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Friday, Sept. 14, 2012: Sorensen, Farnham, assisted suicide


Sorensen response

David Sorensen, the director of communications for the Maine Republican Party, attacked former Speaker Mike Saxl in a response that recently appeared in this newspaper. As two former state senators, one from each party, we differ with the Republican operative.

Saxl identified distortions surrounding an out-of-state advertisement by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with one point being that a structural gap is not the same thing as a deficit.

Maine requires a constitutionally balanced budget — no one can leave a deficit. In fact, Gov. Paul LePage faces a structural gap now. Since Maine started this form of budget forecasting, every governor since Joseph Brennan has faced a structural gap when preparing the budget for the following biennium. Angus King balanced the budget while substantially lowering Maine’s tax burden. He reduced Maine’s debt load, invested in Maine roads and infrastructure and cared for those most vulnerable. More importantly, then-Gov. King achieved that common good by working with both Democrats and Republicans.

Don’t let Sorensen’s name-calling and misleading rhetoric fool you. Judy Paradis and I are proud to join Saxl and others from both parties to assist the King campaign. King was a great governor because he put the common good of Maine people first. It’s time to do that again. If the partisan rhetoric turns your stomach as it does ours, please join us in the fight to put a real leader in the U.S. Senate.

Jim Libby and Judy Paradis

Former state senators



Farnham right choice

Sen. Nichi Farnham is the right choice for Bangor and Hermon. I have had the pleasure of getting to know her well during the last session of the Maine Legislature. I served with her on the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, where she served as Senate chair.

Farnham is a down-to-earth, nuts-and-bolts, “get ’er done” type of person. She has served the community well on school committee, city council and Race for the Cure. Couple this with her following her three boys through Bangor football, hockey and baseball, which has allowed her to develop a fantastic read on the pulse of Senate District 32.

Family comes first with her, right down to the family chocolate Labrador, Mocha, followed closely by her commitment to her constituents. She brings to the Legislature her true values of the common-sense, working woman and mom that she is. The expertise Farnham brings to the veterans committee as a graduate of the Air Force Academy and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force is unmatched. She is not a career politician; she just wants to fulfill her duty to represent the citizens of her district.

Farnham has been very instrumental in helping guide the state back to recovery. As a former Marine I salute her esprit de corps in the manner in which she tackles all assignments. The citizens of District 32 need to send Farnham back to the State House.

Rep. Dave Johnson


Assisted suicide rebuttal

Medical practice deliberately interferes with nature. Instead of letting a cholera victim die, a doctor gives medicine to kill the germs, and health is restored. The doctor deliberately massacres millions of cholera bacteria, created by the same God that created the patient. Is the doctor committing a sin by taking sides? By “playing God”?

Such thoughts are superstitious nonsense. Some suffering is unavoidable: An accident victim, lucky to be alive, knows pain will diminish and expects to be healthy again. But if cure is impossible, the aim must be to avoid senseless suffering. Terminal illness will sometimes produce agony that only death can relieve. Lingering life is not better than death if the sufferer is losing autonomy and descending into disability and hopelessness. If medicine merely prolongs misery and postpones the inevitable, it is perverted.

We euthanize our suffering pets and call that “humane,” but when a fellow human faces the choice between prolonged agony or a peaceful passing some onlookers vote in favor of the agony! Courageous patients refuse to be tortured by events beyond their control and may ask to be allowed to “go gentle into that good night.” It should be the individual’s choice whether to pass in peace or “rage against the dying of the light.”

Sanctimonious onlookers should mind their own business. One would expect that those who believe in an afterlife of eternal bliss in God’s presence would rush for the pearly gates. Oh, how I wish they would!

Gerald A. Metz, M.D.


Case closed too soon

The Maine State Police investigation of Robert Carlson was a valuable public service, but I think the case was closed too soon.

Carlson likely committed his crimes over many years, deceiving the mighty, exploiting the weak; there may have been more victims than we know.

Thanks to a BDN story, there are questions about his credentials. No one seems to know where he came from or how he rose to prominence in Maine, but we need to find out all we can before his cold trail disappears.

The best defense lies in revealing the whole sorry story, untangling the trail of bank accounts with which Carlson kept his victims hooked, discovering how many children he damaged, what those closest to him knew, and whether he had confederates who may still be at large.

It would be a grave mistake not to fathom this tragedy to its depths. The task will be legally complex and expensive, and it’s going to hurt, but preventing the rise of another Carlson will make the job worthwhile.

Clint Grubbs


Summers’ stablemates

If Charlie Summers is elected to the U.S. Senate it might be worthwhile to notice who some of his GOP stablemates would be.

Do the names Jim DeMint, David Vitter or Richard Burr ring a bell? Or maybe even the aspiring bell of the radical right ball Todd Akin. How do you like the smell of that barn?

David Calder


Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrection spelled the last name of the the director of communications for the Maine Republican Party. His name is David Sorensen, not Sorenson.

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