Maine Gov. Paul LePage; Image, Reuters

The King Has Spoken; Calls Maine Gov. Paul LePage a ‘Racist, Homophobe, and Bigot’

Horror novelist and Maine native, Stephen King, slams Governor on Twitter echoing the sentiments of fellow Mainers

I’ve been a Maine resident for almost forty-four years. I was born in this great state, and, if the stars are aligned, I will most likely take my last breath here too. I’m proud of my roots, and hold firm to an upbringing that encouraged acceptance, tolerance, and love of fellow man. So while many outsiders have dubbed Maine “the whitest state in the US,” a well-documented statistic with clear undertones, I defy that label… proudly, and with great integrity. I wish I could say the same for our Republican Governor, Paul LePage, who has become an abomination to public office and embarrassment to our state. And I’m not the only resident who feels this way.

Stephen King, renowned author and perhaps Maine’s most famous resident, did not hold back on Twitter this past weekend after LePage was recorded using homophobic curses and threats in an unfiltered voicemail to democratic state Representative, Drew Gattine. “I want you to prove that I’m a racist,” LePage urged Gattine, stating that he had spent a lifetime dedicated to helping blacks and proceeding to insult Gattine using a phrase related to oral sex. “I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you,” LePage ended his tirade.

The outspoken Governor later said at a news conference, “When a snot-nosed little guy from Westbrook calls me a racist, now I’d like him to come up here because, tell you right now, I wish it were 1825. We would have a duel, that’s how angry I am, and I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee you, I would not be (Alexander) Hamilton. I would point it right between his eyes.” It’s hard to believe, but a contemporary politician, a person in a position of significant influence, called for an Old Western style duel, a fight to the death, with a fellow government representative.

Earlier the same week, the Governor sparked an outcry after he described minorities as “the enemy” in response to the state’s growing drug problem. LePage claims to have collected photographs of drug dealers arrested in the state, and goes on to describe 90 percent of those photographed as “black and Hispanic people.” The ACLU of Maine has filed a Freedom of Access Act request for LePage’s binder.

Apparently, our most famous resident has had enough.

“Our governor, Paul LePage, is a bigot, a homophobe, and a racist,” King tweeted on Saturday, following a controversial week for LePage in which Maine Democrats referred to the Governor as “not mentally fit to hold office.”

“I think that about covers it,” added King, who has consistently expressed his dislike for LePage on social media. In July 2015, King called on LePage’s resignation amid protests of the Republican’s governance.

I stand firm with Mr. King and believe it’s time for LePage to exit office. Much like Donald Trump, LePage has defined, time and time again, what is means to be a racist while in the public eye. He is at his core a bigot and, following recent outbursts, has proven himself to be a bully and homophobe. He’s everything a civil servant should not be. Threats of violence, at the very least, cannot be tolerated in modern society. Our state’s integrity is at risk, and allowing him to continue this downward spiral only emboldens his shocking behavior.

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