Nov. 12 Letters to the Editor

Posted Nov. 11, 2010, at 5:18 p.m.

Independent primary

In the race for governor, both Republicans and Democrats have primary elections to determine which of the two parties is best suited to run in the general election. Not so for independent candidates.

Despite this, voters in Maine have previously elected an independent candidate as governor of Maine. The problem is that if the independent candidate is the very best qualified candidate, the people may lose out to a lesser qualified Republican or Democrat if several other independents run.

The two-party system presumably exists so there is a better possibility for a mandate of the people. Well, apparently a mandate is something that eluded us in this election.

I suspect, however, that if the requirement that a primary election applied to independent candidates as it currently does for Republicans and Democrats, the outcome in this close election might have been different.

Faithfully voting the party line from a choice of two parties has not always delivered us the best person for the job. And, if we are to have a third choice, it is fair and logical that there be a primary for all party candidates in order to have a level playing field.

If I have revealed my political ineptness, I suspect that I am not alone.

Roger Ritter

Princeton

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Integrity unquestioned

I am highly offended by a recent letter to the editor calling into question the integrity of Officer James Deering, the Bangor police officer who was stopped from voting. To question his dedication by asking what else he does on company time is an insult to those who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve this community.

As an educator in the Bangor school department, I’ve seen how the police interact with our students and staff, and they have always been professional, caring and attentive to our system’s needs. I also live in the same neighborhood as Officer Deering, and have witnessed the hours that he dedicates to the residents of Bangor.

I applaud and encourage the time he took to vote, and I personally appreciate that he did not relinquish his weapon. I want to thank him and every other officer in Bangor for keeping this community a safe and desirable place to live.

Catherine Gordon

Bangor

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Voted early, informed

Eliot Cutler believes that early voting led to his defeat. I voted early. I did my homework and knew exactly how the candidates stood on the issues that were important to me.

I saw all of his latest ads, read the OpEd pages and letters to the editor. I did not change my mind in any way.

A lot of spectacular advertising at the last minute does not impress me. A candidate should be elected in accordance with his stand on the issues, not on the amount of money he can spend on last-minute advertising.

Kathleen H. Smith

Kenduskeag

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Cellar talk

The prospect of four years of sound bites from Gov.-elect Paul LePage already seems hard to take. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and call his most recent (BDN, Nov. 6) promise to “pull Maine out of the cellar” a sound bite. How does he expect to attract new businesses and people to a state that he erroneously believes is as low as it can go?

I have never thought of Maine or Maine’s people as being in the cellar. To be sure, any person at any given time can be brought low by circumstances, just as Maine’s economic picture has also been brought low by the global financial crisis.

What are the benchmarks for knowing when the state has been lifted out of this so-called cellar? How will this effort be measured as a success or failure?

Will the number of homeless families decrease because affordable housing in Maine is made available to them? Will accessible health care be provided?

What programs will be strengthened that decrease the high rates of alcohol and drug use by our youth, or enable women to move out of domestic violence? Perhaps there will be a long-overdue increase in the minimum wage? Paid sick days?

Negative sound bites may be a good way to campaign but not to govern. The campaign is over. Maine needs some positive words from our newly elected leaders. I want the governor-elect to be a cheerleader for Maine and Maine residents, not a critic.

Kathy Walker

Hampden

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