PORTLAND, Maine – A mural depicting Maine's incendiary Republican governor in full Ku Klux Klan regalia has sparked a heated debate in Portland about the boundaries of free speech.
The caricature of Gov. Paul LePage was painted during the past week on wall belonging to a wastewater treatment facility. The art also includes the words "racist," ''homophobe," ''moron," and "governor" — which has a red line through it.
A message seeking comment from LePage was left with a spokesman Wednesday.
Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling pushed for removing the mural, saying it borders on hate speech. City officials permitted it to remain.
City officials say the wall's been open to graffiti artists for 15 years.
Someone altered the mural Tuesday night to remove all KKK imagery and add Mickey Mouse ears to LePage's likeness.