Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014: Public financing, tribal sovereignty, F. Lee Bailey

Posted Jan. 22, 2014, at 3:08 p.m.

Special interests

State Sen. Geoff Gratwick recently announced he is running for re-election in District 32, representing Bangor and Hermon. He pledged to make better health care accessible to more Mainers. As a Clean Election candidate, his campaign is publicly funded. His Republican opponent, Cary Weston, was interviewed on WLBZ Channel 2 and said it is “wrong” for Gratwick to campaign with taxpayers’ money. Weston said that his campaign would be funded by private donations.

Frankly, I much prefer to be represented in Augusta by someone who is beholden to taxpayers (including me) than to be represented by someone beholden to unidentified special interests.

Christina Diebold

Bangor

National bullies

Bullying is a popular topic today in American schools. Victims of bullying receive the attention of school administrators as major efforts are in effect to find and redirect the bullies. And yet, despite the history, treaties and verbal agreements, our nation continues to bully the indigenous people on their land.

The current controversy over river rights and elver fishing — through LD 1625 — is not about the fishing; it is about sovereignty. The tribes are the original people of this land we have claimed. Our government told them they had “rights,” which have steadily been eroded or retracted. As a giant power, our governments, local and federal, are quite simply bullying the minority culture and denying the one request they have had since the beginning of our colonization: Sovereignty.

If the administration of our educational institutions recognize the need to protect those who are bullied, why can’t our political administrations stop using their large powers to force the tribes into positions they reject?

Debby Messer

Bar Harbor

A second chance

Renee Ordway is an excellent columnist for this paper, and I have much respect for her writing. However, I wish to respond to her column concerning F. Lee Bailey. Bailey was disbarred in Florida for his conduct handling a criminal case from 1994 to 1996. The dispute that got Bailey disbarred in Florida involved the ownership of stock that was forfeited by his client, Claude Dubroc. Bailey and the U.S. attorney each claimed ownership. There was no written agreement concerning the issue, and a federal judge said it belonged to the government. Bailey refused to convey it. After serving a short time in jail, he conveyed the stock to the government. This had nothing to do with harming a client; this was a dispute between Bailey and the federal government.

He was disbarred in Florida in 2001, and Massachusetts followed in 2003, where he was also licensed to practice. Bailey was eligible to reapply for admission in 2006. He moved to Maine in the interim and has regained his interest in working in the justice system. He passed the Maine bar at the age of 78 and wants to be a part of this state’s legal community. Bailey is very deserving of a second chance, and I hope that this state shows its generous spirit and gives him that.

Peter Baldacci

Bangor

Zone change

I am a year-round Camden resident writing to support the zoning change that will allow McLean Hospital to operate a residential recovery center at Fox Hill in Camden.

The opposition to this project has repeatedly said that the fact that it is McLean Hospital that wants to locate at Fox Hill does not matter. They usually say something patronizing like they are all for treating substance abuse and related issues, but not here. I want to make it clear that it does matter that it is McLean that wants to join our community. They definitely want to be at Fox Hill because of the quiet privacy it provides; and they have the funding and the intelligence to maintain that quiet privacy.

McLean is a teaching hospital that prides itself on its ability to educate physicians, psychiatrists and the communities they serve. I have many years of experience assisting people with substance abuse and co-occurring issues in New England. I know that the education outreach that McLean will provide to Camden and the greater area will be priceless.

This education and the positive financial benefit will be a profoundly positive change for Camden. I would like to see this zoning change on the June ballot so that the voters can decide.

Jacqueline Recht

Camden

Truth about wind fraud

We all know that Gov. Paul LePage has been on a tear lately exposing welfare fraud and the misuse of the taxpayers’ hard-earned cash. He’s been telling us about the EBT cards being used near Disney World and at places that sell cigarettes, beer and lottery tickets.

Now the governor has turned his attention to the corporate welfare crowd. In his appearance on Ethan Strimling’s WGAN Saturday morning talk show, the governor was clear about this new scandal and announced that, “Windmills are the worst form of corporate welfare.” I couldn’t agree more with our fraud-busting governor.

The governor discovered that the wind industry exists thanks to billions in taxpayer subsidies called production tax credits — plus they get lucrative federal loan guarantees, and they get to sell their renewable energy credits to industrial polluters. In fact, the wind scammers received $9.2 billion in federal subsidies since 2009 and billions more since they started getting these gifts back in the ’90s.

LePage also uncovered that without these taxpayer gifts the wind scammers couldn’t afford to blast off the tops of our beautiful ridgelines, kill thousands of birds, destroy thousands of acres of forests, threaten our tourism industry and run-up our electric bills. So, way to go, governor! It’s time to cancel their corporate EBT cards and send them packing. I can’t wait to tune in next week and hear more about this new scandal.

Richard McDonald

Kennebunk

 

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