WATERVILLE — Gov. Paul LePage, who last week stirred controversy with his remarks explaining why he wasn’t going to attend any events honoring Martin Luther King Jr., showed up at Waterville’s community breakfast this morning.
LePage said he was continuing his tradition of attending Waterville’s event. The breakfast was sponsored by Spectrum Generations and the Waterville Rotary Club and drew about 100 people.
“Dr. King is someone who spent and ultimately gave his life making sure that people got a fair shake regardless of race. We have come far through the years, but the journey continues to make Dr. King’s dreams a reality,” LePage said. “I urge all Mainers to work as one for a better life for all.”
Last week, LePage turned down invitations to attend King Day events in Portland, citing conflicts in his schedule but also saying the sponsor, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was a “special interest.” Asked about contentions that his remarks and actions showed a pattern of not caring about minority issues, LePage said critics – including the NAACP – could “kiss my butt.”
Over the weekend, LePage invited NAACP leaders to meet with him, although no time or date for that meeting has been set.