Monday, Nov. 21, 2011: Planned Parenthood, Hollywood Slots and welfare

Posted Nov. 20, 2011, at 11:55 a.m.

Blood money

Oct. 16 marked the 95th anniversary of Planned Parenthood and its reputed works should not go unnoticed. However, it is not the salvation of women as its proponents would have us believe.

When the defunding of Planned Parenthood came before Congress, PP president Cecile Richards resorted to outright lies — using the tragedy of breast cancer — saying that defunding Planned Parenthood would result in “millions of women” not being able to get mammograms.

That’s odd, because when phone calls were made to PP facilities all across America, these facilities all said that they do not offer mammograms.

In actuality, a full 90 percent of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy-related services involve abortion and contraceptives. (And labeling harmful birth control chemicals as “health care” is ridiculous.) Abortion ideology permeates their every action.

How else can PP rake in over $1 billion a year? Is it from Pap smears and STD testing? I don’t think so. Maybe it’s from government contracts they receive for teaching our school children how to have “safe sex,” how to use contraceptives and where to go for an abortion when they get pregnant.

But I don’t think that’s it, either.

Research tells us Planned Parenthood does get some private funding. Not surprisingly though, it’s from population-control fanatics and billionaires like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and George Soros. Yet, fully one-third of its annual budget comes from the struggling, stressed-out, taxpayer. How fair is that?

Planned Parenthood is the No. 1 abortion business in the U.S. Their money is blood money.

Pat Truman

Hallowell

LePage’s fight club

Mainers have a right to expect their governor, as leader of the state, to gather data, plan for the future, predict coming expenses and work with the Legislature to generate the revenue needed to run the state. Our governor hasn’t done his job and we will have a $71 million shortfall.

LePage’s unfortunate solution is to pit people against each other. He has threatened higher education officials with cuts to education unless they lobby the Legislature into cutting $71 million out of medical services and safety nets for the poor.

This is an ugly and divisive way to run any enterprise. More importantly, it represents a serious misunderstanding about job creation. Maine recently lost 600 high-paying tech jobs because we lack a pool of educated workers.

Anyone who thinks we will increase the state’s prosperity by cutting educational funding and making higher education more inaccessible when there is a demonstrated market for an educated work force has seriously flawed thinking.

Janet Alexander

Old Town

Keeping Mainers warm

One of my highest priorities as a state legislator has been helping Mainers with home heating.

Yet, a recent letter to the editor in the BDN challenged my opposition to raiding energy efficiency funds to cover a shortfall in heating assistance and questioned my commitment to “seniors, the poor and disabled.”

I am running for the U.S. Senate and expect such unfounded broadsides. Here is the truth.

I support both heating assistance and weatherization. It is precisely because we need warm, well-insulated homes that I oppose Gov. LePage’s plan to gut energy efficiency. That is eating our seed corn.

Anticipating a crisis this year, I organized state legislators regionwide to push the feds for more heating assistance. As an officer in the Council of State Governments, I co-authored petitions advocating for low-income households. I continue doing what I can so that Mainers will not face freezing temperatures at home.

I am proud that before LePage, the Legislature started helping Mainers to seal up their homes and switch to more cost-effective heating. Thanks to the Efficiency Maine Trust, more than 3,200 homes have been weatherized, saving Mainers 1.3 million gallons of oil annually.

I am also proud to have voted against $400 million in tax cuts for to the wealthiest — those already warm and comfortable — along with budget cuts targeting the vulnerable. Those policies, championed by the governor, set up a clash between emergency heat today versus energy efficiency for our future. I can assure readers that I am working hard to accomplish both of these important goals.

Jon Hinck

Portland

Hollywood kept promises

I would like to thank the voters of Penobscot County for supporting table games at Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway during this past election.

It has been an honor to work closely with the numerous clubs, fraternal organization and, in general, the citizens of our region. The addition of table games at Hollywood Slots will bring new jobs, new revenue and a complete entertainment package to citizens and visitors alike.

Throughout the next few months Hollywood Slots will be hiring, educating and training new and current staff for the addition of table games. These jobs are going to go first and foremost to the residents of Penobscot County and Maine.

Table games will usher in over $1 million in licensing fees for the state’s general fund and an estimated $1 million every year thereafter.

Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway has made a lot of promises to Penobscot County, and I am proud to say that our promises made have been promises kept. We are excited to add table games to our facility this spring, and will continue to look for ways to serve the community and our patrons.

John Osborne

Bangor

War on welfare, drugs

The referendum results didn’t resolve all of Maine’s problems, but voter responses to Question 1 and Question 4 should be a warning to the next legislative session that voters expect thoughtful and effective representation; if not, voters will seek measures to cancel their ill-conceived laws threatening to weaken individual rights. Ship captains sometimes need to ask navigational direction from the ship’s crew.

Tabled issues from the first session await as new problems nervously pace in the wings. One is LePage’s proposal to “weed out” those welfare folk who “use” their benefits for recreational purposes. His plan calls for random drug testing of welfare recipients.

According to LePage, out-of-staters are coming in droves to take advantage of Maine’s welfare benefits. If LePage is serious and smart about bringing new businesses to Maine, he should read about legalization of drugs that appears to be working relatively well in Portugal and in Canada.

This year’s budget request from the “War on Drugs”program is asking for $9.9 billion to be spent on punishment-oriented supply-reduction programs, as compared to a $5.6 billion request for reduction programs aimed at treatment and prevention. The only battle the “war” is winning is its unending stranglehold on tax dollars on a policy that continues to fail.

The criminalization of drugs — as alcohol was during Prohibition — fails to address the health and welfare of our citizens. Is this the governor’s “War on Poverty,” to degrade, demoralize and dehumanize “the least of our brothers”? I’m ashamed of my governor.

Elizabeth Jalbert Pecoraro

Fort Kent

 

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