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Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012: Election letters

Clergy supporting Question 1

We, members of Maine’s Jewish clergy, support and affirm the right of all Maine citizens to be legally married in our state, and we advocate for all couples, including same-sex couples, to receive marriage licenses in Maine. Jewish tradition holds central the value of human dignity and recognizes that all people, regardless of sexual orientation, are created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.

We know that marriage creates stable households for children, regardless of the gender of the couple, and we want that stability for all families in Maine. We know that marriage is about love and commitment, and we see these qualities in our congregations, our communities and our state, in both heterosexual couples and same-sex couples. We also value the importance of religious freedom and affirm that each religious tradition and each religious leader should have the right to perform marriage ceremonies as they see fit. With these values in mind, we advocate for voting yes on Question 1, to allow the state of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while protecting religious freedom.

Rabbi Carolyn Braun

Temple Beth El, Portland

Rabbi Susan Bulba Carvutto

Temple Beth El, Augusta

Rabbi David Freidenreich

Rabbi Justin Goldstein

Rabbi Akiva Herzfeld

Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh, Portland

Rabbi Rachel Isaacs

Colby College, Waterville

Rabbi Hillel Katzir

Temple Shalom Synagogue, Auburn

Rabbi Darah Lerner

Congregation Beth El, Bangor

Rabbi Jared H. Saks

Congregation Bet Ha’am, South Portland

Vote Verow

Soon the elections will come to an end. The political signs will come down; the multitude of TV ads will be ended; and we will sit back to see if our choices will do as they have promised.

My choice to represent Brewer in the Maine Legislature is Democrat Arthur Verow. Verow is an exceptionally qualified candidate for the job. He has served this community with distinction and has earned the chance to continue that service to Brewer.

His many years as city clerk have given him an insight on the needs of the city. His time on the city council will make it much easier for him to take an active role in the legislative process.

I encourage the voters of Brewer to join the Fishers in giving Verow your support. He has earned it.

Charles Fisher


Vote Emery

We are lucky to have an everyday working person like Emery Deabay, D-Bucksport, running for election to represent the people of Maine Senate District 31.

Last year the Maine Legislature voted to pass a health insurance bill that will harm people in this part of the state by raising their rates. Deabay would have opposed this bill and, as our state senator, will fight to repeal it.

Tax breaks to millionaires is the wrong direction for our state when we have crumbling roads and bridges that need repair. In Augusta, Deabay will work hard to ensure tax fairness and much needed jobs for working families in our state.

A longtime mill worker and champion for workers’ rights, Deabay knows that the Legislature went in the wrong direction this year by taking away benefits from workers hurt on the job who are now struggling to make ends meet. Deabay wholeheartedly opposes this decision.

Bruce Robertson


Support Randy

As a lifelong, die-hard Democrat, I am happy to cross party lines in support of Randy Mailloux for judge of probate in Waldo County. I have worked in the courts with Mailloux for more than 30 years, and I know that he is very professional and knowledgeable of the law.

He knows courtroom procedure and also knows how to resolve cases that do not need to be resolved in the courtroom. He is clearly the more qualified candidate for this office, and I urge Waldo County voters to support him.

Steven C. Peterson


“We’ll make him fail”

Rush Limbaugh was the first to say publicly (and not be rebuked by Republican party leaders) — “I want to see him fail.” Then we learned of a meeting on inauguration night where Republican leaders vowed to deny President Barack Obama any successes, to vote no on all he proposed.

If Obama is not re-elected it will be primarily because a majority of people think his policies haven’t corrected the George W. Bush years’ disasters fast enough. How many will consider how our system works? “The president proposes, the Congress disposes.” If one other branch perpetually says no, the people will never get to see a president’s policies actually implemented.

Leave aside considerations of how unjust it is to any elected leader to sabotage him, trip him up and then say, “Look how unsteady he is on his feet. Now let our side take over again.”

But do consider the principle that would be enshrined if this scheming is rewarded with Obama’s defeat: Making your “adversary,” though duly elected by the will of the American people, fail provides an advantage for your party, however much the country as a whole will suffer from the consequences. If successful, this cynical, anti-democratic tactic will likely then become the paradigm we are governed by.

