LETTERS

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016: Stiffer penalties for sex buyers, Verow for Maine House, background checks facts

Posted Sept. 21, 2016, at 11:53 a.m.

Verow for House District 128

Democratic Rep. Arthur “Archie” Verow is running for re-election in Maine House District 128, which constitutes most of Brewer. Verow has a very long, exemplary record of public service to the residents of Brewer. He was the city clerk for 40 years, served as member of the city council for two terms, including two as mayor, and has proudly and effectively represented Brewer in the Legislature for two terms.

He is widely respected for his lifetime of public service to Brewer residents. As a major testament to the high regard in which Verow is held by Brewer residents for his many years of loyal and exceptional service, the city council chambers are now known as the “Arthur C. Verow Council Chambers.” His ethics, integrity and calm temperament often are missing in today’s political discourse.

It is extremely important that Verow be re-elected. With all of the bipartisan chaos and lack of civility that presently exists in the Legislature, clearly this is not the time to replace Verow’s experience, dedication and diligent work in the Legislature. Brewer needs Verow. Maine needs Verow. Please return Verow to Augusta on Nov. 8.

Bill Davis

Brewer

Stiffer penalties for sex buyers

Kudos to the BDN editorial board for calling for stiffer penalties for sex buyers as a way reduce the demand for paid sex. Stopping the sex industry’s “customers” is the only way we’ll rid our communities of sex trafficking, which too often preys on vulnerable women and children.

Without profits, pimps and traffickers have no incentive. And without buyers there is no profit. Increase the social and legal pressure faced by sex buyers and the market will shrink, reducing the pain and suffering it causes.

As with any industry, when public demand increases, you attract people willing to bend or break the rules to meet that demand and make a profit. When people are the product, the result is human trafficking. That means boys and girls, women and men will be bought for sex against their will. Civilized society should never condone something so closely tied to human suffering and exploitation.

As acting director of Demand Abolition, a program working to end the demand for paid sex by holding sex buyers accountable, I applaud the BDN’s focus on the buyers as the drivers of this abuse. We also believe that increasing pressure on buyers should not mean criminalizing those who are bought for sex. Many prostituted people are already victims and unfairly stigmatized. It is the buyers, those with the affluence and agency to make better choices, who need to be held accountable for this crime.

If buyers stop buying — either because they recognize the harm or they are too afraid of the consequences — commercial sexual exploitation as we know it would cease.

Elizabeth Kidd McWhorter

Acting director

Demand Abolition

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Missing Bangor

Eight years ago I ventured east to Bangor for the Senior League World Series. It became a fluke at the last minute to see our home field Western Regional Champs participate in the Little League World Series.

During these last eight years, I have seen a lot of Bangor and the surrounding area and got to associate with a lot of great people from Bangor. After my visit to Bangor in August, I looked forward to many more enjoyable Little League World Series to come.

Having been informed a few weeks ago of Little League International’s decision to move the Senior League World Series to South Carolina, I have had the time to reflect on these last eight years.

I am going to miss the truly great youth baseball played in Bangor, the smell of the grass cut daily at Shawn T. Mansfield Stadium, my trips to Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound and many other annual experiences in the Bangor area.

But most of all, I am going miss the really great Bangorians I met and became friends with over the last eight years. They include the tournament director and his wife, the stadium manager and his family, the field director and his wife, the district administrator and his wife, the player’s gate personnel as well as many other really great individuals from Bangor.

To all of Bangor, thanks for the memories. They will not be forgotten.

Alan Kaitz

Upland, California

Background checks facts

There are several problems with the Sept. 14 BDN editorial on expanding background checks for firearm purchases. This editorial was written to support the Question 3 ballot initiative and contains a significant error.

The primary error is the claim that “an estimated 40 percent of gun sales take place online or through other venues that do not require background checks.” Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and countless other gun control politicians have used this statistic as a justification for a universal background check system. In all cases, fact checkers at the Washington Post have determined the use of this statistic inappropriate as it has significant factual errors and is mostly false.

The 40 percent claim comes from data collected in a 1994 survey that found 35.7 percent did not receive the gun from a licensed firearm dealers. It is significant that the study comes from 1994 because this is the year the Brady Act passed to establish a national background check system. But the purchases covered in the survey went as far back as 1991, meaning at least some of the guns were bought in a pre-Brady Act environment.

It’s fine if you want to argue against my point of view, but at least use evidence that hasn’t already been proven false.

Charles Rumsey III

Bangor

Tea party ‘ASPIRE-ations’

Perhaps it’s time to take tea party “ ASPIRE-ations” to the obvious next level here in Maine. We could have Donald Trump tell Gov. Paul LePage, Rep. Bruce Poliquin and our Republican state Senate “you’re fired” and replace them with obviously more qualified private out-of-state contractors.

Going further, we could fund the venture by diverting the millions of dollars in out-of-state campaign revenues (investors would then most certainly get a bigger bang for their bucks) to Maine’s General Fund, easily retiring the budget deficit, leaving plenty of money available for roads, bridges, teacher’s’ salaries, school districts needs, better paying jobs, medical coverage and a social safety net that no longer demeans and demoralizes the people it is supposed to help.

Arthur LeBlanc

Moscow

 

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