Meanwhile, in Maine

Maine governor Paul LePage just came awfully close to calling for vigilante justice. From the Portland Press-Herald:

Gov. Paul LePage called on Mainers to help law enforcement rid the state of drug traffickers Wednesday, at one point citing a new law that allows residents to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.

“I tell ya, everybody in Maine, we have constitutional carry,” he said. “Load up and get rid of the drug dealers. Because, folks, they’re killing our kids.”

Asked by a reporter if he was calling for vigilante justice, LePage insisted he wasn’t. Even if he kinda was.

Paul LePage, via Wikimedia Commons

Paul LePage, via Wikimedia Commons

This is particularly distressing coming from LePage given his assumptions about who, exactly, these drug dealers are: young black men (more specifically, guys that are named “D-Money,” “Smoothie,” “Shifty”) who are coming to Maine from New York to sell drugs, kill kids and impregnate white women. LePage has tried to distance himself from his previous comments that racialized the heroin epidemic, but he got no favors from white supremacist leaders like David Duke, who heard exactly what he said.

Maine is 95 percent white and one percent black. Paul LePage has already suggested that there are more black drug dealers from New York hanging out in Maine than there are black residents. And now, Lepage has asked the gun-toting, kid-saving folks of Maine to take justice into their own hands to “get rid of the drug dealers.” You don’t have to misinterpret LePage by all that much to hear him declaring open season on black men in his state.

LePage’s remarks came amid a slew of wild ideas regarding how to deal with the state’s heroin epidemic, which can be largely traced back to the overprescription of legal opioid painkillers. Perhaps most notably, LePage has floated the idea of bringing back the death penalty for the specific crime of drug trafficking. Maine abolished the death penalty in 1887. He has also proposed charging drug traffickers with homicide if someone overdoses on the drugs they sell.

With all eyes on Donald Trump exerting his dominance over Fox News today, it’s worth remembering that there’s an actual elected executive in the United States who’s giving us a preview of what a Trump administration would look like.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • HandsomeMrToad

    The guillotine is also more humane than the electric chair (which frequently failed and caused extreme pain to the victim) and than lethal injection (which is technically demanding, unreliable, and sometimes extremely painful when it fails). If I were gonna be executed and had to choose how, I’d choose the guillotine.

  • Gerald Parks

    Jeez …thanks for clearing THAT up!
    You think maybe …they should ban hoodies in the State too?
    I mean sometime, they hide the skin color of the person and you know …stuff could happen. Then what???

    I know its winter time and all …can’t be too careful ….

  • ComradeRutherford

    Or opioid pills.

  • ComradeRutherford

    No, dummy, ALL blacks are drug dealers! Sheesh! Don’t you know anything???

  • ComradeRutherford

    Yep. Vermont’s Progressives are why we had Jim Douglas for all those years. And when they did NOT run an candidate, we got Democratic Republican Douglas. I wish the Democrats weren’t Republicans, but at least they aren’t Conservatives…

  • Outspoken1

    Just as a historic aside, the guillotine was actually more humane than the ax or sword. An unskilled executioner sometimes had to chop off the victim’s head with several strokes. The guillotine eliminated this problem with excellent mechanics that provided a swift execution. The actual problem is the embracing of the death penalty. The death penalty does not make us any safer, is irrevocable is an innocent is executed and keeps legalized savagery within our system of ‘justice.’

  • Le Page wouldn’t even be governor if Eliot Cutler hadn’t insisted on continuing to run as an independent in 2014, even after it was clear he’d poll only in the single digits.

    Both in 2010 and 2014, because the sensible Mainers split their vote, Le Page won both times with less than a plurality of votes.

  • The_Fixer

    I also read where Le Page wants to bring back the guillotine for drug traffickers.

    This man is certifiable, and needs to go immediately. Maine needs an intervention.

  • Hue-Man

    Don’t forget to watch out for Black drug dealers from Maine’s northern and eastern neighbors. Quebec is 3.15% Black and New Brunswick is 0.66% Black. Plus the pushers are probably also terrorists sneaking across the border with contraband maple sugar.

  • UncleBucky

    I can’t believe that vigilante justice is legal anywhere in the USA. ARE THERE PLACES where it has been declared to be legal? Is LePage being flip or is he actually trying to make it legal by decree?

  • Gerald Parks

    Yet ANOTHER stellar example of GOP/Republican governance in 21st Century America!

    The Gov declares “Hunting-season” on African- AMERICAN (Black) males in the State.

    Soooo … just how or when should a white citizen determine if a African-AMERICAN (Black) male is a resident or from New York?

    BEFORE or AFTER the white citizen shoots the African-AMERICAN (Black) male?

    What could possibly go wrong????

  • goulo

    “Load up and get rid of the drug dealers” he says, and then hypocritically denies he was calling for violence? Sheesh.

    “He has also proposed charging drug traffickers with homicide if someone overdoses on the drugs they sell.” Yet somehow I bet he doesn’t think that should apply to the many thousands of deaths annually from smoking legal tobacco…

  • nicho

    “As Maine goes, so goes the nation.”

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