Stay informed as a voter, the future depends on it

Posted Oct. 06, 2010, at 5:58 p.m.

As an MSEA-SEIU union member since 2001, I have always been concerned that the state employee union has supported Democratic candidates for state and national political office. I understand that approximately half of all union members nationwide, as well as in the state of Maine, are politically conservative. As one of the many conservatives, I urge MSEA-SEIU to establish a “Views and Opinions” page that offers all members an opportunity to discuss the potential benefits, risks and consequences of our political decisions, especially the upcoming election and our vote.

Most importantly, I encourage every citizen to vote for candidates based on the facts. It is essential that we research the candidates’ worldviews, their values and the specific direction they intend to take the state of Maine and the nation as elected officials. We need to confirm the accuracy of the opinions of others.

I did not know either Libby Mitchell or Paul LePage very well, so I went to their campaign websites and read their statements and political positions. Researching a candidate’s voting record will inform us of the direction he or she is are likely to take once he or she is elected or re-elected. Reading articles and viewing interviews and news programs that allow us to listen to the candidates’ opinions, positions on critical issues and their worldview directly is extremely helpful in making our decision whether or not to support a particular candidate.

I learned more about Sen. Mitchell, whose first statement on her website was that she voted for and she will sign as governor a marriage equality bill immediately. Mayor LePage states on his website his commitment to the traditional marriage of one man and one woman.

These candidates have opposite worldviews in addition to radically different approaches to resolving Maine’s financial crisis and putting Mainers back to work. Sen. Mitchell supports abortion on demand and increasing government spending; she stated that she supports state government paying for the college education of high school graduates. LePage respects and defends the sanctity of human life and supports limited state government, and insists that he will eliminate the waste in state government programs.

As citizens of our constitutional republic, we must actively participate in our government, just as the folks who have been participating in town hall meetings and tea party rallies question their elected representatives and share their concerns and expectations.

There has been much criticism of citizens who are actively participating in our government. However, we need to consider how little we currently participate and increase our active and respectful participation. You and I will make Maine and America stronger as we make informed decisions.

I encourage you to start now by visiting Mitchell, LePage and other candidates’ websites and determine which candidate represents your values, which candidate responds to your concerns and shares your worldview.

For me, Sen. Mitchell’s statement that she has voted for and will sign the marriage equality bill as soon as it comes to her desk as governor reflects her disregard for the people of Maine, who have voted against or vetoed the issue four times. However, she plans to resurrect this divisive issue and suffer Maine through another misuse of the political process. The people have spoken repeatedly and still Sen. Mitchell disregards the people’s decision to maintain traditional marriage in Maine.

I intend to vote for Mayor LePage, who will move Maine toward an economic recovery and make difficult decisions that are required to improve our lives, such as attracting business to Maine which will create jobs for Maine graduates and keep families together in Maine.

Please go www.michaud.house.gov, www.levesqueforcongress.com, www.pingree.house.gov and www.scontras2010.com to learn directly from the candidates how they intend to serve the Maine people.

Consider the facts before voting. Our future depends on our informed decisions.

Peter Alexander of Etna works with disabled adults.

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