Mills a standout
Peter Mills stands out among Republican candidates for governor.
His intelligence, integrity and background as a veteran, successful attorney and businessman assure us of a capable, qualified governor. His responsible vision of how best to serve all of Maine is evidenced by his 16 years of exemplary legislative service.
In Caratunk, it’s impossible to ignore the key role Peter Mills played in passing bipartisan legislation which finally empowers families in the treatment of those suffering from mental illness.
Future support at the polls wasn’t Mills’ focus. Improving existing law for the benefit of many Maine families was.
Peter Mills knows us. He continues to be more visible here than any state representative, senator or county commissioner.
Let’s get it right this November, and elect a governor with a record that leaves no doubt about his or her ability to govern.
Rowe supports us
I write in support of Steve Rowe for governor, because he supports Washington County.
We live with all kinds of claims — the “highest this” or the “lowest that” — that the rest of Maine can spout by heart. Seven of the other gubernatorial candidates came to our town last month for back-to-back Republican and Democratic forums at the University of Maine at Machias. They all talked as if they know Washington County’s statistics inside out, as if our local woes play well as local campaign material.
Steve Rowe knows better. He knows what helps and hurts Washington County’s families and our futures. He knows Washington County better than any candidate, because he came here several times during his years as Maine’s attorney general — long before there was a primary race to be Maine’s next governor.
The topics that Steve Rowe cares about changing most are part of our daily lives, both here and across Maine — domestic violence, early childhood development and teenage drinking and drugs. These aren’t just talking points in a campaign for Steve Rowe. These are his long held values.
That’s why my wife and I are voting for Steve Rowe, Democrat, on June 8.
Francis J. Cassidy
Less than open
On May 12, I attended the Aroostook Railway Task Force meeting at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center. The task force, under the direction of Gov. John Baldacci, was created to ensure that the process of railroad abandonment and acquisition is done openly, and in a way that protects Maine taxpayers. The only notice of the daytime meeting I spotted was a small piece in the St. John Valley Times that made it into that paper just ahead of press time.
Only 12 chairs were set out for the public. After 30 minutes of self-introductions by the select panel, the several public participants were offered a brief chance to speak. The task force then went into executive session for the rest of the day. I expected the meeting to be open to the public. I was mistaken. In my judgment, the process being used is less than transparent and definitely not “open.”
Tax reform details
I’d like to correct a mistake in the May 8 BDN article about the tax law repeal (“Referendum mirrors divide on state tax reform”). Reporter Eric Russell noted that the new tax law lowers the top income tax rate from 8.5 percent to 6.5 percent. Then he cited a single person making $30,000 a year, stating that the lower rate would produce a $600 tax savings for that taxpayer.
That is incorrect. A person making $30,000 and taking the standard deduction would have paid $1,144 in state income taxes in 2009. Under the new law, the same person would pay $1,038 in 2010. That’s a savings of $106.
Based on estimates by Maine Revenue Service, however, that person would pay $85 in additional taxes due to the massive expansion of the sales tax. That means the person making $30,000 has a total net tax cut of $21.
Mr. Russell evidently thought the person in the example pays 8.5 percent on his whole income, or $2,550 in 2009. Under the new 6.5 percent rate, the total would be $1,950. That’s the $600 difference.
Unfortunately, he neglected to factor in the standard deduction and the progressive rates of 0 percent, 2 percent, 4.5 percent and 7 percent that apply to income before one reaches the top bracket. Once these are included, this person’s effective tax rate is 3.8 percent.
The bad news for all taxpayers is that the new law eliminates the progressive rates and places everyone at a flat rate of 6.5 percent.
Rep. Pete Johnson
Abbott has vision
The idea that our next governor has to have owned, run (or lost) his own business baffles me.
We don’t need a businessman, lawyer, doctor or candlestick maker. We need a leader. We need a person who can surround himself with the right people in the right jobs to get this state moving in the right direction. We don’t need fighting or politics, we need leadership. We need Steve Abbott.
I believe when a person can surround himself or herself with people with proven skills in areas that make sense for the task at hand, you will have success. Not paybacks for political favors that benefit no one, except the person being “tapped” for the job who generally is not competent in the first place!
Steve Abbott has a vision. Steve Abbott has allies who have proven capable of running successful businesses. A list may include Cianbro, Hussey Seating, R.H. Foster and Lafayette Hotel Group.
There are many more we could list and not all of them are Republicans.
This is the leadership we need to break the “do-nothing” tax and spend mold in Augusta. Look at the programs we have, dump the ones that no longer work and save the ones that do. That is what business owners do every day.
Ban the signs
Just as we are enjoying the beauty of spring with all the shades of green popping out, the dratted roadside political signs are starting to litter our highways.
I’ve never changed my vote because of a political sign and I doubt anyone else has either. Candidates could better spend their money on infomercials that would help us know their platforms. We have lots of candidates running but I don’t know anything about any of them at this point.
I think roadside signs should be banned just as billboards were years ago. They really aren’t effective and they surely clutter up our highways.