I think if we re-elect Obama such a destructive tactic will itself have failed. Then cooperation and compromise might again be considered the truly advantageous “tactics” of governing.

Janice Plourde

Cape Neddick

Cut the cord

I have been reading the BDN for 35 years. Its endorsement of same-sex marriage was completely out of line. This is a topic that should be determined in the polls, not in the newsprint. The BDN should know that many people read the printed word as though it were gospel and as though it were absolute truth.

Newspapers are supposed to report news, not create it or publish their opinions. If the paper wants to print its opinions, write a letter and print it the same as the rest of the population has to. Shame on you BDN. As much as I enjoy following some writers and relaxing by reading online, I have decided to remove the BDN from my computer and iPhone apps.

Gene Corliss


Family supports Gratwick

With the election approaching, my family encourages voters in Bangor and Hermon to vote for Democrat Geoffrey Gratwick in the race for state Senate. Gratwick was my mother’s rheumatologist for more than two decades. He saved her life more than once and gave her more time with us than most people believed was possible. We will always be incredibly grateful and indebted to Gratwick.

But this letter isn’t intended to convince anyone that Gratwick is a wonderful physician. Those who know Gratwick are familiar with his professional reputation and accomplishments. Instead, this letter is meant to explain that the skills he used to help my mother are sorely needed in the Maine Senate.

Gratwick is gifted at listening, recognizing problems, identifying solutions and then making sure the problems are resolved. He also possesses tremendous empathy and understanding. No one works harder to assist people of modest means to obtain the care they need.

Win or lose, Gratwick will always be a champion for the thousands of people he has encountered through the years.

Patty Dunbar


Halloween Obama style

I just viewed a video online that showed a guy at a Halloween block party who set up a “candy redistribution” center. As the kids got to his booth, he inspected their bags and pumpkins full of candy, told some of them they had too much candy and took candy out of their bags and gave it to children who had less. He told them that it was only “fair” that they give up part of their hard-earned candy for those kids who didn’t work as hard or didn’t have as much as they did.

You should have heard the little trick-or-treaters protest. Almost to a kid, they proclaimed that they deserved to keep what they had collected and felt the other kids should go out and try

and collect more for themselves.

Does any of this sound familiar? They told him it was against the law, that they were going to call the police. Remember, next Tuesday we have a chance to speak for those among us that believe that redistribution is not really fair. I’m with the kids.

Jim Lutz


Pick your side

There is really only one question to ask yourself before voting on the gay marriage issue.

Am I on God’s side or on the side of the homosexuals? It’s as simple as that, and there is no middle ground.

Glennice Cline


Support Engelhardt

My father, Republican Robert Engelhardt Sr., is running to represent the people living in Pittsfield, Detroit and Clinton. I can’t think of a better person for the job. Engelhardt is a man of integrity, and his values related to family, fair treatment of others and heritage are second to none. He has no ulterior reason to hold the position. He has the time and energy to truly represent the people in his district, as well as the desire to do so.

Sportsmen should note that he has the endorsements of the National Rifle Association and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, and he is a staunch believer in the right to keep and bear arms.

Bob Engelhardt Jr.


Big government or business

Should I be more worried about big government or big business? Since the Supreme Court decision Citizens United, how much difference is there between them?

For example, will nominations to the Independent Medicare Advisory Board include consumer and family representatives making decisions on behalf of the common good for the American people?

Are consumers or families represented in the decisions about service availability that are made in corporations on behalf of profit for stockholders? I have more confidence in President Barack Obama and right-size government responsible to voters than I do in Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s support for big business.

Mark Rains


Vote for Cynthia Ann Dill

A cherished right in our democracy is the right to vote. Exercising our right to vote in meaningful and constructive ways requires a lot of careful thought about the issues and the person who will represent our best interests in the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.

