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Monday, May 7, 2011: Ted Nugent, east-west corridor and state employees

Nugent’s comments

As reported several times recently, Ted Nugent said: “If Barack Obama becomes president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

Your regular guest columnist, Republican political strategist Matthew Gagnon explains Nugent’s intent away by stating ( BDN, April 26, 2012): “Anyone who listened to what he [Nugent] said before and after that comment would know that he was making a hyperbolic statement, implying that the Obama administration is going to come for his guns, and other freedoms, and his refusal to cooperate will lead to his arrest or death.”

Interesting! Virtually everyone that I have talked to about this comment, including Republicans, Democrats and Independents, including myself, interpreted Nugent as saying: “If Barack Obama becomes president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year,” as a result of an attempt by me [Nugent] to assassinate the president of the United States.

Chuck Roundy


Didn’t I just read It in the Portland Press Herald?

The recent Bangor Daily News Editorial, “ Out of the veto morass,” was chilling. Not for the content, which was the usual LePage-bashing and anti-Republican rhetoric we have grown to expect from this once-proud newspaper. To me, the disturbing aspect to this BDN piece was its striking similarity to the Editorials that ran in the Maine Today Media newspapers the day before.

The Maine Today newspapers have been purchased by first-district Congresswoman Chellie Pingree’s husband, and hence we expected an even harsher left-wing view than the liberal bias we were accustomed to. But did I miss something? Did he also buy the BDN? The two columns were obviously written from the same set of talking points.

Both recalled the bipartisan “compromise” budget. Both mention the unanimous vote in the Senate and the overwhelming House vote. Both mock the Republicans, claiming they “fear” that they might anger the governor. (This is just silly.)

Both wonder how Democrats will ever be able to trust the Republicans again. (It’s a line-item veto. The rest of the budget is intact and these items can be addressed at the next scheduled sessions in May.) Both are righteously indignant at “the secret vote.” (It really wasn’t a secret vote.)

The similarities are beyond coincidence. These two Editorials from Maine’s two largest newspaper chains were obviously written from the same set of talking points — straight from Democratic party headquarters.

Earl Inman

Round Pond

East-West Corridor

Mr. Peter Vigue, Chairman and CEO of Cianbro, Gov. LePage, and Sen. Doug Thomas say they have our best interests in mind when they promote the massive proposed east-west corridor.

They think we should be pleased to give up 54,000 acres of picturesque rural land including around the Appalachian Trail, prime outdoor recreation land near the Forks, the beautiful Carrabasset River Valley along route 27, our farms and our vistas without knowing anything about the private investors who plan to build this 2,000 foot-wide corridor (compared with the I-95 corridor of 300 feet), where it would run, whose land is in jeopardy of being bought or usurped, and what the plans are for its use.

What would it cost us in taxes, maintenance, policing, potential for land degradation? They say it would bring tourism to northern Maine, provide jobs, and enhance our poor economy. But the details are private.

We do know that we value hearing birds sing in the morning rather than the rumble of big trucks, the streams far from the pollution of oil pipelines, fracking fields and industrial waste, clean water, our farms and homes.

We value “The way life should be”. So do the tourists. We do not want to be a “corridor” to carry Canadian gas, trucks and oil to foreign markets at our expense.

Citizens of Maine, become informed. Hear Mr. Vigue present his plans at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 15 at the Piscataquis County Commissioner’s meeting, and question Mr. Vigue and Sen. Thomas at a public meeting at 6 p.m. May 31 at Foxcroft Academy.

Lesley Fernow


College debt

I am responding to self-satisfied O p-Ed about college debt and the foolishness of those who misread their own futures (BDN, May 2, 2012). Let’s follow his logic. Let’s start charging for education at kindergarten and then see how educated a society we get.

Education is an investment for and benefit to us all. The better educated our society is, the better the jobs Maine will attract. The opposite is also true. The tragedy is that a generation or two ago we understood this and practiced it in Maine.

I went to the University of Maine Law School in the 1970s. My starting tuition was $275 a semester. I have spent a lifetime in public interest law in Maine and am incredibly proud of the contributions my classmates have made to Maine as lawyers, judges, professionals and businesspeople. The point is that whatever our post-law school direction turned out to be, profit was not the only measure of its value to our society.

Cut tuition and debt. Invest in ourselves. Unleash the imagination and energy of the next generation. Let’s remember where we came from and who gave us a start.

Judson Esty-Kendall


State ethics

There seems to be much debate about corruption, work ethic, team playing and unions with regard to Maine state employees.

The GHRT show on 103.9 raised an important question during the broadcast on Tuesday, May 1, with regard to state employees who have retired and remained a “state employee”. Often referred to as “double dippers,” I understand some of these employees are receiving well in excess of $100,000 per year from the state of Maine.

If true, the salaries of the “double dippers” is greater than the salaries of many of the commissioners of Gov. LePage’s cabinet. One such individual is the Colonel of the Department of Marine Resources, who has retired but continues to serve as Chief of the Department of Marine Resources receiving both Maine state pension and Maine state salary.

While very expensive to the state, perhaps as important, in the case of the Chief of the Department of Marine Resources, is the fact that an employee who retires and never leaves prevents the advancement of capable members of one of Maine’s most important agencies. When a state employee retires from state service, state service should be ended.

Don Brown



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