Snakes on a campaign
One hopes it was purely coincidental that the Bangor Daily News asked readers these questions back-to-back in its online poll: Have you decided who you will vote for as Maine’s next governor? Are you afraid of snakes?
Be informed voters
This election is not about conservatives, liberals, Democrats, Republicans or tea partiers. It’s whether ordinary Americans, or a small, rich minority, will control our democracy.
It is about whether an angry, “dumbed-down” electorate can muster the collective wisdom to see through the fog of disinformation and reject both crooks and crazies. Whether ratings-driven news media can rediscover journalistic integrity and report the truth about candidates and real issues.
Whether voters have the foresight and courage to turn out lying hypocrites ensnared in a spoiled political system of extraordinary crooks, and whether solving America’s problems trumps politics.
The moneyed elite has an insidious stranglehold on banking, manufacturing, the military and government. It protects a corrupt status quo through payoffs and funding duped “populist” movements touting free-enterprise capitalism, already ruined by corporate greed.
Moneyed interests almost have government where they want it, a weakened president and Congress incapable of impeding corporate decimation of our environment, health, safety, economy and democracy.
The richest 3 percent have nearly all the assets. The average guy has almost none — except the most powerful one of all, the vote. Americans have survived similar threats before, by learning the truth and showing their outrage at the polls.
We’re losing our country, but be careful where you direct your anger. If you are responsible enough to become informed by verifiable evidence, instead of lies and subterfuge, go vote for what’s right.
If not, stay home, stifle your ignorance and let informed, principled leadership prevail.
I find it interesting that the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce is opposing the ballot proposal to bring a casino to Oxford.
I wonder if the chamber would oppose a grocery store there, since there are already grocery stores in Bangor. Perhaps a hospital shouldn’t be built in Oxford, because there are already hospitals in Bangor.
Questions about service
I am curious why Eliot Cutler and Paul LePage did not avail themselves of the ample opportunities that were around to serve their country when they graduated from college. This does not seem to be addressed in any of the campaign literature or bios that I have seen.
Perhaps it is not deemed important in this day where few citizens have any direct contact with veterans. Still, in a state that has volunteers in Bangor that greet every inbound aircraft bringing soldiers back, it might be worth knowing.
Kill the cash cow
Maine’s motor vehicle inspection program is broken and needs to be scrapped. Too often, private garages use their inspection license as a cash cow, squeezing a car owner again and again for the privilege of a sticker.
State inspections ought to be done in state-run facilities, or not at all.
Recent evidence suggests that vehicles in states without an inspection program are no worse, on balance, than vehicles in states with inspections.
Let’s put an end to legalized robbery, and ask the Legislature to send Maine’s vehicle inspection program where it belongs — to the boneyard.
Respect for seniors
I recently visited a senior citizen who lives in Section 8 housing in Bangor. The front door was wide open, the staircase narrow and dangerous and there was a smell of rot and mold from the carpets. The one thing this building had, like many of this town’s dumps, was new windows and siding, compliments of the weatherization program.
I recently saw an article in the paper regarding welfare reform a single mother was showcased. It’s interesting that you focused on a lone, poor individual who needs help rather than a greedy, Bangor slumlord who collects Section 8 money.
I called several individuals in Bangor who either passed the buck or stonewalled me about the conditions I saw. So I will say to Paul LePage, Libby Mitchell and Eliot Cutler — if you are serious about welfare reform, take these shysters off the payroll, and treat our seniors with more respect.
Pay your fair share
In the Sept. 23 Bangor Daily News, Joseph Lallande claims rich people are punished by higher taxes in his guest column, “Should price of success be high taxes?” Actually, because the rich refuse to pay their share of taxes, the middle class has to pay a disproportionate share.
Since middle-class Americans are worried about losing their homes, their livelihood, and their health care, now would be a good time for the rich to pay their fair share.
Time for pay equity
Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins were lead advocates for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was of tremendous importance to Maine women. But in hesitating to endorse the companion bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, “Paycheck Fairness Act on thin ice,” (BDN, Sept. 19), they are falling short as champions of working women.
The Ledbetter Act was important because it restored access to justice.
It corrected a Supreme Court case that ruled a woman must take action against pay discrimination after the very first discriminatory paycheck — unrealistic because it usually takes more than one paycheck to realize discrimination is happening.
So, while the Ledbetter Act gives employees back their day in court, it is the Paycheck Fairness Act that would give employees the legal tools they need to finally close the wage gap. It will do this by bringing damages in line with other discrimination claims, giving the Department of Labor the tools to educate businesses and employees and providing funds to train women in salary negotiation skills.
Women deserve better than the status quo, and we’ve waited far too long for equal pay. The time is now to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.