Speed Reads

it's always D-Money

Maine governor blames 'D-Money, Smoothie, and Shifty' for bringing heroin to the state

When asked during a town hall meeting how he is trying to curb substance abuse in Maine, Gov. Paul LePage (R) launched into a rant about drug dealers named Shifty who end up impregnating women.

"There are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty — these types of guys — they come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home," he said Wednesday. "Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road." His remarks were quickly condemned as being racially charged — Phil Bartlett, chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, told the Portland Press Herald LePage's comments "at best were coded racism," while Republican consultant Lance Duston called his statement "one of the most offensive" yet.

LePage's communications director, Peter Steele, said his remarks were not "about race" but rather "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." This isn't the first time LePage has been accused of making racist comments; in 2013, two Republican representatives said he told people at a private function that President Obama "hates white people," the Portland Press Herald reports. LePage denies ever having said this.