Readers react to LePage comment

Is it refreshing to have a governor who speaks his mind? Or is he setting a bad example and causing embarrassment to the state of Maine?

As with most things, it depends on whom you ask.

Gov. Paul LePage's suggestion that his critics can "kiss my butt" Friday caused a flurry of reaction from our readers and others. Their responses ranged from resignation to outright fury.

"Someone needs to remind Gov. LePage," said Claire Gamache, a retired teacher from Lewiston, "that 38 percent of the electorate elected him and that 62 percent did not vote for him. When a politician campaigns, he should please his followers, but when he governs he should govern for everybody."

Although LePage insisted his rebuff of the group had nothing to do with the people the NAACP represents, some couldn't help but see it that way.

"What he said was a slap in the face to me, a black citizen of Maine," said Phyllis Rand of Lewiston. "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."

The Sun Journal posted a story about LePage's remarks at about 3 p.m. Within two hours, roughly two dozen people had commented on the Web story. By early evening, that number had risen to more than four dozen.

Throughout the afternoon, every other comment on Facebook, as well, seemed to be about the latest gubernatorial controversy.

"There's nothing 'direct' or 'appealing' about a governor being a potty-mouth," Jeffrey Hotchkiss, a Yarmouth man, wrote in a Facebook post. "It's just childish. We've elected a 5-year-old."

Reaction was feisty from the get-go. Shortly before the supper hour, news of the governor's remarks began to appear on national news stations, including CNN.

"Great," a commenter going by the name of George wrote on the Sun Journal website. "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!"

For many, the comment to the NAACP was just one more in a long line of flippant remarks from LePage, less than two weeks in office. The consequence of those kinds of controversies, they suggested, is going to inflict the state with a lasting stigma.

"LePage doesn't think before he speaks," Rand wrote, "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."

In defense of the tension between the governor and the NAACP, LePage said he did not intend to be "held hostage by special interests." To that, some cried hypocrisy.

Wrote Gamache, the retired teacher, "He claims not to associate with special interests but I doubt the executives from WellPoint or Maine Med or the folks from the Heritage Foundation would have a problem getting his time and attention."

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Comments

RONALD RIML's picture

Son? Got a DNA test? Adoption Papers?? Or lying politician??

Methinks it's the last......

NORMAND TANCREL's picture

Lepage remarks

I think the NAACP over reacted in the first place. So what if he didn't want to attend their dinner. Refusing a formal invitation does not make anyone a racist. I am sure that the remark was made in an over reacting manner because the NAACP's attitude. I may not have voted for Mr. Lepage, but he has earned my confidence. There are more important things that he can be doing besides running off to dinners. Get over it!

Jim Cyr's picture

White Trash?

Leave it to the Progressives to keep Race on the front burner to divert from the real issues!

Janet Jamison's picture

This is what you get when you

This is what you get when you elect "white trash" to the Blaine House. I hope the Governor can maintain his stand against special interest groups ... if he even understands the corner he's just backed himself into. Good Luck Guvnah !!!

 's picture

Paul LePage

We now have a governor who doesn't KISS butt, about time. Governor LePage is my man for the job.
Gerry

RONALD RIML's picture

How is he unqualified??

Your hypothesis - your proof.

Phyllis Rand's picture

Definition?

According to the Portland Press Herald, Gov. LePage attended an abortion rights rally today. I guess he needs to explain his definition of "special interest."
http://www.pressherald.com/news/Abortion-opponents-buoyed-by-Maine-govs-...

Phyllis Rand's picture

Re-read

I don't know how you twisted my comments to end up that way. Whichever way people think about abortion has nothing to do with my comment. I was pointing out that he made himself available to a group of people with a particular interest = "special interest."

Phyllis Rand's picture

Oh well

Oh well, like most things, what we say is always open to interpretation.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

My two favorites are "Is that

My two favorites are "Is that it?" and, "There you go". Go to the bank and make a sizable deposit that will help to keep the moron "serving" you employed and you get, "There you go"....Maine is Mississippi with lousy winters.

LePage comment

Gov. LePage should be ashamed of himself. That "kiss my butt " comment is childish and uncalled for. He hasn't really done much for the folks of Maine but humiliate them with his stupid comments.

Katrina Kent's picture

I don't care why he didn't

I don't care why he didn't want to go to ONE event. Whatever. I won't be offended when he doesn't show up at the Gay Pride Festival in June either. HOWEVER, I DO expect my governor to decline politely and respectfully. Maine is already thought of as a state of uneducated lobsterman and potato farmers. Let's not let our governor perpetuate that image!

