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Feb. 26, 2009 Letters to the Editor

Thanks to Collins, Snowe

I’d like to express appreciation to Sens. Collins and Snowe as well as Reps. Pingree and Michaud. At least some in the political arena are listening to the people and not allowing themselves to be dictated by their party affiliation.

Since our president has been in office, the behavior demonstrated by many of the Republicans in this country has not only been disrespectful but outright childish. I feel as if we are witnessing a daily tantrum by the opposition. I am proud to say our senators voted for the people and not the party.

It is my hope for the people of the United States to show our president some respect. It is a disgrace to witness the blatant acts of disregard for a man who was elected by the people.

Linda Canham


• • •

GOP’s credibility gap

I read the BDN’s Feb. 20 editorial and OpEd pages with great amusement. It seems many Republicans are upset with the stimulus package and feel betrayed by Sens. Snowe and Collins for being part of its passage. They consider it some sort of betrayal of Republican “principles and policies.”

Unfortunately they fail to consider that these “principles and policies” as followed for the last eight years are what got us in the current financial mess. Their removal of meaningful regulation of the financial industry and the stock market, tax cuts for those who did not need them and incredibly wasteful, expensive and unnecessary war have simply bankrupted us all.

I don’t know if President Obama’s plan will be able to turn things around; I give a 50-50 chance at best. But something bold must be tried and those who caused the problem really should have little to do with solving it. Their “principles and policies” have no credibility.

James Buttitta


• • •

Employee free choice

The BDN’s Feb. 20 article, “Report: Unions could aid Maine’s economy, workers,” made me think of the 2008 election campaign. The television ads that played out during the campaign, favoring Sen. Susan Collins and battering Rep. Tom Allen, got the Employee Free Choice Act all wrong. Viewers were left confused about what employee choice means to them. That’s no wonder, in retrospect. The ads were paid for by big, out-of-state corporations that will pay any price to keep from allowing their employees to join together in unions. These are the same companies that don’t offer health care benefits and force employees to get their medical coverage from MaineCare, which all of us pay for.

Maine’s workers need to know that the Employee Free Choice Act is actually about them — not about which candidate the anti-union side wanted to win the senate seat in November.

Corporations and big-money CEOs currently threaten, harass and even fire many workers who try to organize as a union. The Employee Free Choice Act, in addition to enabling workers to choose to form a union via a majority sign-up of workers, would strengthen penalties against companies that take such illegal actions against workers.

As a member of the Writers Guild of America, East, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, I want to thank Congressman Michael Michaud, Maine Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell and Maine House Speaker Hannah Pingree for standing up for workers’ rights in Augusta.

Vernon McKimmey


• • •

Rebellion in abeyance

In their op-ed article (BDN, Feb 19), Sen. Smith and Reps. Davis and Johnson clearly list the problems with the current school consolidation effort and announce their intention to modify the plan (or discard it and start over). I wish complete success to them. The alternative will be for the entire million and a quarter citizens of Maine to be in rebellion against their Legislature over this ill-considered, ineffectual, and vindictive law.

Jim Haskins


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