We want to send to Washington a person who has vision, courage, compassion and intelligence and who is willing to take risks for the good of Maine citizens and to work hard in a cooperative manner for what is in the best interest of the state of Maine and the nation.

Our 21st century Margaret Chase Smith, Democrat Cynthia Dill, will represent Maine with distinction and honor. Cast your vote on Election Day for our next great senator, out of a long line of outstanding senators, who have represented Maine. Vote on Nov. 6 for Dill.

Robert Chaplin

Bar Harbor

Vote for Troy Haines

I am running to represent District 7 (Including E-plantation, Hammond, Oxbow, Masardis, Wade, Washburn, Littleton, Monticello, Mapleton, Castle Hill, Chapman and part of Presque Isle) in the Maine Legislature. I am also a butcher who owns the largest processor of moose in the state.

I want to talk about how I see the relationship between business owner and worker. During the last session we were told by people like my opponent that the needs of business and working people are diametrically opposed. I disagree.

After our busiest season (my workforce has grown from 16 employees to 28) I can tell you that my success is dependent on my workers and the relationship I have with them. I don’t understand the approach to “business friendliness” in Augusta that says that to support business we must hurt working people. They’ve reduced workers compensation protections, made health insurance less affordable, attacked the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain and attempted to reduce wages. This administration has demonized teachers and public employees in order to raid their pensions to give tax breaks to Maine’s wealthiest.

I think the most important thing for voters to remember is to vote for someone who you have common experiences with. I’ve lived and worked in the district all my life. I’m a working class guy who grew up poor in Aroostook and is trying to make good. I’d like to see that everyone has that same opportunity.

Troy Haines

Democratic candidate


King no friend of small business

All elected politicians work for us, the public. Yet when independent U.S. Senate candidate Angus King was governor, he refused, at least on one occasion, to work with a small business owner.

The incident I’m speaking of: Route 139, which hosts multiple businesses and is the main throughway for many trucking companies, was slated to close to all heavy traffic. Closing it would close the businesses on the route and affect 13 families. Knowing this, my father, Joseph Tyler, called the governor’s office, pleading to speak to him. He was told he was busy and to leave a message or try back later. So he called that afternoon and was told the same thing.

On the second day, my father began calling the governor’s office at 8 a.m., calling every half hour in an attempt to reach King. When my father received a call back, it was not from King but the Maine State Police, who told my father to stop harassing the governor. My father explained the situation, and they quickly realized he had done no wrong.

My father continued to call but was never able to reach King. That evening, the news networks aired the story, prompting the Maine Department of Transportation to get involved. At a meeting the following Friday, more than 200 people showed up to oppose the road closure. The road opened the following Monday with no help from King. If he refused to help one Mainer while in office, how will he represent all of us in Washington?

Jarrod Tyler


Private sector failure

“Truth is the first casualty of war.” Such a sentiment applies this year to the political wars about to end. Here are some uncomfortable 2012 political truths. How many Pulitzers have Fox News, The Washington Times or The Wall Street Journal won compared with The New York Times and The Washington Post? Not many.

The Union of Concerned Scientists reported Fox News was factually wrong 93 percent of the time and The Wall Street Journal wrong 81 percent of the time when reporting on climate change.

Market forces and speculators, not presidents, determine gasoline prices. It was $4.11 a gallon under former President George W. Bush in August 2008 and plummeted in 2009 when the recession killed demand.

The Affordable Care Act is modeled on Romneycare in Massachusetts. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich endorsed individual mandates. Harvard economist David Cutler said of Romney, “Never before in history has a candidate run for president with the idea that too many people have health insurance.”

Is anyone’s religious freedom being violated? Churches are not required to pay for contraceptives, but health providers must offer it. The Supreme Court decided no religious group can claim exemption from “an otherwise valid law” (Justice Antonin Scalia). It is about women’s access to health care, including contraception and abortion, not religious freedom.

Finally, Gov. Paul LePage won because Democrats went for Eliot Cutler when Democrat Libby Mitchell floundered.

This year will begin the repudiation of GOP policies. Blaming government doesn’t solve a private sector failure.

Mac Herrling


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