Paul LePage is the Tea Party Republican governor of Maine, and he might be one of the biggest assholes in politics.
For those who forgot or may not remember, it was LePage who claimed that Maine’s heroin epidemic was spurred by guys named “D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” who come to sell drugs and “impregnate a young white girl before they leave.”
It was LePage who told NAACP leaders who were upset with LePage for turning down their invite to a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration to “kiss my butt.” And then there was the time that LePage attacked state Sen. Troy Jackson.
LePage said of Jackson that he “claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.”
He’s also claimed that undocumented immigrants were the reason for the spike in diseases like hepatitis C and HIV. Oh, he also campaigned that he would be the governor consistently telling then-President Barack Obama to go to hell. Also, he thinks global warming isn’t that bad because melting ice has helped open up the Northeast Passage. Also, he recently told a high school teen who asked about net neutrality to “pick up a book.”
Now that LePage’s term limit is coming to an end, he’s the president’s personal pick to challenge Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) for a Senate seat.
And if LePage’s growing list of fuckery isn’t bad enough, he recently took funds from welfare programs that help families in need to fund different programs, like a Christian summer camp that teaches kids how to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
According to the Bangor Daily News, while the move isn’t illegal, it’s completely asshole-y.
Here’s how the newspaper describes the move:
The administration has described the change as a way to “better support our youth,” but anti-poverty program experts decried it as an ineffective way to keep kids clothed and fed at a time when the rate of Maine children living in deep poverty has been rising.
“After-school programs don’t pay the rent, and they don’t keep kids in underwear. They don’t keep the parents in underwear,” said Luke Shaefer, an associate professor of social work at the University of Michigan and coauthor of the book “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America.”
LePage’s diversion of funds would take money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant that Maine receives from the federal government to offer financial help to poor families and would use that money to fund after-school programs, Raw Story reports.
“To the extent that Maine has diverted money that’s earmarked for poor people and for cash assistance to other things and treated it like a slush fund, it actually harms the longer-term conservative project of federalism,” Samuel Hammond, a poverty and welfare-policy analyst, told the Bangor Daily News. “It signals that the state is not a credible steward of federal money.”
It also signals that LePage might one of the biggest assholes in politics.