Mark Eves, a Democratic former Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives who is now running for governor in 2018, stated in a speech before a large crowd that “Maine’s whiteness is bad news,” during a Maine People’s Alliance event on Wednesday.
Maine First Media reports that Eves told the crowd of nearly 100 Democrats that, “Maine is going to be in trouble if it can’t attract a more diverse population.”
Eves’ racist comments are in sharp contrast to quotes that he gave the Bangor Daily News when he announced his gubernatorial bid in July. He told the paper at the time, “I believe that is how we will start to bring together a state that can feel all too divided and build a better Maine one family at a time.” Surely, calling a large portion of the population “bad news” over the color of their skin is a way to unite a fractured population.
Ironically, the event was promoted by the Maine’s People’s Alliance on the basis that “now, more than ever, we need progressive leaders who will work to help everyday Mainers and fight back against the racist and xenophobic rhetoric and policies coming from Washington and Augusta.” Given Eves’ speech, it seems as though the racism was coming from in house, however.
In April, a former candidate for the Maine State Senate was caught on video at an event hosted by the state Democratic Party celebrating the increasing rate of white male suicide — to massive cheers and laughter from the crowd.
“You know, today I saw a thing that said a lot of men — white men — are committing suicide,” Richard Fochtmann stated, “and I almost said yeah! Great!”
As soon as Fochtmann finished his statement, the crowd began laughing.
“Then I thought about it, and I thought, well, maybe I shouldn’t say that in public,” Fochtmann continued.
Eves, a 40-year-old white politician, is most well-known for his lawsuit against Maine Governor Paul LePage, alleging illegal retaliation and blackmail. The conflict stemmed from Eves’ hiring by the non-profit organization Good Will-Hinckley.
When LePage heard that Eves had been hired, he urged Good Will-Hinckley to reconsider, referring to the new-hire as a “hack.” LePage also stated that he would be pulling all “support from Good Will-Hinckley as long as Eves remained as President of the organization” over his being a “a longtime opponent of public charter schools.” LePage was fired 19 days after signing his employment agreement.
The lawsuit was thrown out after the judge determined that LePage was entitled to immunity as he was advocating for his “preferred charter school policy.” It was also dismissed in an appeal.
Big League Politics reached out to Eves for comment, but did not receive a response by time of publishing.