SANFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- As Governor Paul LePage expressed his frustration with Maine's NAACP Friday, he said he declined an earlier invitation from the organization to meet voters at the Maine State Prison because the NAACP only wanted him to meet with black prisoners.
LePage said he would have attended the forum if he would have been able to meet with all prisoners. But Rachel Talbot Ross, president of Portland's chapter of the NAACP told NEWS CENTER that the invitation, which went out to all candidates, did not specify the race of the prisoners. She went on to say, "We would not be allowed to have that kind of program at the Maine State Prison."
Talbot Ross said the event was part of a voter registration effort the NAACP had helped organize at the prison. She said that LePage was the only candidate who turned down the NAACP's request, and that he had cited a scheduling conflict.
Denise Lord, associate commissioner in the Department of Corrections, tells NEWS CENTER that she is not familiar with this specific invitation, but that she would be surprised if the prison had allowed an event that was only for black inmates.
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