December 15, 2018
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Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018: Protect Maine’s renewable energy, Poliquin a sore loser, Collins should oppose racist judge

Poliquin a sore loser

Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s post-election posturing seems to be based on the principle that “if I lose, the process must be unconstitutional.” As is obvious from his own statements, Poliquin would not have challenged the result if he had won. However, since he lost, the ballot counting process was “chaotic” and ranked-choice voting is “illegal.” Now he wants the federal judge to order a new election.

Here, the principle seems to be, “if there’s another election, the voters will elect Poliquin.” Following that line of thinking, the next time I buy a lottery ticket, and lose, I’ll ask the court to order a new drawing, and then another one, until I win.

The federal district judge, who was appointed to the Maine judiciary by Gov. Paul LePage, and to the federal court by President Donald Trump, has sent clear signals that he thinks Poliquin’s arguments are, to be polite, weak. Still Poliquin persists.

There seems to be only one conclusion to draw from all of this: Poliquin is a sore loser.

Charles Jacobs

Monmouth

No to FERC nominee

There will be a Senate vote this week to appoint President Donald Trump’s nominee Bernard McNamee to be commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The position of head of FERC requires neutrality, as the commission itself should be neutral. McNamee was the architect for the coal bailout and a promoter of fossil fuels. He has derided clean energy resources, and has continually voiced negative comments regarding the environment and public health groups. His views are not neutral, as such he is unsuited for this position.

In 2017, a third of Maine’s in-state electricity generation came from hydro power, a quarter from biomass and one-fifth from wind. Maine is also ready to increase investment in the solar market. All of these markets are enormously important to Maine and we need to be able to continue in this direction. If McNamee is in charge of FERC, this market will shrink and damage Maine’s evolving success.

As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Angus King has already voted in opposition to this nomination, he will likely do so again. Now we need Sen. Susan Collins to vote to reject this appointment. We need our senators to support the interest of Maine’s residents. We do not again want a fox guarding the chicken house.

Nancy Gilbert

Durham

Collins should oppose Farr

Last week, we saw the effective defeat of one of President Donald Trump’s worst judicial nominations to date. Thomas Farr, nominated to serve as a U.S. judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, has a history of racist voter suppression. In 2013, he represented the North Carolina Legislature, defending a voting law that a federal appeals court eventually overruled, stating that it targeted African-Americans “with almost surgical precision.”

This was public information when Sen. Susan Collins told a reporter she would support Farr.

Later, a Department of Justice memo came to light that showed Farr was present in meetings of segregationist Jesse Helms’ campaign when sleazy, dishonest tactics were devised to discourage African-Americans from voting.

Presented with this information, Sen. Tim Scott of North Carolina decisively announced he would oppose the nomination, defeating it for this session. Collins announced that the memo required “ further research.”

I am not sure what further information Collins requires about a man whose nomination the NAACP called “a slap in the face to communities of color everywhere.”

Should Farr be renominated in the new Congress, she should follow the example of Scott and clearly, definitively decline to confirm.

Eliza Townsend

Executive director

Maine Women’s Lobby

Augusta

 


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