Election letters, part 1

Posted Oct. 24, 2012, at 2:51 p.m.

Romney’s dependent women

He keeps them in a binder, out of sight and can’t recall names of capable women. He’d allow employers to opt out of health-coverage mandates to provide birth control for women on grounds of moral objections. Women who cannot afford contraception often end up housebound with multiple children and insufficient funds for day care, let alone for furthering their education.

Such restrictive policies keep women out of the workforce and encourage dependency on the entitlement programs for which Republican Mitt Romney has so much disdain.

Something is very wrong here when health insurance policies willingly cover Viagra, but women

are not provided with the means to control their fertility.

Diane H. Schetky, M.D.

Topsham

ALEC bathwater

On Nov. 6 I’m voting against ALEC. The American Legislative Exchange Council wages

war against our democracy. Funded by huge corporations, this secretive, powerful group writes model legislation to benefit its own bottom line. State legislators are wined, dined and brainwashed into sponsoring these bills.

A few of ALEC’s policies, out of more than 800 model bills, would begin the gradual process of privatizing Social Security, Medicare and public schools. When you hear the word “voucher,” that is the beginning of the end for these historically successful programs.

ALEC promotes inequality for minorities and “stand your ground” bills like Florida’s and opposes bargaining rights and women’s rights. But perhaps the worst threat to our democracy is voter suppression, making it difficult or impossible for hundreds of thousands of Americans to vote. In Maine, Republican Charlie Summers brought us voter suppression; our people’s veto threw it out.

The following state legislators are members of ALEC, listed online by www.Sourcewatch.org: Sen. Richard Rosen, Sen. Debra Plowman, Sen. Brian Langley, Sen. Christopher Rector, Sen. Mike Thibodeau, Rep. Ryan Harmon, Rep. James Hamper and Charlie Summers, candidate for Olympia Snowe’s Senate seat.

When ALEC was exposed last summer by the mainstream media and Bill Moyers (see his documentary, The United States of ALEC, on www.Democracynow.org) more than 50 corporations and 70 legislators resigned from the organization, denouncing it as un-American. Not one Maine legislator quit.

Time to throw these babies out with the ALEC bathwater.

G. Bridges

Freedom

Credit endorsements

As a member of a credit union, I would like other members to know that their credit unions belong to a trade association called the Maine Credit Union League. Credit unions cannot directly endorse candidates, but through their trade association, they are making candidate endorsements this election.

I was not asked if I wanted my credit union to indirectly endorse candidates. I was not even informed that this was a practice the trade association engaged in. I wonder how many credit union members know this is going on. When I telephoned the MCUL, I was told that all credit unions in the state of Maine belong to the league. I don’t think credit unions should be endorsing candidates at all, even if it is indirectly. An organization can function like the Maine Organic

Farmers and Gardeners Association and lobby in Augusta for bills that benefit their members without endorsing candidates.

If you do not think that credit unions should be endorsing candidates through their trade association, I strongly urge you to contact your credit union today and ask that this practice be ended.

Susan Siens

Unity

Deabay champions workers’ causes

Dear fellow voters in Maine Senate District 31, we have the opportunity to vote for Democrat Emery Deabay, a true champion for working men and women and their families. Senate District 31 includes Maine communities across Penobscot and Hancock counties.

This year Gov. Paul LePage and the Maine Legislature enacted measures that will cause tremendous pain and hardship to hardworking people in our state. Changes in the workers’ compensation law will slash benefits to men and women who were hurt on the job through no

fault of their own. Changes in the unemployment insurance law will delay benefits to some workers or force them into lower-paying jobs sooner, again through no fault of their own.

As a worker at the paper mill in Bucksport for 37 years, Deabay understands the challenges that people like us face every day to make ends meet while raising a family. As our senator in Augusta during these challenging times, Deabay will help lead the fight against measures that target workers simply to boost the bottom lines of already profitable businesses and insurance companies.

When it comes to the issues that matter most to working families — health care, education and tax fairness — Deabay is someone we can count on to do the right thing and work hard for us every day. He already does. Elect Deabay on Nov. 6.

Tammy Marston

Bucksport

Debate farce

I was reminded again why not to subject myself to the farce called “presidential debate, town-meeting style.” The people in the audience had some very direct and important questions, all of which were almost completely sidestepped by both candidates.

They both obviously had their own agendas and, while looking directly at the questioner,

presented unrelated answers in the form of attacks on their opponent.

We need a president who will listen to the people, unlike the one we have now. I was hoping that Republican Mitt Romney would be that kind of person. To try to win an election by making your opponent look bad is not the proper method. You have to show the people that you will be a better person. If a person can’t show that he is truly qualified for the position, he should bow out and make room for someone who is. Do you think that will ever happen?

I wonder how many of you that voted early would like to change your ballot. The true demeanor of the candidates will come out as the real voting date approaches. It makes sense to me to wait until you really know the candidates before you cast your ballot. To all of you who think your vote doesn’t count and refuse to cast your ballot, don’t come out complaining when you are not happy with the outcome. It probably happened because of you who refused to vote.

Timothy Smyth

Millinocket

Voting for a moderate

Democrat Meredith Ares is running for State Legislative District 41, to represent Frankfort, Orland, Prospect, Searsport, Stockton Springs and Verona. She is a moderate who analyzes the issues thoughtfully and consistently comes down on the side of fairness and sound fiscal policy.

Her opponent is incumbent James Gillway, R-Searsport, who has voted consistently to pass Gov. Paul LePage’s radical agenda, even when more moderate Republicans refused to do so.

