Poliquin no ‘guardian’ for seniors
I am 63 and live in Washington County. I recently received my letter from Rep. Bruce Poliquin. It is the letter Amy Fried received and wrote about in her Pollways blog. The envelope is marked “U.S. House of Representatives, Public Document, Official Business.” The letter has the disclaimer: “This mailing was prepared, published, and mailed at taxpayer expense. It is a provided as a service to the citizens of Maine’s Second Congressional District.”
The letter contains no information that could pass as a “service” to me. Its sole purpose is to inform me that Poliquin has been awarded the Guardian of Seniors’ Rights award. Nowhere in the letter does it state that the award is from the 60 Plus Association, which is funded in part by the Koch brothers and supports “solutions” like privatizing Social Security.
What really angers me about this letter is that Poliquin is using my taxpayer money to con me. I see this same contempt in Poliquin’s two-act farce of voting for a deficit-ballooning Tax Cut and Jobs Act (where 83 percent of the benefits go to the most wealthy 1 percent) and then calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment, something that would be sure to happen at the expense of programs vital to Poliquin’s constituents, i.e., me and my neighbors in rural Maine.
If protecting Social Security is important to you, please search “AARP Social Security midterms” for criteria to use when considering a candidate for Poliquin’s seat in November.
Reaffirm abortion rights
My eyes prickled when I read Mollie Barnathan’s recent OpEd. As a full-spectrum physician serving women and families of Maine, Barnathan represents so many of my patients. When I provide prenatal care and deliver babies, I rejoice in the joy and hopeful expectancy that comes with a wanted pregnancy. As an abortion provider, I also witness the range of emotions many women have when seeking abortion care: ambivalence, relief, grief, all with the absolute certainty of what is best for herself and her family.
Barnathan’s story is heartbreakingly unique and yet universal. No matter the reason or story, every patient deserves to have safe and legal access to a full range of reproductive health care.
Never before has health care been in such jeopardy. As a primary care doctor, I fear for the future of my patients. I worry that threats to Title X funds, cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, and increasing medical costs are preventing Mainers from accessing basic health services. Abortion care, the incredibly personal decision that a patient makes about her body, future and family, has become a political and religious flashpoint.
President Donald Trump promised to nominate Supreme Court justices who would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade. Brett Kavanaugh’s record suggests he will do as promised. I hope our senators, especially Susan Collins, will stand up for the rights of Mainers and women across the U.S. by opposing Kavanaugh’s nomination and reaffirming our right to safe, legal abortion, contraception, prenatal care, and basic health care.
No need for ‘rural sprawl’
I’m concerned about Land Use Planning Commission’s proposal to change the rules for where development can happen in the Unorganized Territory. The negative impacts vastly outnumber any potential positives from this proposed rule change.
In Millinocket, we’re in the midst of identifying and brainstorming promising ideas for growing and investing in our downtown and community, and we’re cooperatively planning with other towns in the region, including East Millinocket, Medway, Patten and Island Falls.
The commission’s proposal seems like a gateway for strip development away from Millinocket’s boundaries and every other town in the region. Development redirected 10 miles outside of town lines could have the unintended consequences for downtown activity and raising municipal taxes for providing services farther away. I’m also concerned that the scenic byway could become open to development under the proposal. We advertise the byway as “some of most spectacular natural landscape that inland Maine has to offer.” Imagine strip development instead.
It would be a shame if the hard work and planning that’s currently happening here is undercut by these rule changes. I’m not someone who wants to “keep things just the way they are” — not at all. I want planning and regulation that is well thought out, takes into consideration our natural resources, and doesn’t overburden the small towns working to move into the future in our region. Rural sprawl would detract from communities like Millinocket. So let’s listen to those who spoke at the June 20 public hearing: keep the rules as they are.
No one is above the law
I am a public-school teacher. I have been teaching in our schools for nearly four decades. I am asking Sen. Susan Collins to vote no on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.
There are many reasons I, along with the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, are urging her to vote no. But, I will only focus on one: Kavanaugh believes the president is above the law. In his words: “I believe that the President should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office … because the indictment and trial of a sitting President, moreover, would cripple the federal government … inquiries and indictments would simply be deferred until the end of a scandal-plagued presidency.” This should set off alarm bells to anyone who believes in the Constitution.
As a teacher, who continues to teach her students that there are always consequences for our behavior, I cannot abide there being any person excused from consequences. The founders of our great nation toiled to ensure America never experienced the type of imperialism they rejected for themselves and their country.
I hope Collins will agree with me. I urge her to vote against the nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.