Send a message
I made a decision on Election Day — I rescinded my nominal party affiliation.
Prompting my decision was the spending of barrels of money from party coffers to trash candidates in legislative races. This level of mudslinging has no business in legislative politics. Is it no wonder that many eminently qualified people refuse to run for office? This practice is reprehensible, unseemly and both parties are to blame.
What can be done? Every Maine resident who believes the two-party system is broken should immediately withdraw from their current party. At a minimum, this will get you off the donation lists that enable the advertising vice.
Vote for the candidate you believe will do the best job regardless of party affiliation. A sound litmus test might be the amount the candidate spent on the campaign. If a candidate runs an exorbitant campaign, ask yourself, how will that candidate ever be able to adopt a sound budget?
Encourage efforts to create a viable third party here in Maine and nationwide. That party should be built on principles of integrity, faithful adherence to all of the aspects of the Constitution (not just the Second Amendment), with the overriding factor being the will of the people. Until a third party becomes viable, we need to engage in symbolic efforts to show our “leaders” that childish tactics are not welcome here.
Brett D. Baber
It boggles my mind to think that the electorate is so gullible and short-sighted. Suddenly, we have forgotten that it was under the Republican administrations in Washington that so many of the nation’s financial resources were no longer monitored or controlled by outside agencies. If these controls were not lifted, I think we would never have seen the foreclosure crisis we now have. However, that seems to have been forgotten.
Now, when I read of how much money each party and outside interests spent on poisonous ads and attacks upon the other candidates, regardless of party, I wonder why nobody is questioning the waste of this money that would be better spent on reducing the debt that candidates used as a part of their platforms.
Why isn’t there public outcry? The answer, I am afraid, is that politics is big business whether one is Republican, Democratic or independent. The answer, too, is that we as citizens are unthinking and unwilling to do our homework as responsible voters, but would rather be swayed by gloss and sound bites instead of earnest re-search, investigation and finding out the facts for ourselves.
I despair at how little we value our democracy and our role in making it strong, viable and the best that it can be.
Turn to peace
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” These stunning words, spoken by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., are as relevant today as they were in 1967.
We have now entered the 10th year of the war in Afghanistan and people in every nation are suffering. The U.S. government currently spends 58 percent of each taxpayer dollar on military related costs.
It is time to turn our attention toward one another and to turn away from divisiveness. It is time to invest our resources in health care, education, employment and the social safety net, and to divest ourselves of the business of war. Peace is possible. Prosperity is gained when the common good is served.
The Interfaith Coalition for Peace and Justice of Greater Bangor supports the upcoming Walk for Peace, Human Needs and Veterans Care sponsored by Maine Veterans for Peace coming through Bangor on Nov. 5 and 6. Sojourners founder Jim Wallis affirms, “We can find common ground by moving to higher ground.” Join the walk as it travels through your community!
The Rev. Becky Gunn
The Rev. Sue Davenport
The Rev. Lorna Grenfell
I extend my congratulations to Charlie Longo and Nelson Durgin for their election to the Bangor City Council.
Mr. Longo ran a vigorous campaign and deserved to win. He outworked all other candidates combined. The outcome is no surprise to me because I have never had a “constituency.” Only people who understood that I always wanted what was best for Bangor have voted for me.
My 30 years of public service in Bangor are over, and I leave my position as city councilor with no regrets. I have done my best.
I now have more time to devote to my family, and to my vocation as an Anglican priest — a vocation I have not publicly revealed until now.
I thank all who supported me in the recent election and in past elections. I count each vote as a priceless treasure.
Should anyone wonder why the tea party patriots scream about limited government, the Peter Brown home improvement loan fiasco is the reason. One has to ask why in 2005, when the banks were throwing money to anyone who could sign their name, that they deemed the Browns such a risk not to grant them loans, and the city of Bangor would take such a risk with taxpayer money.
After a loan of $110,000 and five years of partial or non-payment of said loan, city financial director Debbie Cyr brags about a restructured loan agreement. Councilor Rick Bronson actually said, “Because it’s federal money we probably will never turn it down.” Mr. Bronson must not have heard that 37 cents of every federal dollar is borrowed, to be paid by future generations. Just another politician who still believes in the Money Fairy.
What ever one thinks of private enterprise, in this case banking and loaning money, it is self governing. It quickly weeds out the fools and weaklings. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t happen with elected officials.
Voting on city time
A lot has been written in the past few days about Bangor police officer Jim Dearing being denied the opportunity to vote because he was carrying a gun. The election warden, Wayne Mallar, was removed from his beloved job because he was doing what he was trained to do.
We are reminded that Officer Dearing was “on the job,” so he had the right to carry a gun. How many people had time off with pay to go to the polls to vote on Tuesday?
In a just world, city officials would apologize to Mr. Mallar for their harsh decision and ask for forgiveness and give him full pay for his forced day off and Jim Dearing would be denied a day’s pay for performing personal duties on company time. It makes me wonder, what else does this police officer do on company time?