He voted with the minority to support a voucher system, which would have provided for redistribution of tax dollars from public schools to religious schools (LD 1866) and to create the new crime of murder against an unborn child ( LD 1463).

He voted with a small minority to overturn Maine’s Clean Elections Law; voted to eliminate same-day voter registration (since overturned by Maine voters) and sponsored a failed bid to require photo identification to vote (blocked or delayed by courts in some other states).

He voted to delay and reduce unemployment insurance benefits. (LD 1725). He was for cutting the Child Care Subsidy Program and the widely respected Head Start (LD 1746).

Yet he voted to give Maine’s wealthiest 1 percent an income-tax break of about $2,900 in a “tax reform” that would give average Mainers a break of only about $120, (achieved by reducing state obligations to retired workers).

I don’t believe these votes represent the values of District 41 citizens. Ares shares our values, and she’s getting my vote.

George Schelling

Orland

Levesque a vote for education

For the past 30 years, I have had the pleasure of knowing District 34 candidate Democrat Dan Levesque. We have been personal friends, and we have raised our children together.

I have also been an educator for the past 30 years, and I have seen firsthand the great injustices that have been done to the educators of Maine. I know that Levesque empathizes with our situation and knows the importance of quality teachers and the education of our children.

I have witnessed the hard work and determination that Levesque put forth during his tenure at Levesque Lumber, Fraser Paper and, most recently, at Aroostook Internet. I am sure that Levesque will use the same hard work and diligence in working for the people of District 34.

In closing, I would say that a vote for Levesque is a vote for education and the people of District 34.

Bill Nemer

Ashland

 

Political meetings

Teachers and health care providers in Ukraine are expected to attend pre-election political meetings of the party in power. This resembles the endorsement by Republican Mitt Romney of employers advising who to vote for. What is the difference among politicians world over?

Bohdan Slabyj

Brewer

Jethro Pease speaks authentically

In the upcoming election, I will be splitting my Democrat preferences and voting for Jethro Pease, a Republican from Morrill, for the House of Representatives. In my career as the director of the Community Action Agency in Waldo County, I have watched and participated in many community issues in which Pease played a part.

He has a tremendous dedication to the fire department in Morrill, the town we both live in, and has committed thousands of volunteer hours to ensure residents are well protected.

He worked tirelessly to oversee the town budget process and always demonstrated reasonable and careful concern as to the town administration. He speaks up clearly when he feels that he is mistaken, as he does when he is passionate about a cause. I feel strongly that we need more ethical behavior and people who speak authentically and take personal responsibility in our state government.

I trust Pease to represent the people honestly, with diligence and great care. I know that he is concerned to see that those in need live a life of dignity, and, at the same time, he tempers his willingness to provide help with common sense and a practical view toward efficiency and careful stewardship.

He has conducted a campaign that includes a great deal of door-to-door work and careful listening to the individuals whom he will serve. I am confident that he will serve us honestly and to the best of his ability.

Joyce C. Scott

Morrill

Understanding Aroostook needs

Two years ago, the Maine AllCare bill for universal single-payer health care died in committee in spite of a room full of consumers and providers who testified for the bill. One lone insurance

representative offered the only opposition. In a public forum, Aroostook legislators were asked if they had read the bill. They had not. Most didn’t know it existed.

At one of his town-hall meetings, the governor, when asked about the health care law Republicans passed, didn’t show any indication that he had read either bill. At a recent forum sponsored by Leaders Encouraging Aroostook Development, Rep. Joyce Fitzpatrick, R-

Houlton, defended the law by referring to her own experience in the insurance industry and Sen. Roger Sherman, R-Houlton, defended it with references to Craig Green, a local insurance agent.

Before LEAD’s forums, the League of Women Voters of Maine attempted to sponsor three public forums focused on health, education and the Aroostook economy. All Republicans declined to participate.

The chair of the Aroostook Republicans explained in an email: “We had a meeting today; it appears that our candidates are committed and concentrating on their own districts and door-to-door contacts with the voters.” He gave a different explanation to a reporter from

Fiddlehead Focus, saying the lack of Republican participation was unintended.

Think about this before you vote. Democratic candidates show up for all forums, prepared, thoughtful, knowledgeable and eager to talk straight with voters.

Alice Bolstridge, Ph. D.

Presque Isle

Vote Michaud

I have been watching the race for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District seat with great interest. Republican Kevin Raye is running against Democrat U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, who has served the district well. I find Raye’s campaign troubling because he really has not been effective for Washington County.

Raye has not been very supportive of Maine small businesses — businesses that are mom and pop or less than 10 employees, not the Republican definition of less that 50 employees.

Washington County is full of individuals who are fishermen, construction workers and Internet entrepreneurs who really understand the plight of the small business in the hands of the Republican Legislature. Health care costs are a huge part of this picture, and Raye played a big hand in the recently passed Maine health care legislation that was devastating to small businesses and individuals in rural Maine. He likes to say it was a bipartisan effort with 10 Democrats voting for the package. My question is, were they senators from rural Maine?

Washington County is rich in resources and innovative individuals. Trickle-down economics doesn’t work here. We build from the ground up, and we work on solid foundation. There might be good reasons why Raye was endorsed by national business groups like the U.S. Chamber of

Commerce, but none of those reasons is good for Washington County or Maine. Michaud is a good man and is good for the 2nd Congressional District.

I hope you will join me in voting for Michaud on Nov. 6.

Jeanne Guisinger

Perry

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