Protect referendum process
David Trahan’s misleading and biased Aug. 1 BDN OpEd on LD 31, has nothing to do with fixing our referendum process and everything to do with destroying it. In his OpEd, Trahan attempts to say that Maine’s citizens’ initiative process “disproportionately and negatively impacts rural life.”
Trahan’s opposition has nothing to do with urban versus rural or north versus south. It has everything to do with the fact that Maine’s fish and wildlife resources are almost completely controlled by a small group of consumptive-use extremists. They control the Legislature and they control the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The only thing they don’t yet control is the citizen’s initiative process.
According to George Smith, former executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, passage of LD 31 “was a very high priority for SAM.” Fortunately, the Maine Senate opted not to support LD 31. Unfortunately, it was sent back to the committee and may be voted on again in the future.
LD 31, by requiring a minimum number of petition signatures from each congressional district, could disenfranchise thousands of voters from either congressional district and would establish in the Maine Constitution “two Maines.” The bill would have exactly the opposite effect of that claimed by its supporters. It would not keep the money interests out, but would instead cripple locally funded citizens’ initiatives.
Don’t buy the political spin from the special interests. Don’t surrender your constitutional rights to the special interests. Save our citizens’ initiative process.
Time for Collins to show courage
This past week’s comments by President Donald Trump and by Gov. Paul LePage in response to the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, go far past anything that could be considered morally acceptable. They have both given outright support for white fascist and racist elements. They are not fit to be leaders.
It is time for Sen. Susan Collins to truly show courage. She must fully disavow any relationship with Trump and tell the world that he is a morally unsuitable and unstable person that is dangerous for our country and places the world in great peril. She must prepare to remove him from office. She must stand up against the Republican Party and its hateful agenda and policies.
Until the Republican Party rights itself, she should declare herself an independent and vote without concern for the consequences of party politics. Yes, I am certain she would likely lose precious committee assignments and leadership, but the good she could do speaking the truth and voting her conscience would greatly overshadow those losses.
This would have a huge impact that would make her legacy a truly historic one. She would have a huge impact on almost every vote and could use her influence to truly change the discourse in the Senate. If she chooses to run for governor as an independent, she would not have to worry about a primary fight for governor and would have little trouble winning.
Confederates tried to save nation
John M. Crisp, a Tribune News Service columnist, calls President Donald Trump disingenuous in an Aug. 23 OpEd, while damning George Washington and Thomas Jefferson by faint praise and accusing Southerners in general of wanting to destroy a nation.
Crisp claims that Southern heros like Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson wanted to destroy a nation. I believe they were trying to save their own nation, which they thought President Abraham Lincoln was attempting to destroy.
The South suffered greatly during the Civil War, which was fought mostly in Southerners’ back yards, illuminated by the flames of their homes, set by Yankees intent on changing a culture forever. Southern families were murdered by white Yankees and one of the North’s heros, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, burned a swath through the South, destroying Atlanta and much of Georgia’s plantations and homes, all in the name of saving the Union. He succeeded mostly in creating a hatred of Northerners that persists today in the South.
Now I think I shall go to a favorite YouTube channel and listen to Alabama singing “Sweet Home Alabama” and “High Cotton.” I am not a Southerner, but a true Yankee. But I can see what the author of a saying meant: “American by birth; Southern by the Grace of God.”
What side is Trump on?
President Donald Trump says that he saw some “very fine people” in the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia. I saw hate-filled people shouting racist Nazi slogans.
Trump mourns the removal of “beautiful” statues commemorating leaders of the Confederacy. I see public monuments to those who swore allegiance to a government that proclaimed, in its constitution, that no law “denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.”
I wonder which side our president is on.
Tackle climate change locally
During a time of immense need for political action concerning climate change, we are seeing a tragic lack of leadership from both the Trump and LePage administrations. But we are also seeing the incredible capacity we have as citizens to rise up and tackle climate change ourselves.
The Sierra Club’s Maine Climate Action Teams and their partners are organizing to implement climate solutions from the ground-up. Within the last few years, we have installed electric vehicle charging stations, developed community solar farms, and successfully advocated for plastic bag reduction. We were the driving force in getting the city of Portland to build the largest, municipally-owned solar project on the closed Ocean Avenue landfill. We have been helping the city of Portland formulate plans to meet its commitment to 100 percent clean energy to power all municipal buildings and operations by 2040.
To support this growing grassroots movement, Sierra Club Maine is hosting our 3rd Climate Action Conference on Sept. 16 at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston campus. Workshops will include information on local solar power, sustainable businesses, clean transportation, youth organizing, community resilience, sustainable agriculture, grass-roots organizing and much more. The keynote speaker will be renowned author, environmental and peace activist George Lakey.
If you are ready to take action in your community, please join other climate activists and concerned citizens from around the state to learn about solutions and how to implement them in your town.