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Monday, Nov. 11, 2013: Immigration, Mike Michaud, rights-based ordinances

Attend meeting

I understand Sen. Doug Thomas’ fears about “rights-based ordinances” being proposed in so many towns because I once felt exactly as he does. Would this take away my rights as a landowner? Who are these people promoting the rights-based ordinance? So I have taken a close look and spent hours researching answers to these questions, attending meetings, and carefully sifting through facts and fiction.

Fact: A corporation, under existing law, is considered a “person,” and it has the same rights as people do, and may largely do whatever it wishes with whatever land it purchases. If a corporation puts a highway next to your property, and your property becomes unsalable due to run-off from salt, an oil spill or because of the noise, too bad.

Fact: A rights-based ordinance claims the rights already given to us based on the Maine Constitution. It gives citizens of the towns affected the right to determine on their own, by vote, what they will or will not permit in their town.

Fact: A rights-based ordinance does not change anything in the way you use your property. You may still build a road, drill a well or put your mother-in-law’s trailer in your front yard if you wish.

Fact: This rights-based ordinance only pertains to you if you are building a four-lane transportation-utility-communications corridor.

Please attend Charleston’s informational meeting 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13, and get informed on the facts.

Lisa Sawyer


Seven answers

In response to the Oct. 30 BDN OpEd by Robert Glover, “How to restore America’s faith in Congress,” polls don’t support his claim that passing the Senate immigration bill will “restore America’s faith in Congress.”

An August Pulse Opinion Poll, published by The Hill, reports that only 28 percent support doubling immigration over the next decade, and nearly 60 percent oppose it. A recent NBC/Esquire Magazine poll found 54 percent oppose amnesty and 32 percent support amnesty. The only polls showing support for the Senate bill ask questions that misrepresent the bill and hide the numbers.

Supporters of mass legalization and expansion have a tough problem: How do you convince a nation focused on jobs to support legislation that will double visas for foreign workers from 10 to 20 million in the first decade?

The answer: 1. Don’t mention the numbers. 2. Call the legislation “comprehensive reform,” and not what it really is: “More of the same only bigger.” 3. Bury the details in a 1,200 page bill that no one reads. 4. Recruit the super rich to lobby Congress. 5. Scare the public with claims that the economy will collapse without more foreign labor. 6. Label opponents xenophobic and anti-immigrant. 7. Prevent the public from knowing that multiple commissions of experts have advised Congress to enforce our laws at the worksite and reduce immigration, not increase it.

With 20 million Americans looking for full-time work, there’s no way Congress could restore its good opinion by passing this appalling bill, written by opportunists and cheap labor lobbies focused on self-interest, not our national interest.

Julie Tosswill

Mainers for Sensible Immigration Policy


Well done

I applaud Mike Michaud for his honesty and integrity. With this announcement, he has effectively stripped one weapon away from Maine’s bully-in-chief and his minions. Well done.

Carol Sherburne


News shock

I was shocked to see all the press coverage about Mike Michaud’s personal life choices. He, as everyone else does, has a right to a private life. This paper is wrong completely in exploiting this nonissue for news’ sake. Michaud has my vote.

James Leach


Cancer alley

South Portland’s Waterfront Protection Ordinance, which lost by a slim 200-vote margin, would have restricted oil industry expansion and prevented the transport and processing of tar sands oil, the dirtiest petroleum product around. The “economic impact analysis,” produced by local economists at the behest of the Canadian-owned Portland Pipeline Corp., was influential in blocking the ordinance, yet it was problematic on two accounts.

First, it assumed that all oil-related businesses would close or leave — despite the fact that they are currently profitable and as if there were no relocation and start-up anew costs — and that nothing would replace them. Second, it ignored potential benefits, including avoided costs of air pollution-related disease (UMaine economist Mary Davis estimated that childhood asthma attributable to air pollution costs Maine approximately $9 million annually), clean-up costs in the event (see North Dakota for case in point) of a pipeline leak, declines in property values and negative effects on other local businesses.

Even if “job protection” claims were sincere and not just “Big Oil” looking to protect its profits, the real issue is that we can’t continue to create jobs by ignoring environmental costs. We need policies to encourage cleaner development and green jobs. We need economists to help policymakers create sustainable economic development plans, despite the fact that defining “sustainable” is complex. So what if the policies aren’t perfect? At least they’ll be better than the climate-deadly tar sands and the risk of turning Portland Harbor into another petrochemical “cancer alley.”

Lisa Morris


Not news

For John Linnehan Jr. to have the unmitigated gall to presume that he knows for sure how people can get to heaven is the epitome of fundamentalist arrogance that has absolutely no place on the front page of the Bangor Daily News. This is not news. He is nothing more than a professional proselytizer who has developed a so-called survey aimed at getting the “unchurched” to come on down to the Good News Center.

The BDN should put this kind of “stuff” at the bottom of the religious page on Saturday or, better yet, keep it out of the paper altogether.

Brian MacFarland


Real costs

As the BDN has revealed in its pages, our federal leaders deliberately deceived the American people about the real costs of Obamacare. However, these costs could be greatly and rightfully reduced by eliminating all coverage for any self-inflicted illnesses, such as those resulting from risky sexual behavior, addictions to alcohol, street drugs and nicotine, and overeating.

Arthur Lawrence Thomas


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