMa's 4 years as America's Dark ages and it will get better? Same thing; grander scale.

Jerome Young's picture

I always read these sorts of

I always read these sorts of articles with a "grain of salt". This runs along the "i'd tell O'Bama to go to hell," deal. What did these people (NAACP) actually say to Paul? It must have been different than what has been reported to make him respond like that. Sounds like they"inferred" and maybe actually said that he was a racist by not endorsing their PAC by being there. But.... "not actually saying anything" is the liberal way, its always by inference.. The Gov is a pretty gracious guy, most of the time, until you tick him off, then he's gonna let you have it. And, what ARE "the worst aspects of Maine History". That we were the last stop of the underground railroad? And, unless I am ,mistaken, I don't think there were ever slaves in Maine. If there were, it was an anomaly not the norm. So....they ticked Paul off, he blasted them, now they are the victims of such aawefull guy. This is wonderfull, isn't that their busines? Being professional victims? Trivia Question: What american historical figure jumped out a second story window when he was 9 yrs old. after his grandmother died? I bet you can't answer LaFlamme.

Jean Domaingue's picture

Paul LePage

We have a governor that only a third of the voting constituency supported, which is a very small percentage of the population in Maine. And now, we are stuck with a crass, abrasive individual as our governor. One who speaks, in public, like a teenager. One who doesn't have the guts to attend debates. I am mortified that this man is our governor and that the nation will look askance at our great state. I beg that his abhorent behavior does not reflect on those of us who knnow right from wrong and are committed to the good of all.

Jack Kaubris's picture

Kissin' his fat butt

Minnesota survived Jesse Ventura just fine and I suspect that we will survive Lepage as well. Is he going to tell the Franco-American groups to kiss his butt, or the Italian-American groups, or any of the other special interest ethnic groups? I sure hope so. This is going to be a fun ride through the mud during this administration. By and large I do feel that the electorate gets what it deserves..and by electing this eloquent shmuck, we are getting what we deserve. These comments will do wonders for any national corporations looking to invest in Maine.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"By and large I do feel that

"By and large I do feel that the electorate gets what it deserves"....Precisely, Jake...Look how well the country's doing. The electorate wanted the cool jive talking black man and they got him. I'll bet they weren't planning on 9.7% unemployment, though.

Steve Bulger's picture

I may not always agree with him,

but any day of the week I'll take a politician who doesn't speak out of both sides of his mouth depending on which audience he's addressing. At least we know where he stands even if it's not where you stand.

Ed Enos's picture

I believe that the past white

I believe that the past white governors attending these gatherings were doing so simply for political reasons only. While I agree Lepage should use more proper language, I like the directness of his comments and fully believe the NAACP is nothing more than a lobby. It is surely a different kind of politics in Maine. Maybe is will be effective, not like the last 8 yrs.

KENNETH JELLISON's picture

When Obama goes on Fox and stops insulting cops

I give the gov a pass on this one. How much money has the NCAAP given to republicans? They do cater to dems. I also think it's about time we got the politically correct and wimps out of office.

Simon Diaz's picture

funeral of a state trooper

anybody knows who was the State Trooper and what happened??

Tony Morin's picture

I couldn't be more proud.

I couldn't be more proud. Jackwagon. Please, please don't make the national news.

Tony Morin's picture

I couldn't be more proud.

I couldn't be more proud. Jackwagon. Please, please don't make the national news.

KENNETH JELLISON's picture

When Obama goes on Fox and stops insulting cops

I give the gov a pass on this one. How much money has the NCAAP given to republicans? They do cater to dems. I also think it's about time we got the politically correct and wimps out of office.

RONALD RIML's picture

"LePage thinks?"

Au contraire!!

No there not

Under what information do you derive that form is it stated in APA format or is simply a statistic kept to yourself? I think Fat and Happy is the epitome of racism to the bitter end. So, do we forget the hatred and sweep it up under a Victorian era blanket while depriving others of rights through long standing political self-promotion? We cannot go to school just anywhere that requires vouchers, scholarships, finical assistance; but just keep wearing those conservative colored glasses there Fat or better yet tell the white outfit pushing drugs through the reservations to do what they have always done. Cut them deals and hand the Indian population the harshest sentencing imaginable. I think the fight is long from over with a Victorian era mindset which you through around.

Right....

