In “Why one Bangor Democrat voted for Angus King,” Bill Sullivan argues that Democrats must throw in the towel and support King because Democrat Cynthia Dill does not have “a snowball’s chance of being elected.” I would submit that if “long-standing Democratic activists” like Sullivan had worked from the beginning to support and promote Dill, her chances would be much different.
Agreed, many of us recoil as we recall the election of Gov. Paul LePage, but that election is not a template for all others. Dill has come from behind with surprise wins in the past. Just as the BDN
opined about advertising (“How ads vie for your vote”) on the page opposite Sullivan’s comments, the media, too, influences our thinking.
Unfortunately the BDN declared Dill’s election chances dead on arrival months ago, and we, like a flock of sheep, duly followed that thinking.
Independent Angus King does not represent the values and beliefs of many of us. He backed George W. Bush for president in 2000, and he is unwilling to reveal which party he will caucus with if elected. He does not support ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, and he does not oppose the Alberta tar sands pipeline. Besides, how much clout is he really going to have as a freshman senator unaffiliated with either party? It could be years before he has much influence.
District 25 race called a battleground
Republicans have criticized Senate District 25 Democratic candidate Colleen Lachowicz’s online comments about Gov. Paul LePage and others while playing the online role-playing game “World of Warcraft.”
Her opponent Republican Sen. Thomas H. Martin says the attack was launched by the Maine Republican Party without his knowledge and feels that the attack was based on her online statements rather than her playing a video game.
I will take him at his word on this. However this criticism reflects very poorly on Maine’s Republican Party, whose willingness to infringe on anyone’s 1st Amendment right to achieve political gain, paints them in an extremely poor light. I was a Republican as a young man, but it was a different party then, unrecognizable in comparison to what it has become today.
Concerted unconstitutional and self-serving efforts such as this by the Maine Republican Party reinforce my decision to switch parties some 40 years ago. However, one highly important issue
remains. Martin voted 15 out of 17 times against Maine’s working families, students, teachers, elderly and disabled on legislation written by the Republican side of the 125th Maine
Legislature. This is a very real issue and the one we really need to be thinking seriously about.
What’s best for your family?
Bruce K. Hixon
Is Marriage the Answer?
If I peel the superfluous off the gay-marriage issue, I see in gay couples a strong desire to be loved, accepted and happy. Gay and lesbian people do portray themselves as being one big happy family, but does the striving for acceptance indicate they aren’t as happy as they want us to believe?
If they aren’t happy with what they already have, how is marriage going to change that? I know people who thought getting married was the answer to happiness, only to find out otherwise. After the dust settled, hurting people, including children, remained to pick up the pieces. People sometimes resort to desperate measures to gain love, acceptance and happiness, but it only makes things worse if you aren’t happy with yourself to begin with.
I personally don’t think love, acceptance and happiness can be legislated, and that’s why I’m
voting no on Question 1.
Mixed record for Republicans
The past two years have shown how fragile historic, bipartisan work on environmental protections can be. The radical LePage administration, with often compliant support of the Republican Legislature, has set about a process of undoing decades of negotiated, hard work.
Two reports by Maine Conservation Voters (MCV) offer a useful summary.
On the constructive side, legislators banned BPA from reusable containers (like baby bottles), passed a bond issue protecting working farms, forests and waterfronts, protected vernal pools standards critical to wildlife habitat and defeated the “takings” measure that would have threatened future environmental legislation.
When partisanship prevailed and Republicans chose to support the governor, major reversals occurred: elimination of the pesticide notification registry; weakened open pit mining regulations; constraints limiting citizen participation in agency review processes; efforts to weaken if not eliminate the Land Use Regulatory Commission, the agency charged with protecting our North Maine Woods.
Changes in the application of Maine’s Uniform Building and Energy Code will compromise standards intended to protect air quality and control energy usage costs in new homes.
MCV scored legislators on their 2011-12 environmental performance. Democratic incumbents scored 100 percent with 100 percent lifetime scores. Running to represent Bar Harbor, Democratic House candidate Brian Hubbell and Senate candidate David White have been endorsed by MCV. In contrast, Republican Sen. Brian Langley scored 33 percent with a 32 percent lifetime score.
