WINDHAM, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage was greeted with a standing ovation at a town hall meeting in Windham, where more than 100 people turned out Tuesday night, two weeks after he made remarks about out-of-state drug dealers impregnating white girls in Maine.
The governor went on to discuss what he thinks are the four biggest barriers to prosperity: cutting taxes, reducing energy costs, restricting welfare and addressing student debt. The governor said the state won’t be competitive until it deals with all four, but he said lobbyists and special interests are preventing progress at the State House.
“Special interests, that’s who controls us in Augusta, unless you fight back and say, ‘no way,’” he said. “And when you fight back, you get impeached or they try to impeach you.”
LePage urged members of the audience to consider who they vote for in the next election.
“What I’ve encountered is this: In my five years as your governor, greed and egos overtake character and integrity,” he says. “My opponents can make up stories and they’ll get printed. I speak the truth and I’m demonized. It’s that simple, and that’s what Mainers like.”
The governor was asked several questions about his plans to deal with Maine’s opiate epidemic. The governor said a bill he signed Tuesday is a first step to address the problem. When asked whether he’s willing to spend more money to address widescale treatment, the governor said only that he was considering offering outpatient services for defendants enrolled in drug court in coordination with county jails.