Angus King is a nice guy, a great communicator, a natural politician and a formidable independent candidate for the U.S. Senate. But claiming to be uncommitted is at once his most attractive virtue and his most glaring fault.
Political conflict is not just about poor communication or questionable ethics. Rather, it is borne of bedrock liberal and conservative disagreement, often so defining that it’s impossible to locate the sensible middle ground for which King yearns.
Ascertaining and voting the center almost certainly means giving up something you cherish — big chunks of Social Security and Medicare, for example, or going to war. Is there a compromise between attacking Iran and not?
Though he has been painfully coy about with whom or even whether he will caucus should he be elected, King will have to make that decision or court irrelevance. If he declines to join a caucus, he risks not being appointed to any committee, though the bulk of the Senate’s work is done in committee.
Would King deprive Maine of his potential influence should he actually put this definition of “independent” into play? If control of the Senate itself depends on Maine’s independent senator, would he really decline to play?
To be effective, he will have to persuade colleagues and build coalitions. This will demand passion and commitment, not sole occupancy of a milquetoast middle. Does Maine want a U.S. senator who will isolate himself into irrelevance?
One benefit of electing our county judge is our chance to vote for the judge we think can treat us fairly. I am voting June 12 to re-elect Judge Susan Longley as Waldo County judge of probate. She treats us all with fairness and impartiality. She is caring and innovative and has worked hard to make Waldo County Probate Court a model of effectiveness, efficiency and accountability.
Susan Longley brings to her bench eight years experience as state senator and eight more as Waldo County judge of probate. As Senate chair of the Judiciary and Health and Human Services Committees, she has a long career focusing on family law matters. Longley’s job has been to listen to everyone, not just clients paying to argue their cases in court. Because Judge Longley represents us all, she is the candidate who can best be impartial which means fewer recusals and fewer miles for us to have to travel to find another judge.
I also appreciate Judge Longley’s effectiveness. She implemented a policy to stop ex parte communications used to gain advantage in cases without the other side being able to hear and respond. She changed the court’s case management system from one based on Post It Notes on case files to a computer-based system allowing court personnel to keep track of every intra-office communication. She instituted a mediation system that helps resolve conflicts and reduce court costs. Her court filings and appointments payment system saves county taxpayers
thousands of dollars annually.
The east-west highway? Let’s make sure that there are two states of Maine: North Maine and South Maine. Go for it!
Jesse W. Baker
Praise to Longley
I would like to share our experience with Judge Susan Longley in hopes that you will support her in November for another term as judge of probate in Waldo County.
In December 2010, we went before Judge Susan Longley to obtain guardianship of our granddaughter. Judge Longley’s quiet, calm demeanor made the experience an easy transition for us.
Susan is kind, honest and thoughtful, not to mention how her inclusion of a mediator has helped many families through complicated arrangements, saving unnecessary cost to the community.
I’m writing to endorse Charlie Summers for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate. I have known Charlie since 2004. I have always found him to be thoughtful, calm, reasonable and willing to work with everyone. Charlie is anything but a political hack.
Add to this his work while deployed to Iraq. There he had to bring together different political, ethnic and religious factions critical to turning the future of Iraq around and laying the groundwork of a fledgling democracy. His work in Iraq demonstrates his attitude and ability to reach across divides to promote the common good, something we are in dire need of in Washington.
In short, Charlie Summers is the candidate for the U.S. Senate who demonstrates the ideals we have come to expect in our senators. He has the ability to carry on the work of many of our recent senators: from Margaret Chase Smith to George Mitchell to William Cohen to Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. Let’s vote to end the gridlock in Washington by nominating Charlie Summers for the U.S. Senate.
I first met Matt Dunlap over four years ago. At the time, he was Maine’s secretary of state and his daughter Emily was attending Windover Art Center. At Windover, I had the pleasure of meeting him during our weekly Art Shows for parents and friends of Windover’s students. He was there each and every week to support and encourage his daughter’s education.
I learned of Matt’s family background, growing up in a farmhouse where his parents had taught him the fine arts of pottery, stained glass and weaving. Along with his rural upbringing, Mr. Dunlap has a deep appreciation of art as a trade and what it takes for the creative economy to succeed. As a father, he gives his daughter every opportunity to learn from the arts.
Just over one year ago, I asked Mr. Dunlap to join our board of directors at Windover Art Center. Having grown to know him personally, it was a revelation to see his professional side. Immediately upon joining our board, he was instrumental in fundraising efforts. With his help, Windover was awarded its largest grant in nearly a decade. In our board meetings, Mr. Dunlap volunteers readily and has already done much to aid Windover. If he says he’ll do something, you can count on him.
All of these reasons and more are why I think Matt Dunlap is the ideal candidate to represent Maine in our nation’s Senate.
While we are cutting aid to the poor and needy, our Legislature authorizes the expenditure of $100,000 in what will prove to be a futile gesture to eradicate the coyotes in the state. Thanks, legislators.