Ray Richardson, a conservative radio host and advisor to Governor Paul LePage, received some national attention late last week for his comments equating public assistance to slavery and groups that advocate for the poor, including the NAACP and the Catholic Church, with slaveholders.
“To equate the inhumane and genocidal system of slavery, based on human bondage, human chattel, and the legacy of racism that still persists today to a system that provides help to Maine people and families shows a horrific ignorance, not just about the history of this country, but of systems that provide well-being to disadvantaged individuals and families,” said Rachel Talbot Ross, President of Portland Branch of the NAACP, in response to Richardson’s commentary.
Apparently, Richardson isn’t the only Maine conservative who holds these views. Republican Representative Amy Volk shared and endorsed the Portland Daily Sun column where Richardson leveled the charges, posting a link to the column on her campaign Facebook page and writing “I agree with most of Ray’s column here, except that the members of these organizations despise the people they are claiming to be helping.” She also accused the groups in question of “robbing people of dignity.”
Volk did not disagree with or even mention the general comparisons the column made with with slavery or Richardson’s specific claim that “Democrats have sought to enslave the poor to the new plantation.”
Volk currently represents part of Scarborough in the House and is running in one of the state’s most competitive State Senate races against Democratic incumbent Jim Boyle.