May 23, 2018
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Senate race should air comparisons in constructive way

By Cary Weston, Special to the BDN

I read with interest Sen. Joe Perry’s OpEd “Mud flies, fibs rise, bitter end to election” (BDN, Oct. 27) discussing his reasons for supporting an array of new taxes, including a beverage tax, a tax on health care claims, a tax on car repairs and his sponsorship of a bill to tax home heating oil. While I disagree with the senator’s position, he has every right to seek to explain why he thinks the voters in our district and across Maine were wrong in twice going to the polls and overwhelmingly rejecting taxes he pushed through as chairman of the Taxation Committee.

I’ve watched the race for the Maine Senate in Bangor and Hermon very closely. I’ve been impressed with Nichi Farnham’s energetic campaign and her positive agenda of changing the way Augusta does business.

But I am disappointed by Sen. Perry’s attempt to blame Nichi Farnham for third-party ads criticizing his 14-year record in Augusta. As a seasoned political veteran of eight legislative campaigns, Sen. Perry knows very well that those ads are from other groups. Just as the misleading negative attacks against Nichi Farnham have been paid for by groups supporting Sen. Perry. I’ve seen the ads and mailings on both sides, and they clearly state “Not paid for or authorized by any candidate.”

If Sen. Perry was genuinely concerned about negativity in politics, he would criticize not only the ads that take issue with his record, but also denounce the attacks that have distorted Farnham’s record as mayor. One such attack even disparaged Farnham for a Bangor charter amendment that was enacted by the voters of Bangor and falsely claimed that Husson’s Winkin Sports Complex sits empty when it is used regularly by the community for baseball, football and other sports.

Nichi Farnham should be proud of her record of service in Bangor.

She offers the voters of Bangor and Hermon an alternative to a long-serving senator who has been in the majority in Augusta. For months, she has been going door-to-door, running on her record as city councilor, mayor and school committee member, her military background, and her years as a dedicated community volunteer. Farnham is running to help turn Maine around so that we stop enacting new taxes, get state spending and debt under control, and improve a business climate recently ranked as worst in the nation.

There is nothing wrong with fair comparisons of their records and their positions. But those are issues that could be aired in a constructive way.

Neither side benefits from those outside tactics.

We need to change the direction of state government and put homeowners, business owners and taxpayers first.

Cary Weston is a Bangor resident and business owner and serves on the Bangor City Council.

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