Gov. Paul LePage Adds Lowell, Lawrence to His List of Minority Drug Dealer Hometowns
Maine Gov. Paul LePage used to blame Connecticut and New York for the influx of opioids into his state. Now, it’s two Massachusetts mill towns.
Speaking at a gathering of New England governors and Canadian premiers at Hynes Convention Center, LePage blasted Lowell and Lawrence for what he perceives as their role in the opioid trade.
“Nobody wants to listen,” LePage told State House News Service. “What I said was this: Meth lab arrests are white. They’re Mainers. The heroin-fentanyl arrests are not white people. They’re Hispanic and they’re black and they’re from Lowell and Lawrence, Massachusetts, Waterbury, Connecticut the Bronx and Brooklyn. I didn’t make up the rules. That’s how it turns out. But that’s a fact. It’s a fact. What do you want me to lie?”
Monday’s remarks were hardly the first time LePage has invoked race while discussing the opioid epidemic besetting his state, as well as the rest of New England. In January, LePage told a crowd in Bridgton that drug dealers are “guys by the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty.”
“These type of guys that come from Connecticut and New York. They come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home,” he said. “Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave. Which is the real sad thing, because then we have another issue that we have to deal with down the road.”
Last week, LePage said he keeps a three-ring binder of the mugshots of every drug dealer arrested in Maine, of which, 90 percent are black or Hispanic and from Waterbury, the Bronx, or Brooklyn. After a state representative called his comments racist, LePage called the man a socialist and a “cocksucker,” and told him to make the recording public. He did.
When asked to produce his binder, LePage has refused, prompting the ACLU of Maine to file an Freedom of Information Act request for it.