So, then by claiming biracial it is okay then to deny a commonwealth support network to be broken apart in favor of protections and that it promotes hate? If you call me a liberal then that's going to be really funny because I've been on reservations before and the folks there are really nice. That knowledge comes from reading TIME and investigating numerous cartels and how they spread it out. Civil rights is not antiquated nor is the NAACP; so then in theoretical practices then if a family member belongs to the NAACP you feel a bias toward them correct with the above line in paragraph two cited for references correct? Suits and charges do not always work at times sometimes it is the mere spread of information I sure felt protected when I got sprayed in the face with keyboard cleaner and got chemical burns in my eyes and everyone walked on it and only had federal questioning I felt really protected thank you Radio Shack and the Federal Justice System. Though I do credit Radio Shack for teaching me one thing the hard way working to nail employees who funneled commissions was fun; the other fun part was that our servers could be hacked much the same as in NY with Anna Chapman most of that transaction was conducted on a server and computer which allowed for an illegal sale to an illegal address. That theory psychologically fits though that you would feel a bias due to the information you presented.

 's picture

LePage tells NAACP

Great! I'm sitting here watching national news and across the bottom I read--Maine governor tells NAACP to kiss his butt!!! Way to go Governor. Like someone else said earlier, this should help attract future business and or vacationers to Maine!!!! Whatever else you had to do you could have used your brain and not responded with such a foolish answer. I'm ashamed and our state should be too!!

staff

Write me

Hey, people. I'm writing a sidebar piece on this matter. If any of you want to go public with your comments, feel free to drop me a line at mlaflamme@sunjournal.com

Simon Diaz's picture

hello Mark

I've been trying to find out who's the Trooper whose funeral he's attending. can you shed some light on this please??? have a nice weekend!!

RONALD RIML's picture

Boss Cochon strikes me as an Equal Opportunity Idiot, Mark

Tony Morin's picture

Hilarious.

I'd rather listen to a three hour speech my Mayor Menino, than listen to LePage for five minutes.

Tony Morin's picture

Mardens Lady

He should have that lady that does the Mardens commercials for him do his public speaking. That would be a great improvement. "We're ain't goin' to no NAACP event deah!' Ain't that cunnin'!"

Rodd St.Pierre's picture

And I've read your posts and

... don't care to meet such a closed minded bigot such as you. Kiss MY butt.

Ron Hubbard's picture

He already has plans...

He is attending the funeral of a Maine State Trooper that has served the state of Maine.I find that a more important place for him to be.The NAACP is always looking for something to cry racist about...

Mark Wrenn's picture

food

"LePage attended "most, if not all" of the MLK breakfasts held at the center in the past eight years" Well, there you go. Food was involved, and it doesn't look like he turns down many meals.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Probably got tired of grits

Probably got tired of grits and red eye gravy.

 's picture

such racist commentary is

such racist commentary is inappropiate, but not surprising coming from you.

Mark Wrenn's picture

defense

"My son happens to be black" Ah, yes. The ole "I know a black guy" defense. Well played, Guvna.

RONALD RIML's picture

Are we 'Birthers' if we ask to see the 'Adoption Papers?"

"This is no longer a Democratic State- Your papers, Please..."

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Ever hear Jesse Ventura talk

Ever hear Jesse Ventura talk when he was governor of Minnesota? Maybe not quite as to the point as LePage, but he was trying.

MARYMARGARET NEY's picture

Beyond disappointment

This is just beyond comprehension.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Unlike you to drop down in

Unlike you to drop down in class in your posts. Parrot's pretty disappointed. 0O:-)

Jason Theriault's picture

That is a fair comment.

I want to retract my post. Reading that he said "Kiss my butt" pissed me off, as I don't want a "plain speaking" governor if it means he gonna be a jerk. I also though being a jerk would illustrate how being a jerk was not they way to discuss this.

However, I heard the comment in context, and it wasn't that bad. So I retract my personal attack and apologize.

Jason Theriault's picture

Woops

And know you know I'm publikwerks

Jason Theriault's picture

..and once again people are disagreeing with facts

Seriously, I am Publikwerks

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Kiss my butt

Someone needs to remind Governor Lepage that 38% of the electorate elected him and that 62% did not vote for him. When a politician campaigns he should please his followers but when he governs he should govern for everybody. He claims not to associate with special interests but I doubt the executives from Wellppoint, or Maine Med or the folks from the Heritage Foundation would have a problem getting his time and attention. As for his son I wonder if he is there to kiss his butt too.

Sewell Colby's picture

Reply to Claire2323

Yes, Governor LePage "only" got 38% of the vote, however it was the largest percentage of any candidate running for governor. As unusual as some of his comments are, we surely know where he stands. ' Special' interests have played a large part in the mess the State of Maine is now in. Until now on one was willing to stand up to them. Except for those who oppose straight talk, it might be refreshing. LOL!

