LETTERS

Friday, Sept. 5, 2014: Susan Collins, health care, endorsements

Posted Sept. 04, 2014, at 11:33 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 04, 2014, at 5:08 p.m.

Frey support

It’s been a great privilege to work with Rep. Aaron Frey in the Legislature and on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, which I co-chair.

Aaron’s talent, integrity and dedication earned him an appointment to the budget-writing committee. His work ethic, depth of thought and sense of fairness were evident right away. He soon had the respect of colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

Our committee faced great challenges over the last two years. I’m so glad Aaron was with us.

Last year, Frey was instrumental in crafting a budget that averted a state government shutdown, mitigated a property tax shift to Maine people and restored funding to schools. This year, Frey continued to fight against property tax hikes by protecting state funding for local communities. Those revenue sharing funds are helping towns and cities provide vital services while keeping property taxes in check for residents and businesses.

Aaron led the charge to protect a tax shift to service centers like Bangor that generate so much economic activity. He has been dogged in his representation of his community and his constituents.

The residents of Bangor, Orono and Veazie are well served by Frey. It’s been an honor to work alongside him.

Peggy Rotundo

House Chair, Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee

Augusta

Fulford to Augusta

I am writing in support of Jonathan Fulford who is running for state Senate. I live near Fulford in Monroe, and he has been a great neighbor for decades now. He is one of the very few who listen first, think second, speak last. I have learned to listen when he speaks. You can hear that he is including all voices, not just a few.

I am very glad that Fulford is running for state Senate as I believe he will actually represent us, the people of Monroe and of Waldo County instead of out-of-state interests. It seems as though things in Monroe are changing and maybe getting better. Fulford has been a part of that as he understands the importance of local jobs over big industry, work for farmers big and small, and local folks running small businesses – all of which get little attention in Augusta.

Mainers are naturally industrious. It would be nice if the state backed off and let us thrive, but large corporations from out of state want to set the rules that hurt small business. It’s not fair for the large corporations to get tax breaks that add to the tax burden for all of us, including those in small business. We are not out to conquer the world. We are just trying to make a living, raise our families and enjoy the great place we call home.

Can we send someone to Augusta who might actually help us?

Allyn Beecher

Monroe

Debate commitment

Is Sen. Susan Collins afraid to defend her record? Why won’t she commit to a debate with Shenna Bellows until Oct. 20, just a few weeks before Election Day? Voters need to hear her explain how her membership in the “moderate” wing of the Republican Party inspired her votes against raising minimum wage, pay equity for women, veteran’s benefits legislation, GMO labeling and other important issues her party blocked.

Starting as soon as possible, and certainly before Oct. 20, we all deserve to hear why she supports the anti-contraception Blunt Amendment, the environment-threatening Keystone Pipeline, and the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

If she is confident that she represents all of Maine fairly, she has nothing to fear from debating long before the 11th hour — two weeks before election — when the public has little time to process or question her positions, past and future. As soon as possible and as often as possible, Collins needs to let her constituents hear her voice alongside her opponent’s so we can decide who we want to send to Washington.

Janet Saurman

Eliot

Health care availability

I have been working as a family physician for most of the last 30 years in eastern Maine, and have seen first-hand the destructive effect our health system has had on Maine families. I can’t count the number of patients who sought care too late because of lack of insurance, and have paid the ultimate price for it.

Like many of my colleagues, I now care for families who, through Obamacare, have health insurance for the first time, and are getting the preventive services and early treatment they need.

That is why I’m for Jonathan Fulford for state Senate in Waldo County. The LePage administration, backed by Sen. Mike Thibodeau, has refused to accept federal money to expand Medicaid. As a result, over 20,000 Mainers have been excluded from the care they need. Fulford will work to ensure affordable health care is available to all Mainers.

Dr. Peter S. Millard

Seaport Community Health Center

Belfast

Lost her anchor

Although we have long respected Sen. Susan Collins, we are afraid she has lost her anchor. Without Olympia Snowe’s strong brake on extremism, Collins seems to me to be slipping into the Tea Party view of vital issues.

We are writing to encourage voters to seriously consider Shenna Bellows’ run for U.S. Senate. Her experience as executive director of the Maine chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has toughened her to the severity of the problems of injustice and inequality that we face today – unwarranted surveillance, corporations usurping the rights of individuals, all the obstacles that lie in the way of ordinary people to lift themselves from the blows of the recent economic recession. For instance, the right wing’s continual voting down an increased minimum wage while always voting for tax breaks that favor the wealthy.

Bellows is matter-of-fact and unsentimental in her positions, swayed by neither the extreme right nor the extreme left. We feel she will do well in Washington, D.C. We sorely need a new face in the U.S. Senate.

Joanna M. Cameron

Bruce F. Cameron

Edgecomb

CORRECTION:

A column on Thursday’s OpEd page, “Michaud attack ads new low for GOP,” wrongly blamed the LePage campaign for the mailer about Mike Michaud. By law, candidates cannot coordinate with party committees or political action committees on advertising or other campaign strategy.

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