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Friday, Feb. 17, 2012: Government gridlock, Grover Norquist and protecting the North Woods

We can do better

I care about policy. I want my government to be both fair and representative of the people it governs. In recent years, I’ve become disgusted with the political system in Maine, and in the nation. Party gridlock puts us all at risk of bankruptcy and having to be subjected to policy that was formed based on favor-swapping and sleazy handshakes.

I care about policy, but I don’t like politics, at least not today’s politics.

Last year, I joined a group of Mainers who, like me, are fed up with extremists getting their way in policy while moderate voices are shut out. We gathered together to put our time and money into an effort to support candidates for the Legislature that have a commitment to working collaboratively with members of other parties. We don’t want the extremists to get all the press, so we’re raising money to promote the people who aren’t playing on fear and stereotypes to get press.

Some of us are Republicans, some are Democrats, some Green, some unenrolled, etc. All of us want to see a change in the way things are done in Augusta. With a fairly small amount of money, we can support moderate candidates in races around the state by helping them get airtime, campaign materials and media coverage.

Please join us. Every little bit helps. Visit www.onemaine.com and help us change the way politics is done in Maine.

Sarah Morehead


Reboot Congress

As we all endure the next 10 months of political agony with politicians, pundits and other fools proliferating the press with nonsense, let’s make it easy and vote for no incumbent. If you are not part of the solution to our economic morass, you should no longer be part of the pathetic Congress that created this mess.

Using the words of Sen. Olympia Snowe, who voted not to even debate the jobs bill, a constant puppet of the Republican right, “I’ve never seen a worse Congress in my whole political life,” let’s all heed her words and start over.

We can begin by sending a new team of legislators to Congress, people of vision, people with a “can-do” spirit, four who will make decisions on what is best for the people, not for their re-election.

William Shuttleworth


Grover looms large

Who is Grover Norquist and what is his appeal to our elected representatives in Washington and Augusta? I did a quick Google search and found that all but six Republican representatives and all but seven Republican senators in Congress have signed his pledge. Three Democrats, two in the House and one in the Senate, also have signed the pledge. In the Maine Legislature, 30 representatives and five senators have signed the pledge.

Are all these politicians seers? Can they see the future and will they have to hesitate in a time of need to check with Grover Norquist for his permission to perform the duties that they were elected for?

Exactly where in the tree of government and what elected or appointed seat does Grover Norquist hold?

I for one will not vote for any politician who makes a commitment to anyone but the people who elected him and all the people of his district.

Thomas Bonner


Photo distasteful

Your publication of the photo taken by Kevin Bennett and used in your story regarding the 7-year-old boy who burned to death in a house fire in Corinth this weekend was tragic and irresponsible. The parents were shown sitting and laying on the ground in total despair while being consoled by the firefighters immediately after being told their son had in fact died in the fire.

I find it absolutely despicable that you would choose to run that picture of these parents who have just experienced the most tragic moment of their lives.

Mr. Bennett and the photo editor exhibited extreme callousness in taking and choosing this photo. No, I don’t know the victims of the fire or anyone else involved in this story, but I do know an inappropriate photo and a total lack of human decency when I see it.

Kevin Gurall


Time to reprioritize

Years ago, people missing arms or legs, who were blind or deaf, etc., didn’t want to be considered disabled. Many worked, had families and led productive lives. Many still do the same today because they are too proud to accept assistance or have too much self-esteem and want to do things for themselves.

Today many consider pregnancy, drug use, alcoholism, etc., as disabilities and are out to get as many benefits and freebies as they are legally, or illegally, entitled. They think they are due free housing, food, medical care and many other benefits. It would never enter their mind to get a job or try to be self-sufficient. All these benefits come from those who are working hard (not the government).

Is society better with the first group or the second? Perhaps we should reprioritize our assistance programs so we help those who can’t help themselves rather than those who won’t.

Richard Peer


Protect North Woods

It’s difficult to understand how Department of Conservation Commissioner Bill Beardsley could possibly “not see how (LD 1798’s) adoption would weaken oversight” of land use in Maine’s North Woods, as he told the Bangor Daily News last week (“LURC battle under way,” Feb. 9).

Last Thursday, Environment Maine helped 17,000 Mainers voice their concerns that the bill would do just that, threatening the future of Maine’s woods. The bill, LD 1798, rolls back the Land Use Regulation Commission’s protections by undermining its ability to make unbiased decisions, eliminating criteria on which the commission makes its decisions, and allowing counties to “drop out” of LURC’s jurisdiction, effectively eliminating current protections over time. The messages came from people in all 151 House districts, showing that citizens from every part of our state and all walks of life want legislators to maintain LURC’S protections for the North Woods.

Maine’s North Woods are at the heart of our natural heritage and define our state. They’re home to some of the most beautiful and treasured places in Maine – from the Rangeley Lakes to Mount Katahdin – and are where generations of Mainers have learned to love the outdoors. Once we allow it to be tarnished by reckless development, it’ll be gone forever. 17,000 Mainers agree: we must protect the North Woods now.

Garrett Conover

North Woods Ways



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