Maine Governor Paul LePage Threatens State Lawmaker With Profanity-Filled Voicemail

“You little son of a bitch, socialist cocksucker.”

Brian Snyder/Reuters/ZUMA

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Update, 11:52 a.m. EST: In a statement, LePage said his suggestion to duel Gattine was not meant to incite any physical violence. The governor, who called himself a “history buff,” said he was aware that such a challenge is in fact illegal today.

Just one day after claiming 90 percent of the drug traffickers arrested in Maine are either black or Latino, the state’s combative Gov. Paul LePage left a threatening voicemail in which he called a state representative a “son of a bitch, socialist cocksucker.”

According to LePage, Rep. Drew Gattine, a Democrat, was one of several local lawmakers who called him a racist this week, an accusation Gattine has since denied.

“Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage,” LePage is heard saying in a recording first reported by the Portland Press Herald. “I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist. You cocksucker, I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and, you little son of a bitch socialist cocksucker, I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”

Soon after leaving the profanity-laced message, LePage leaked the story of the voicemail to two reporters, telling them he wished it was 1826 so he could challenge Gattine to a formal duel.

“I would point it right between his eyes, because he is a snot-nosed little runt and he has not done a damn thing since he’s been in the Legislature to help move the state forward,” LePage told the Press Herald.

On Friday, the state’s Democratic leadership condemned LePage, calling the Donald Trump supporter “mentally or emotionally” unfit to hold office. LePage’s remarks this week are the latest episode in the two-term governor’s long history of courting controversy with racially insensitive comments.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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