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Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012: Ballot questions, elections and bonds

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.

Jenna Mehnert


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

Meredith Ares

Democratic candidate

A vote for Longley

In the run-up to the election we have seen a number of letters in support of Susan Longley for judge of probate of Waldo County from social workers, educators and family members who have recently taken part in probate proceedings.

I think there is a simple explanation for their heartfelt endorsements. In her eight years as judge of probate, Longley has instituted a mediation procedure and other measures that help turn what could otherwise be a costly litigation nightmare into a helpful family opportunity. I am casting my vote for Longley.

William Nelson


McCabe for Maine

Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, has integrity and honesty. District 85 is fortunate to have him as its representative. He’s a different type of politician. I have been impressed because he’s one of the only politicians I’ve ever met who speaks honestly, thoughtfully and straightforwardly on his stands on issues. I had the opportunity to facilitate a forum with local politicians, and McCabe impressed me by clearly stating how he stood and not dodging hard questions.

In reading the newspaper article profiling McCabe and Skillings, it was noteworthy that McCabe spoke about representing the people, their needs and jobs; while Republican Donald Skillings, of Skowhegan, spoke of making things better for businesses, never mentioning the citizens.

I hope people decide to support McCabe rather than another party-line person to continue policies like those that have led to higher insurance rates for seniors and small businesses, higher taxes for the middle class and fewer investments in Maine and infrastructure.

John Soifer

South China

Waste of tax dollars

The time has come to review how Maine constitutional officers are elected. Typically, the constitutional offices are handed out to losing candidates of the political party that holds the majority in the Legislature. After being awarded with these positions, they immediately start pursuing election to another office.

The citizens of Maine should elect the state treasurer, attorney general and secretary of state by popular vote. The time has come to do away with treating these positions as political plum jobs for the party in power. The citizens of Maine are very capable of electing the constitutional officers and will expect them to be on the job; if not, they will not get re-elected.

This year, three Republican constitutional officers ran in the primary for Sen.Olympia Snowe’s seat. Thank goodness we have qualified state employees running these offices while the three

candidates were away from their jobs. Talk about a waste of taxpayer dollars.

David Crockett


What God intended

I think if God created the institution of marriage, it’s wrong for man to try to change it. Matthew 19:4-5 says, “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He made them at the beginning made them male and female,’ and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”

Two men and two women do not fit together. They cannot become one flesh as God intended.

The most disturbing thing: the so-called Christian churches that support same-sex marriage. Why are they changing the teachings of God? He says homosexuality is a sin. When the so-called Christian churches say same-sex marriage is OK, and homosexuality is not sinful, what Pandora’s box is being opened?

Janice Bodwell


Vote yes

Two issues of interest are garnering headlines these days. One is the prostitution case and publication of “client” names; the other is the referendum on same-sex marriage. The two are not as far apart as first glance might suggest.

Many are waiting to see if the “johns” are public figures, “important, upstanding citizens.” I have no interest in that; if folks don’t realize by now how hard, how far and how often the mighty fall, you haven’t been paying attention.

What I want to know is how many of the married “johns” have “Don’t Redefine Marriage” signs on their lawns. How many leave church on their Sabbath, filled with rhetoric of “God-sanctified marriage” between one man and one woman, all while breaking several commandments at once? How many think same-sex marriage will destroy “real” marriages?

There is a great deal of hypocrisy in the campaign against marriage equality. Even the most vocal opponents know fully well that hetero-marriage is a whole lot less “sacred” and perfect than opponents argue. While same-sex marriages would encounter the same issues as hetero-marriages, so would there exist as many committed, loving, deeply faithful relationships.

I suggest that folks fill in the arrow pointing to yes on Question 1 and give same-sex couples the right to call their committed relationship marriage and receive the benefits thereof. Definitions

change with time and social flux. “Marriage” should mean love, honor, respect and commitment. As humans, we are all capable of those things. Gender should not matter.

Suzanne Moulton


King of the Hill

Independent U.S. Senate candidate Angus King and I first met in 1995 on Maine’s first International Trade Mission to Japan. It was his first trip to Asia, as it was for most of us, and his demeanor was one of optimism.