Audrey Alcala's picture

LePage is an embarrassment to

LePage is an embarrassment to Maine...period...and even worse so because he is now our
Governor!! How often to you hear on National News that a soon to be elected Gov. will tell our President to "go to H..." Now..... we hit the news because LePage tells the NAACP to "kiss my butt"....wow....that's very mature of you...Governor!! Very impressive! This is no breath of fresh air for Maine....it's embarrassing, plain and simple. He is supposed to be working for the people, the Govt., setting an example........WE are paying this blow hard......and he is acting like a school yard bully!! Your son is "Jamaican", LePage!! He's not just "black"...and did you adopt him? I didn't see anywhere that he has your last name? Don't use him as a way to claim you are not racist in any way. Give the young man some dignity...and why must you drag him into your embarrassing actions anyways?

Paul Caron's picture

Governor Lepage

I think it is commendable to lay it out like it is. He isn't insulting a racial heritage, he is telling a special interest group that he will not be bullied or pressured. People need to understand that when someone new moves into a position such as this they are bombarded with special interests looking to protect an existing relationship or try to create a relationship with the "new guy." Am I concerned with his quick responses that are not considered politically correct? Yes I am, but, I am also pleased to see someone not concerned with tip toeing around issues because he fears political pressures. He is there by a majority of the people and not just one group. When asked to meet with black prisoners in the Maine State prison, he refused but offered to meet with all prisoners, which was unacceptable to the NAACP. As far as those concerned with the national attention, since when are mainers afraid to show the country where they stand?

Ed Enos's picture

Yea, 2 weeks is a long time

Yea, 2 weeks is a long time to wait for companies to think about relocating to Maine, do all the studies to see if it is cost effective, apply for and get all the permits granted and then decide to move.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

He has a job....

He has a job....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

He'd make a helluva pirate.

He'd make a helluva pirate. Hard to find any good ones these days. No one wants to pillage.

Doreen Sheive's picture

Maine discrimination

When Paul LePage and I were growing up in Maine, there was a great deal of discrimination against the French. Maybe, because he grew up in "Little Canada" he was not as aware of this fact. However, the discrimination continued through the 60s and 70s. I do not believe that LePage is a racist, however, I do believe he has absolutely no respect for people who do not share his views. Plus, he tells half truths to make his point, which really is bothersome. I do hope that these personality flaws do not affect his ability to govern, however, so far he has shown that he will have a problem representing all of us Mainers. He is our Governor for the next four years -- that is a long period of time for us to have a Governor who disrespects most of us and has a hard time telling the truth.

Francois Bussiere's picture

Governor LePage Comment

Governor LePage is one of a kind, he made some promises that he has already showed to have done. For example to pay some of the Money owed to the Hospitals. People like to ATTACT Person in the Higher Up position. Let them be in his place and see if they could do better.
Gov. LePage is a Frenchman as I am as well, and a lot of time I do not think of what I am going to say before saying it. Sometimes we live to regret it but most of the time it is a TRUE reaction to the events at hand.
How many of us really think of what we are going to say and put that STATEMENT on a SILVER PLATTER in order to satisfy all of the people.
Gov. LePage has a lot on his plate at the moment and everyone is after him to do something about everything. I think that he will do all he can not to show any favoritism for any perticular segment of Maine.
I believe that the leader of the Portland Chapter of the NAACP is out of hand and should consider all that he is responsible and not to make this issue as to what she has already made it a CONTROVATIONAL ISSUE.
He is not a PREJUDICE person at all go see his FAMILY, would he have adapted a BLACK Son just to prove that he wasn't, I think NOT repeat NOT, that was his compassion for that individual and a personal decision that he and his Wife made that comittement of bringing up that young man. He should be comended just for that for I am sure that there is a lot of LOVE there for his son and Color is not a mater that concerned him whenever.
Let us all be behind him and not be segragated right from the ONSET of his ADMINISTRATION. Let there be Peace and LOVE to one and ALL.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

F&H...go to Quebec City, P.Q.

F&H...go to Quebec City, P.Q. and tell the average guy on the street he isn't French. Let me know how you make out.

MICHAEL FOX's picture

Context

Unfortunately he used a poor choice of words, which have now been taken way out of context. You should go and listen to the whole interview before you judge what he actually meant.

RONALD RIML's picture

"As with most things, it depends on whom you ask."

Disregarding LaFlamme's above statement - one might arrive at your conclusion.

So did you eMail Mark about your statements? No??

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