Oct. 14 Letters to the Editor

Posted Oct. 13, 2010, at 7:12 p.m.

Paycheck fairness, please

I encourage Sens. Snowe and Collins to stand firmly in support of equal pay for women by supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act. This act will provide meaningful steps to create incentives for employers to follow the law, help women negotiate for equal pay and strengthen federal outreach and enforcement efforts.

Women have been waiting far too long for equal pay. Women make up half of America’s workforce, and more families than ever depend on women’s income. Yet women bring home, on average, 23 percent less than their male counterparts. A right that is not backed up with enforcement or incentives for compliance is meaningless and useless. And right now, a company can retaliate against employees who even inquire about wage policy or reveal their salary to others.

Furthermore, those companies that discriminate by paying women less than men have an unfair competitive advantage over companies who pay employees fairly. It’s time to do the right thing and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. It’s good for women, it’s good for their families and it’s good for the economy.

Sharon Barker

Bangor

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Keep mice in Maine

Jobs, jobs, jobs! They all talk the talk — our governor and those who wish to be governor. Can any of them explain what they have done, or would do, in regard to keeping an employer of 1,200 Maine workers from taking a planned expansion to another state?

The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor has proposed building a genetic research facility in Florida that would employ an estimated 200 people within the next several years and eventually could become the hub of an expanded research park that could generate up to 7,000 additional biotechnology research jobs.

Can or should the state of Maine even enter into a bidding contest for the sake of jobs? Has our current government explored any and every possible way to keep the expansion here in Maine? What would the five candidates for governor have done and, if elected, what might they still do in an attempt to keep the planned expansion from taking place in another state? Or at the very least, tell us what they will do should this kind of thing ever happen again. It may not be too late.

Those little mice are as much a natural resource to the state of Maine as any farm-raised animal. And all jobs begin with the wise use of a natural resource. Let’s keep the resource and the jobs here in Maine — or fight like hell trying!

Richard N. Bedard

Columbia Falls

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Enthusiastic for Piotti

From my perch in Belfast, I have observed John Piotti with envy. Why did he have to live all the way over in Unity? I followed his service and leadership in the Maine Legislature and at Maine Farmland Trust, where he has led the singlemost forward-working organization that will save farms for our future.

John Piotti is now running to represent all of Waldo County in the Maine Senate, and I could not be more enthusiastic in supporting his effort.

He is ethical, hardworking, a true nonpartisan, a problem solver and a genuine public servant in the best sense of the term. He has been a standout legislator, and I hope that with our confidence and support, he will be Waldo County’s next state senator.

Waldo County cannot do better. I will vote for John Piotti.

Mike Hurley

Belfast

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Time for Piotti

We are fortunate here in Waldo County to have a candidate of good character, intelligence and experience, who has consistently reached across party lines to benefit his district and the state, running for the Senate. I am speaking of John Piotti, who has served his House district with distinction for eight years, a fiscally responsible candidate always working to balance the budget without raising taxes.

Piotti has 22 years of experience in economic development and, as a legislator, worked to help farmers and preserve Maine farmland. He listens and is receptive to constituent concerns, is well-respected by both parties in the Legislature, and does the necessary reading and research, regardless of the issue, to know what he’s voting for.

In these tough economic times, we need a man like John Piotti in the state Senate. That’s who I’m voting for.

Jon Laitin

Thorndike

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Still supports LePage

As I was searching for a candidate to support for governor before the June primaries, Paul LePage was the only candidate I recall explicitly stating that it was not the governor’s responsibility to create jobs or direct the economy, but it is rather maximizing the freedom of a people and society that produces prosperity and unforeseeable benefits. I agree with his position and feel that this man has a principled philosophy on governing.

With all the talk about unpolished statements coming from LePage, he has been deemed by many as unfit to fill the role as a leader. Common sense, however, invites me to delve deeper into his philosophy. Underneath all his comments about President Obama, I sense a candidate who will fight against federal policy tightening its grip on Augusta, where power is closer to the people.

In his comments on Sen. Mitchell, I sense a candidate who wants a change from the old policy that has resulted in our economic position compared to other states. In his comments on the press, I sense a candidate who is finding comic relief from a press set on bringing down his candidacy.

I feel that we have waited too long to allow the destruction of a candidate whose principles and philosophy are true. Though I do not condone all the comments he has made, I am still staunchly behind Paul LePage for governor.

Matthew McCarthy

Columbia Falls

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LePage in context

For the past several days, we have all been seeing the video clip of the Republican candidate for governor, Paul LePage, saying that “as governor, you are going to be seeing a lot of me on the front page saying ‘Gov. LePage tells Obama to go to hell.’”

We have seen it played over and over on our local news, and I even saw it on the NBC national news. However, what we are not seeing is the rest of the speech, where he was when he gave it, whom the group he was speaking to was and what led him to make that statement.

The truth is that he was speaking at a fisheries forum in Brooksville, to a group of Maine fishermen in a GOP group forum, and was discussing the ridiculous and plentiful federal regulations that are driving our fishing industry into bankruptcy and our fishermen into poverty.

Mr. LePage was doing nothing more than echoing the sentiments of the fishermen he was speaking to and, though he could have phrased the statement more nicely, he should not be chastised for saying it. It should also be noted that the clip was recorded by a Democratic Party aide and was taken and used completely out of context for the sole purpose of discrediting a very good man who will make an honest and decent governor of the state of Maine.

Tom Huffstutler

Lincoln

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