One of my first impressions of King was his approachability. He listens intently, quickly understands the full picture of what people are saying and responds with his own unvarnished thoughts.

He doesn’t shrink from doing things himself. A small example: As we flew over the Pacific, many rows ahead a couple with a crying baby couldn’t open an overhead locker to retrieve a supply of fresh diapers. The husband and flight attendants struggled with it. Then, to the rescue, was the governor of Maine (unknown to the passengers), standing on a seat, determined to help. He managed to pry open that overhead locker, to applause.

During our time in Japan, King represented us in the best imaginable manner: composed and eloquent. His leadership enabled many of us to close deals and come home happy.

Now King is running for the U.S. Senate to represent us in Washington as an independent , outside the box, not to be hemmed in by the tunnel vision of one political party. He insists on thinking for himself. That’s what Mainers are known for. He feels the call to return to public office and work for our state of Maine once more, to solve big problems any way he can.

Barnaby Porter


A vote for Longley

I am supporting Susan Longley for re-election to the position of Waldo County judge of probate.

Longley has helped many families with difficult issues, including those of guardianship, adoption, name changes and administration of decedents’ estates in a very respectful and caring manner during her term as judge.

Waldo County has many lower income families who are unable to afford high lawyer and legal fees for matters referred to probate court, and her initiation of negotiation instead of a trial has saved numerous families. I have personally had a situation to appear in Longley’s court and felt the matter was dealt with in a fair and respectful way for all parties.

I urge you to vote in November and to re-elect Longley as Waldo County judge of probate regardless of your political party affiliation.

James White


See the truth

Much has been said about committed couples of the same sex being able to marry. Marriage was started way back in Genesis. God ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman.

And yes, God does love everyone, and He does not want us to judge. When a woman was caught in adultery, she wasn’t judged by God. The issue isn’t whether homosexuals are committed or not. The issue is whether it is right or wrong. The truth and what is right often seems to be lost in our society today.

I watched a coworker and friend die of AIDS because he refused to turn from homosexuality. It was a slow and painful death. I hurt for him.

On a happier note, I’ve seen another friend turn from homosexuality and now is happily married. I care enough to want them to see the error of their ways and to turn before it is too late. If I were a homosexual, I would be grateful someone loved me enough to help me see the truth.

Meredith and Bill Rodzen


City void of respect

The city of Rockland, by actions of the mayor, the city council and administration have created a situation that is void of respect, accountability, responsibility and reasonable transparency.

They agreed to pay salary and benefits for the next four months (one-third of a yearly salary with benefits) to a person for whom we, the taxpayers, will receive absolutely no benefit of, at a time when we can least afford it. That amounts to an average property tax for 15 homes, paying an average of $2,000 per year.

Has this city totally ignored the sacrifices you made in order to pay your $2,000 tax bill?

Harold (Dale) Hayward, Jr.

Candidate for City Council


Support Maine bonds

Maine’s water, wastewater, and transportation facilities need an estimated $1.5 billion in repairs over the next five years split equally between transportation and clean water needs. Voting yes on Questions 4 and 5 on Nov. 6. will help us reduce this backlog.

Infrastructure typically does not deteriorate rapidly. It is a slow process and, as such, it is sometimes not all that noticeable, especially when what is important is out of sight. But that

deterioration accumulates, and, in Maine, it has accumulated to the point where further neglect will leave the next generation with unmanageable financial demands.

Passage of these two bond questions is very important. The American Council of Engineering Companies of Maine wants you to know there is a growing backlog of needed repairs and improvements and, unless someone is suggesting we do not need clean water, roads, and bridges, we are well advised to do our best to stay current with the maintenance of these facilities.

The transportation bond is Question 4 for $51.5 million in state funds, and it will raise an additional $105.6 million in mostly federal match from tax dollars you have already sent to Washington.

The clean water bond is Question 5 for $7.925 million, which will make Maine eligible to secure $39.625 million in federal grants. This bond will largely be used to finance loans, allowing the repayments of the loans to be reissued again and again.

These are solid investments in Maine’s future. Support Questions 4 and 5 on Nov. 6.

Jim Wilson


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