About Nichi Farnham
While Republican Sen. Nichi Farnham presents herself as a reasonable, moderate soccer mom, her economic, social and environmental philosophy and policies mirror those of the tea party-controlled State House and Senate.
Similarly, her voting record is a carbon copy of Gov. Paul LePage. It requires little imagination to conclude she is a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s corporate, 1 percent political agenda.
Although I am still undecided about my vote for several candidates this November, there is one vote I know I will be happy to make. Ever since I heard that Democrat Geoff Gratwick was running for State Senate to represent Bangor and Hermon, I knew he had my vote. As a Bangor City Councilor, Gratwick has proved himself as someone who listens and does his homework.
I believe his goal has always been to come up with the best solution for Bangor, based on his values of compassion, justice, sustainability and fiscal responsibility.
In order to accomplish his goals, he has been willing to compromise, think outside the box and has often succeeded in getting opposing sides to work together to achieve effective solutions. I believe that Bangor, Hermon and the state of Maine need more people like Gratwick in the Maine Senate.
Let’s vote for that
Rep. Ray Wallace, R-Dexter, has not been very public about the proposed east-west highway, and he has good reason. He was a co-sponsor of the feasibility study to allow at least $300,000 to be spent on looking into this private project.
In contrast Democrat Dave Pearson, Wallace’s challenger in this year’s election, has stated he opposes the corridor. He cites among many reasons the lack of transparency from our leadership and the likelihood that eminent domain will be used should this project become a reality. We need representation that acts in our best interests in Augusta. Let’s vote for that.
About the Legislature
In a recent Op-Ed, the Maine Center for Economic Policy claimed that income-tax reductions primarily benefited the wealthy and hurt property taxpayers. Rep. Kathy Chase, R-Wells, responded in another Op-Ed and chastised the center for ignoring inconvenient facts and erroneously concluding that income tax cuts lead to property-tax increases.
Prospective effects are hard to predict. On the municipal side, our hands are full trying to get the Legislature to honor its financial commitments to local government in real time. That said, here is some additional information.
Chase correctly points out that school funding was increased by $62 million over the most recent biennium but neglects to mention that during the same biennium the Legislature raided the municipal revenue sharing program, a program created in 1972 specifically for property tax relief purposes, to the tune of $85 million. The Legislature giveth, and the Legislature taketh away.
Also, Chase could have pointed out that the $62 million increase in school funding over the two-year period only kept the state’s contribution to the total cost at the 45-percent level rather than the 55-percent level as directed by Maine’s voters in 2004. That spread of 10 percentage points represents an additional $180 million a year on the property tax side of the equation.
We can only think that the voters, when they issued that directive to the Legislature, expected it to be honored.
Maine Municipal Association
An advertisement by the president attacking Mitt Romney has excerpts from a speech Romney gave detailing that he cannot win the votes of 47 percent of the public because they receive some sort of government benefit, are dependent on the government and effectively would not vote against their best interests.
Able-bodied citizens tell me they receive disability payments because of some ailment — mental or physical — yet they can spend time on Facebook, walk, talk and sit still for hours. They can’t hold a job as a telemarketer, customer service representative, burger flipper, eBay entrepreneur or any other position? Why is that? I believe it’s because they don’t want to.
I’m a retired major and hold a license as a registered nurse. My latest Social Security statement said I qualified for disability benefits of about $1,200 per month. Half my salary to sit at home and spend time on Facebook? If the president is re-elected I think I will become a taker and let those of you who work and support the president take care of me for awhile.
The first presidential debate illustrates President Barack Obama’s usual strong desire to reach a compromise with his Republican adversaries, in spite of their clear objective of never giving him an inch.
His conciliatory approach is reminiscent of that of Britain’s Neville Chamberlain in 1939, who failed to realize that it would not work against an implacable enemy. Let us hope that for the rest of the campaign Obama uses the example of a defiant Winston Churchill, or that of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, who referred to powerful corporations and moneyed interests as the “captains of industry,” and proclaimed “they are unanimous in their hatred for me, and I welcome their hatred.”
Obama must boldly confront Republican Mitt Romney for his many lies, distortions and frequent flip-flopping on a host of issues. This underlines the many occasions when Republican intransigence has cynically blocked legislation that could have provided much needed relief to the economic train wreck engineered under the George W. Bush administration.