If you are committed to protecting Maine’s environment, you know what to do on Nov 6.
John S. O’Brien
The historian and history teacher in me is compelled to address the assertions in William Duddy’s letter (BDN, 10/11). That “throughout history marriage has been between one man and one woman” is not true.
The Bible alone is replete with stories of men with more than one wife. Further, think of the story of Jacob and Esau when a wife tricked her husband into recognizing her son as opposed to another woman’s to assure his inheritance. History’s first recorded marriages were about
property and inheritance, not recognition of some immutable natural law.
Those early societies made wives the property of their husbands under law. Who would endorse such a thing today?
In Maine, there are 43 privileges accorded citizens on the basis of a legally binding marriage. Almost none are available to couples who choose a civil union or domestic partnership. If you doubt the legal merits of same sex-marriages, read the history of the civil rights movement. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” educational facilities for African Americans were not equal. We have tried separate but equal, and it doesn’t work.
There will be no compulsion for religious bodies to perform marriages if Question 1 passes on Nov. 6. It would make no sense anyway for same-sex couples to force someone, who sees their marriage as amoral, to perform a ceremony.
If you believe in equal treatment and the separation of church and state, vote yes on Question 1.
Suzanne M. O’Connor, Ph.D.
Rep. Michaud’s support earns praise
As a member of the American Counseling Association for nearly 50 years, I was pleased to see my professional organization single out Democratic Rep. Michael Michaud this past summer for his tireless efforts in support of the mental health counseling needs of our nation’s veterans. Michaud has been a leading congressional voice in making certain that our military men and women transition successfully to their careers, education and civilian lives.
A reference to his ACA recognition can be found at www.counseling.org.
Frank Burtnett, Ed.D.
Vote for Meredith Ares
I seek to represent Maine House District 41, which includes Frankfort, Orland, Prospect, Searsport, Stockton Springs and Verona Island, to fight for the interests of everyday Mainers.
Over six months, I have visited more than 2,500 voters at their homes. Many said they are concerned about schools, health care or taxes. Everyone expressed concern about the economy and jobs. Small business owners said they want to expand but can’t.
The feeling I heard expressed most often by voters was disappointment with government in Augusta. Almost everyone I spoke to feels Augusta has become mired in partisan agendas and special interests.
We need to elect people who are not hemmed in by rigid party loyalties and restrictive pledges to special interests. I will be that kind of legislator.
We need to inform our decisions with quality data instead of ideological dogma, such as by using the Maine Economic Growth Council’s independent, yearly analysis of economic benchmarks.
Another valuable resource available to all legislators is their constituents. The people who deal with state government in their daily lives can tell us, better than any consultant, where it is unresponsive, wasteful or arbitrary.
I will use my voice and my vote to promote fairness, cooperation and common sense in our state government
I give my wholehearted support to Democrat Katherine Cassidy in her race for state representative. She has shown true backbone in her stand against the proposed east-west highway, a multi-million dollar boondoggle for the construction and trucking industries.
She has proven she will listen to her constituents, and she has my vote.
Patriotic thing to do
As our nation prepares to elect our leader, and our state examines the issue of marriage licenses for same-sex couples, the dialogue I have observed is troubling. I embrace my religious identity, but as a proud American, I hold another principle just as close.
Our forefathers believed in the separation of church and state as a grounding philosophy. They did not want our diverse religious beliefs to govern our country. After all, we are the land of the free, and we each see things through our own lens. Respecting those different opinions is why our laws cannot govern morality. Marriage is a contract authorized by the state. It obligates two people to certain responsibilities, to add on layers of religious meaning is an emotional factor and not one related to the actual historical purpose of marriage.
Question 1 does not obligate a single church to perform a religious marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple, it just permits the state to issue a license allowing a legal contract. Supporting same-sex marriage is simply the patriotic thing to do and has nothing to do with how you feel about homosexuality.