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Monday, June 4, 2018: The real Poliquin, Mills is role model for girls, Yes on Question 1

Mills is role model for girls

Janet Mills, Maine’s attorney general and a Democratic candidate for governor, is a role model who has shown our girls how to balance home, family, and career and how to succeed. Before becoming attorney general, Mills raised five daughters while simultaneously serving as one of the first woman district attorneys in the country, and on the Appropriations Committee, where she mastered the budget. She’ll hit the ground running as governor on day one.

Mills has taught our girls they don’t have to tolerate the vicious, mean, and nasty abuse Gov. Paul LePage has inflicted on her, personally, when they do the right and legal thing. She’s taught them if they study hard, and focus on their personal competency, they shall prevail. She’s taught our girls that it’s OK to fight for safety in their classrooms, health care, education, for taxpayers and small businesses, and to fight to make our state a better place.

She’s taught them to be principled, independent, to have integrity, and that honesty matters. She’s taught them to disagree without being disagreeable, and to be tough and strong while being tender and gentle to those in need.

Most of what any governor does, the bills and vetoes they sign, will have a short shelf life and can be undone by a successor. For us Dads of Daughters there is no more important job for Mills than being a role model for Maine’s future women leaders. That lasts for generations.

Bob Jean
Lubec

Yes on Question 1

I want to encourage all voters (including the 37 percent of unenrolled voters who would not normally go to the polls on primary day) to vote yes on the June 12 ranked-choice voting ballot initiative.

I am in favor of ranked-choice voting because I found it easy to use in two of Portland’s mayoral elections and I think it permits all voters to express their full views on who they wish to represent them. Additional benefits include less acrimonious campaigning and the election of more moderate (less polarized) candidates.

Ranked-choice voting is particularly important for the 5 percent of Mainers who belong to the newer, smaller parties and for Maine voters who have no declared party affiliation. It permits these voters to vote for their preferred candidate (often not a front-runner) but also indicate who they would like to have elected if their preferred candidate does not prevail.

In short, ranked-choice voting eliminates the possibility of government by candidates who have the support of less than 50 percent of the electorate without having to conduct runoff elections. I encourage everyone to learn about the pros/cons of ranked-choice voting presented by nonpartisan websites such as the League of Women Voters of Maine ( LWVME.org) and the Maine Citizens for Clean Elections ( mainecleanelections.org).

Valerie Kelly
Beaver Cove

The real Bruce Poliquin

I recently had the opportunity to meet Rep. Bruce Poliquin and his staff. What surprised me most about Poliquin was his knowledge of issues important to me and Maine and his passion for the people he serves.

The congressman and his staff took the time to listen to my ideas and concerns and explain small details about the problems Mainers are facing.

During my interaction, I realized the congressman I had met and the one often portrayed in the media were very different people. The Poliquin I met is hard working, full of compassion and protects the backs of his constituents. It’s a shame that the media refuse to write about the real Poliquin. The one who understands the struggles small business are facing, the one who fights for VA reform, the one who listens to the needs of his constituents.

I look forward to casting my vote in November for the real Poliquin so he can continue to fight for me and my family.

Adam Regan
Old Town

Mills is a leader

Politics can bring out either the best or the worst in people. Lately on social media and in statements by some candidates we are seeing some of the worst: Attacks that deal in half-truths. Clear examples are statements about Janet Mills’ record on guns as a state legislator more than a decade ago.

As a colleague in the Maine Legislature, I saw first hand how hard Mills worked to help pass laws that would both help victims and protect the constitutional rights of gun owners. Mills understands that the job of governing requires bringing people together to enact laws that work.

Maine needs a qualified, capable leader with a record of accomplishment as our next governor. That leader is Mills.

Mills and I share many of the same values but our politics have never been the same on every issue. I know that she Mills is always prepared, and backs her positions with facts while listening to the viewpoint of others.

I will be proud to mark my ballot for Mills for governor on June 12 and hope readers who care about action and results, not just words, will do the same.

Deb Simpson
Auburn

Yes to ranked-choice voting

Yes on Question 1 is a vote for a straight-forward, more democratic form of elections.

After careful study, prior to the first public vote in 2016, the non-partisan League of Women Voters came out in favor of ranked-choice voting as a method of improving our democracy. The reasons are clear.

Ranked-choice voting is basically an instant runoff election. There is no vote splitting (when two similar candidates split the vote and the third candidate, who is not preferred by the majority, wins), less ugly campaigning, and it allows voters to support their favorite candidate without worrying that they might throw their vote away.

This is straightforward and constitutional for most elections. A number of countries around the world and cities in the US use ranked-choice voting with great success. It is constitutional for the seven elections covered by the peoples’ veto, Question 1. Both state and federal courts have affirmed that. The other three, that were not clearly constitutional, are not included in Question 1. Amending the state constitution now would be impossible in the present legislative climate.

We should vote yes, try it out, and then work towards amending the constitution for the other three. Let’s both respect the will of the people and improve our democracy.

Jeff Jones
Bangor

Election notice

The BDN has stopped accepting letters and OpEds related to the June 12 election. Not all submissions can be published.


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