The editorial board of the Washington Post is calling on Gov. Paul LePage to resign following the governor’s release of a 148-page scrapbook of mugshots, press releases and news clipping that he says “proves” that 90 percent of drug traffickers coming to Maine are black or Hispanic. In a blistering editorial on September 27, the national newspaper wrote that the governor’s infamous three-ring binder “has now exposed the three-ring circus of unhinged racism and ravings that are the hallmarks of Maine’s governor.”

The board quoted several of the governor’s racially charged remarks, including his assertions that Maine’s opioid epidemic is caused by black drug dealers who “impregnate young white girls,” “Black people come up the highway and they kill Mainers,” and “The enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in, are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”   

“He really should move on — by resigning and seeking help, in order to spare the people of Maine more of his wild-eyed ramblings,” wrote the Post Editorial Board. “Having menaced a Democratic state legislator in an obscenity-filled voice-mail rant, likened the IRS to the Gestapo and suggested that President Obama ‘go to hell,’ Mr. LePage threatens to remake his state’s image from a vacation paradise of surreal natural beauty to a hotbed of hatred.”

The Post also pointed out that while the governor insists that 90 percent of drug traffickers in the state are black and Hispanic, FBI statistics show that only 14 percent of people arrested for drug offenses in Maine are black and the vast majority of drug dealers are white. 

An analysis by the Associated Press also determined that “no more than about one-third of the arrests for heroin and opioid-derived drugs” in LePage’s binder were out-of-state blacks and Hispanics.

“Although Maine is still the nation’s most racially homogeneous state, its white population dipped from 95.2 percent in 2010 to 94.9 percent in 2015,” the Post noted. “Perhaps this creeping diversity is what has deranged Mr. LePage, who regards the world through a lens of racial hatred. Officials of both parties have called on him to resign. It’s high time he does.”

While the governor has refused to speak to the press since August, the governor’s spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett took to Facebook Tuesday to share a TV news story about the binder and scolded reporters for misrepresenting the governor’s position. “CBS 13 is the only media outlet that reported the facts regarding the Governor’s binder while others parsed his words to make him appear inaccurate,” wrote Bennett. “When CBS 13 looked into only traffickers from out-of-state, one appeared white, while 31 looked black or Hispanic, about 97 percent.

In a tweet, Republican operative and longtime LePage critic Lance Dutson questioned using state resources to racially profile drug offenders: “Adrienne Bennett clarifies that state employees are in fact running a fullblown racist operation out of the Gov’s office.”