Saturday, January 15, 2011


SANFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- While attending a meeting for business leaders in Sanford, Governor Paul LePage spoke out about why he would not attend Martin Luther King ceremonies on the upcoming holiday.

LePage has declined invitations from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The organization has already expressed its displeasure with the governor's plans to not attend the events.

"They are a special interest. End of story...and I'm not going to be held hostage by special interests. And if they want, they can look at my family picture. My son happens to be black, so they can do whatever they'd like about it," said LePage.

LePage has an adopted son who is from Jamaica.

When a reporter from another television station asked LePage if his non-participation is more than one instance, and rather a pattern, he replied, "Tell 'em to kiss my butt. If they want to play the race card, come to dinner and my son will talk to them."

Dan Demeritt, LePage's Director of Communications, says the governor has personal commitments on Sunday and he is attending the funeral of a state trooper on Monday.

In an email to NEWS CENTER, Demeritt wrote, "This is about a special interest group taking issue with the Governor for not making time for them and the Governor dismissing their complaints in the direct manner people have come to expect from Paul LePage."

Demeritt also said as mayor of Waterville, LePage gave the welcome address at the MLK breakfasts in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008.

This isn't the first time LePage has caused a stir with his comments. During the campaign, while speaking in front of a group of fishermen, then-candidate LePage said if he were elected governor, headlines would read "Governor LePage tells President Obama to go to hell." At the time LePage said he regretted his choice of words, but stood behind the intent.



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