 's picture

We Need Them

We need special interest groups. What we don't need is a Governor that is so short, small on language, and thoughts, that he resorts to this. I see that maybe his reasons for not attending these events are legit. This attitude he keeps on showing, shows me that this state is in for some real problems before this man is through. I have a feeling he is going to make some deep, real, long lasting changes here in Maine, but afraid most will turn into big problems in our future. As I don't see this guy being smart enough to make the right choices.

Mark Wrenn's picture

special interests

Unless you're an old doughy white guy, you're a special interest.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Also, if you'd made that

Also, if you'd made that comment, F&H, you'd be called racist or bigot.

Chad Levasseur's picture

Spin it all you want

Give me a break! Lepage isn't putting up with any group with special interests and YES, the NAACP IS a special interest group. Can anyone explain to me why it matters if his son is a US resident or not? If your "offended" because the Governor doesn't play every single politically correct card as he should in your eyes, than accept that EVERYONE has a right to free speech no matter the office they hold or not. We are the people that put others on pedistals. If you choose to put the Governor on a pedistal with the expectation that he will fall off, than in your eyes that is exactly what will happen.

I for one agree with the Governor. Good for you Governor Lepage for doing exactly what you told us you would do.

RONALD RIML's picture

So the Republican Party isn't a Special Interest Group??

When pigs fly......

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Two sides to that, aren't

Two sides to that, aren't there, V? Both parties are special interest groups in that context. Can't be one without the other.

RONALD RIML's picture

Let's examine the Guv'nors quote:

"They are a special interest. End of story ... and I'm not going to be held hostage by special interests."

So can we expect him to treat ALL "Special Interests" with impunity and contempt?

Watch and see - I bet he doesn't.

Phyllis Rand's picture

If

I would agree with you if he was still a private citizen. He is an elected official and the "pedestal" is the expectation that he will put his best foot forward in representing all of Maine's citizens. Yes, there are those who nit-pick everything he says and does but I'm not talking about them. There are fringe elements on both ends of the spectrum. LePage doesn't think before he speaks, and for someone whose main goal is to bring business to Maine, he's going to stick his foot so far down his throat if he doesn't cool it that businesses aren't going to want to be associated with Maine. I'm not saying that will happen with this current situation, but if his people don't talk to him soon, his "off the cuff" comments are only going to get worse and none of us will be any better off than we are now, economically.

Scott Pare's picture

tell it like it is

Special interest group crying because the governor won't go to their event. I did not vote for LePage but I gotta love his candid, exactly correct response. That being said, this only works if he does it to all special interest groups, including any groups that may have helped him get into office.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Good point, scottie. He had

Good point, scottie. He had better be consistent in the stance he has taken. The first time he slips up, the left will bury him. I still believe that "No thanks, I have other commitments" would have been a hell of a lot more effective. But, we'll just have to wait and see. Hopefully, he won't make himself and Maine become a national laughing stock, although the previous adiministration (years) did a pretty good job of fulfilling the latter.

Doreen Sheive's picture

Tell me how

How does this man think he is going to get anywhere with this kind of behavior. Plus, since when are people a special interest group -- what an insult. Also, it would be nice if LePage would get his facts right -- this young man is not his son. He is not a citizen of the United States. Now, they claim they are going to adopt him, however, why have they waited all these years before they adopt him?

Lynn Ouellette's picture

small portion?

"WCSH6 is reporting that the governor explained why he did not plan to attend the events hosted by the NAACP while at a meeting for business leaders in Sanford."

Would this group of "business leaders" be a special interest group?

Phyllis Rand's picture

Opinion

My issue is how he says what he says. He is no longer a private citizen; he represents over 1 million people. What he said was a slap in the face to me, a Black citizen of Maine. I am not a "special interest," I am a Black Mainer, and have always been proud to be one. My governor just insulted my racial heritage. My governor. Just because he has a Black son, that does not give him a "pass" to insult an entire segment of society. He owes me an apology.

Callie Pecunies's picture

Have you ever heard of Adoption?

I am in no way defending LePage because I think he's an idiot, but many people choose adoption from other countries, thus creating inter-racial families. And adoptions happen for all aged children, sometimes creating a situation where a child may not be able to gain citizenship. Your comment "a son from Jamaica, not a US citizen...mom & dad are both white...how did this happen?..." is just plain ignorant.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Like we can thank those who

Like we can thank those who voted oBAMa into office.
oBAMa is making Jimmy Carter look good; LePage is making Jesse Ventura and Lester Maddox look like statesmen. Gonna be a long 4 years for ALL of us.

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