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Comments for: Monday, June 18, 2012: Tar sands, expensive elections and the future of newspapers

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  • kcjonez

    Russ Irwin–I concur.  Money in politics has become one of the primary problems with our republic today.  I propose a system that will allow every candidate to spend as much as he/she wants to–a campaign advertising tax.  Tax all TV, radio, print and internet ads at a minimum of 50%.  A higher amount such as 90% would be better.  The monies could be dispensed to clean election candidates.  Coupled with a ranked choice voting system, this would dispense with much of the excess while at the same time open up the field to a variety of candidates–something we don’t get anymore.  Politics will always be messy but this system would give a chance to wrest the government away from those who have hijacked it and turned it into a personal business to fill their own already overflowing coffers.  

  • Anonymous

    Investigative reporting ???? Not likely, that’s why so many people choose to leave the paper in the rack and seek out other means to get actual news. Anyone that thinks there is a balanced representation in any newspaper is simply not paying attention. Newspapers as well as the electronic media have an agenda to push and will always spin any topic to push that agenda. The best recent example of this is the push for greeen energy. BDN has continiously ignored facts for thier “feel good” if someome calls it green it has to be good attitude.

    • Anonymous

      I am not that interested in balanced…all humans have slants one way or another–an attempt to be balanced is the best we can ask.  I have brains enough to figure out a slant when I see one, and can discount that as I read.  Besides, reading the “other side” makes sense, see what and how they think.
      But INVESTIGATIONS are what journalists need to be doing… backed by courageous editors and publishers, with sufficient patience and funding to get the job don…there is a WHOLE LOT we can learn about our world if people with the smarts and guts to expose it are allowed to do their work….used to be a journalist was an esteemed profession, if not highly paid. 

      These days you are lucky if you do not feel yourself a hack.

      BDN, are your listening?

    • Anonymous

      A good place to start with investigative reporting is the WELFARE ABUSE that is going on locally and nationally.  Our nation is falling apart because we’re spoon feeding able-bodied Americans when they should be working hard to make a difference in their lives and that of our nation.  We need reporters to look into the fraud, abuse and waste that is not only bankrupting our nation but that is creating another generation of users and abusers of the system. 

  • Re: Coal Tar Sands. There are no coal tar sands in Alberta. Renewable energy is a promise but as of yet is farther over the horizon than we need. Even with billions of dollars of investment, renewables are just beginning to push some fossil fuels out of our energy choices. As far as lobbyists and big oils agenda, big oil in Canada is US ownership in a large proportion. From news stories in Canada the government hired US lobbyists, we bought american. I understand the green lobby wanted to continue the funding arrangements as they were, even though they were in contravention of existing laws. I sure if the roles were reversed their would be a similar cry from US citizens. I know that green organisations are fit to be tied, they have the same right to intervene now as I do as citizen of Canada. The missed funding for intervening and lost photo op are just as hard to swallow. The abuse of process green organisations have called victory, the use of delay, is evident. There was bound to be a change.   

  • Anonymous

    TO BOB SOUSA: Yes, investigative reporting that is “fair and balanced” is important, and indeed it’s hard to find in most newspapers these days that don’t have the resources of the major newspapers of big cities. But the husband and wife team of John Christie and Naomi Schallit–whose most recent expose was of the shameful hiring of seven former Baldacci top assistants for seven highly paid posts at the U Maine System (save for one at the Orono campus)–do indeed contribute significantly and without any apparent ideological basis. Typically, the System doesn’t bother to respond, much less to defend itself. They could care less. But at least these investigators are trying to stir public interest.   And the Portland paper has done some very good investigations of the poor financial management of the U of Southern Maine when its president was the same person who hired six of those seven Baldacci  associates: recently departed Richard Pattenaude, who became Chancellor despite this poor record. The legislature generally shows no interest in such matters, to its own shame.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Mackin, Where do you think all that surplus military hardware from two unfunded wars should go? Cops in almost every small burg now have tasers and assault weapons.  And you are right, quality of life sure has degraded, both the air we breathe and the systems we thought were supposed to protect us. 

    • Anonymous

       We don’t need military hardware in American towns and cities to set up an “us against them scenario”. Law enforcement were viewed as public servants, now they are viewed as “authority figures”. They have the power over you.

      • Anonymous

        They sure do. The police are out of control.

  • Anonymous

    Russ It was a Democrat that announced that he was going to be the first Presidential candidate to raise $1 billion. 

    And another thing Russ, it’s not your money to decide what to do with.

    • Anonymous

       No, but I do like the idea of taxing all that money spent on buying an election. Of course, the real problem is those who are bought….. the voters. And the truly funny but sad thing is they get little in return.

  • Anonymous

    Suzanne Hachey to short on details to understand your point?
    Russ Irwin I hear you and I agree…we are upside down and inside out?
    Richard Mackin, Jr. …and it’s going to get worse before it gets any better.

  • Briney

    I agree with Ed’ Kokoszka.  But it’s doubly hard for many newspapers.  Staff and money, I would imagine.  Advertising drops immediately if a newspaper steps midstream in the political wars.  

    A swing, even slightly   to the left, loses many republican advertisers.  Playing the middle, draws scorn from republican readers.  

    The public would like to know more about today’s radically changed political scene.  They’d like to know more about what happened in that Waterville home where Ayla disappeared.  Why we have so many pot holes and can’t fix ’em.  Where is the mural that Le Page removed because one  e-mail that decried it.  Just skinning the surface.  But it would help newspaper circulation if it could be done.  The slicks that the state is peppered with are glorified ad’ catalogs. 

  • Anonymous

    Great letter Russ. And I hope you send someone other than Cushing to the Senate. He is an ALEC protege. Seems more interested in taking care of corporations than people.

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