Spoiler effect remains
At long last we can use a fairer and more democratic way to vote for the people who work for us in government — ranked-choice voting. Those of us who voted in the primary in June experienced ranked-choice voting for the first time.
In the upcoming midterm elections, there is an important fact that we all need to keep in mind. While Maine will use ranked-choice voting for U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate contests, it is not yet available in the general election for governor, Maine House and Maine Senate — until we can persuade our representatives in Augusta to amend the the Constitution.
Since we have four gubernatorial candidates — a Democrat, a Republican and two independents — there is a very strong possibility that the spoiler effect will again result in our next governor being elected with less than a majority, just like in 2010 when Paul LePage won the race with only 37.6 percent of the vote. That was because votes were spread over multiple candidates with no chance for a runoff so that one candidate would emerge as the majority winner. Ranked-choice voting would have prevented that.
So when you are voting on Nov. 6, remember what effect voting for an independent will have. Since we have distinguished ourselves as the first state in the nation to adopt ranked-choice voting, we must be very careful how we vote. Don’t throw away your vote. The spoiler effect is a very real possibility this year.
No to offshore drilling
I was lucky as a young person. I grew up on the coast of Maine. I collected shells, beach glass and rocks. I watched the sun rise up above the sea and the moon shimmering on the beautiful Atlantic. The sun will still rise and the moon will still shine, but the beaches and rocky coasts may someday be covered with oil if the Trump administration opens the Atlantic Coast (Maine included) to offshore drilling.
The salt-scented coastal air may start to smell like petrol. We all know oil leaks happen. There are so many reasons to protect our coast and the ocean: jobs, beauty, tourism and recreation. It’s time to invest in clean energy not perpetuate a fossil-fuel based energy that threatens our coasts. I say no to offshore drilling.
For the sake of the country, and for the legitimacy of our republic, Sen. Susan Collins should reject the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court justice. Time and time again, Kavanaugh has been less than forthcoming about his background, with the White House colluding in his obfuscation by refusing to release nearly 100,000 documents.
Now, with these latest allegations of sexual assault, the time has come to reject his nomination. Even if they are baseless (though the accusation seems plausible), the nation cannot, at this time of great polarization and divisiveness, risk politicizing (and thereby diminishing) the Supreme Court. We need at least one functioning arm of government, and Collins should defend that.
World laughing at Trump
The president of the United States had no sooner started his speech at the United Nations when the delegates began to laugh.
The next time Tim Sample entertains at the Bangor State Fair he might do well to have President Donald Trump open for him.
Support for Hayes
I support Terry Hayes for governor and would like to share my experience serving with her in the Maine Legislature. I served in the 123rd, 124th, 125th and the 126th Legislatures with Hayes, and over that period we would often serve on the same committee, the State and Local Government Committee. The committee’s oversight includes the Unorganized Territories and review of state agencies.
A wide variety of matters came before the committee, and I could always count on Hayes to bring a constructive perspective to the issue at hand. As the committee tried to get their collective arms around an issue, Hayes worked with all members of the committee encouraging a thoughtful open dialogue.
Early on working with her, I noticed that partisan politics was not her perspective in problem solving but crafting a better solution or approach to the task at hand was. Often you will hear compromise is the way, but any public servant must constantly strive for the best solution. No one party will have all the answers but, more importantly, the approach should be to embrace and understand the problem, and Hayes could always be counted on to bring that to the table by enriching the effort without partisan tunnel vision.
I encourage all voters to support Hayes for governor. The collective “food fight” in Augusta and partisan politics must stop, and there is a better way with Hayes.
Kavanaugh favors corporations
Judge Brett Kavanaugh has consistently sided with corporations over the state and with the state over the individual. Moreover, his religious views appear to blind him regarding certain issues. He says he respects legal precedent. But let’s say a case came before him regarding abortion, he would probably vote against it if any portion of that case was not covered by precedent. He already did this in the case of the unaccompanied 17-year-old immigrant, Jane Doe.
We saw something similar in a case involving the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. When religious corporate owners complained (even after President Barack Obama’s compromise), Judge Kavanaugh sided with the corporations. The rights of women were not the issue for him.
Numerous studies confirm that no evidence exists of widespread voter fraud in this country, yet Kavanaugh sided with South Carolina’s decision to require voters to present a government-issued photo ID. Many poor people, older people and minorities cannot spare the $25 to acquire such an ID. But that was not the issue for the judge.
It’s no surprise that he sided with corporations’ right to pollute over the rights of the rest of us to breathe clean air. Or that he sided with communications corporations against net neutrality. Kavanaugh is an ideologue whose presence on the Supreme Court would strengthen Citizens United, weaken a woman’s right to choose, and make life more difficult for poor people and minorities.