Maine Governor Makes Racist Comments During Rant about Heroin

At a town hall event on Wednesday, Maine Gov. Paul LePage made a series of racist comments in response to a question about the state's heroin epidemic.

Asked how he plans to confront the state's rising rates of painkiller and heroin abuse, LePage emphasized the importance of bolstering law enforcement efforts, especially as it applied to out-of-state drug dealers, whom he described in racially charged terms.

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The traffickers "are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty," LePage said. "[T]hey come from Connecticut and New York — they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home."

LePage added that "half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue that we've got to deal with down the road. We're going to make them very severe penalties."

There is no data to support LePage's claim that out-of-state drug traffickers have impregnated residents. But the fact that the governor specified that "young, white" women were reportedly being impregnated by men with names such as "D-Money" has caused controversy, prompting accusations of racism from social justice activists.

In a statement to the Portland Press Herald, the governor's communications director, Peter Steele, denied that LePage's comments were racist.

"The governor is not making comments about race. Race is irrelevant," Steele said. "What is relevant is the cost to state taxpayers for welfare and the emotional costs for these kids who are born as a result of involvement with drug traffickers. His heart goes out to these kids because he had a difficult childhood, too. We need to stop the drug traffickers from coming into our state."

The opiate epidemic in Maine.


Maine has experienced a surge of heroin and painkiller abuse over the past five years. The Washington Post described the state as "the burning core of a nationwide heroin epidemic." The state has seen opiate overdose fatalities balloon since 2010, when only seven people died from heroin. In 2014, that number jumped to 57, with an additional 43 deaths attributed to overdoses of fentanyl, a strong prescription painkiller. 

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In an effort to crack down on drug abuse in the state, LePage has called for welfare recipients to be drug tested and increased law enforcement efforts against traffickers. His drug policy has been widely criticized for focusing too much on punishment and not enough on treatment for addicts. 

"According to health workers in Maine, the number of addicts and other people who need substance-abuse help is rising sharply," the Boston Globe reported. "But LePage has 'a level of unwillingness to help those people for whatever reasons,' said state Representative Sara Gideon of Freeport."

Is drug testing people on welfare effective?

This video pretty much sums it up...Source: http://bit.ly/1Avy2Bi

Posted by ATTN: on Monday, February 16, 2015