Tuesday, July 24, 2012: LePage, the IRS and elections

Posted July 23, 2012, at 5:10 p.m.

Merit badge

I am a Boy Scout that is taking the communications merit badge. For this merit badge we have to send an email to an editor of a magazine or newspaper commenting on an article.

I read the article “Protection Sought for 3 Maine Turtle Species” in the July 12 issue. I particularly liked this article because I think it is important to try and protect animals and to get the word out about it so people don’t destroy these creatures’ habitats. Much of the turtles’ habitats are disappearing as people build more and more houses, so hopefully these species will be federally protected, helping them to not go extinct so future generations can enjoy their presence.

Matthew Kelly

Fort Kent

Left should lighten up on governor

The recent columns written by Bill Nemitz in the Portland Press Herald and others are like vultures sitting on a power line waiting impatiently to sweep down from their perches to devour our governor.

Gov. Paul LePage has sporadically used certain words and phrases off the top of his head without full thought of repercussions, however, his intention of what he is trying to get across has true meaning.

As a former workers’ compensation fraud investigator for more than 10 years, I averaged catching at least two cheats per week working under the table while collecting full disability payments from their previous employer. This is just one issue the governor is addressing, and yet he is continually criticized by the left for trying to limit entitlements?

I say, “How about giving him a little slack?”

LePage is a dedicated, determined, sincere and forthright governor who puts his state before political biases with his belief in what is right not for the minority but the majority. And you know I’ve never met the man.

Dick Arnold

Belgrade Lakes

IRS jokes

Like many Americans, I have been giving a lot of thought to the taxes, mandates and their place in our lives. Further thought was spurred by Gov. Paul LePage’s recent negative characterization of the Internal Revenue Service.

We’ve all heard, and likely made, jokes about the IRS, but his comments made me examine how I really feel. First of all, the IRS doesn’t set policy, it only follows the duties given it by Congress, among which is collection of taxes to fund the business of government. Do I support this? Well, if we are talking collecting about the funds needed to clothe, feed and care for our troops, then yes.

The funds used to provide security along our borders, at our airports and all over our homeland? Yes again. How about funds for our national parks? Taxes collected and used to search for a cure for cancer? Money for the FDA so that I know that my food and medicine are as safe as possible? Yes to all.

Of course I neither expect nor want the government to do everything. Of course there are items in the U.S. budget that I feel should not be funded. But here’s the thing: We Americans are all in this together and if we pull together, we will move forward together. Payment of local, state and federal taxes is mandated (a system that has worked pretty well for quite a while), and I, for one, am grateful that many of the programs these pay for are available to us.

Jill Weber

Bar Harbor

Bringing jobs back home

I read in the paper recently that labor groups in Maine want Congress to pass the Bring Jobs Home Act, which would give tax breaks to companies that keep jobs here at home and stop giving tax cuts to companies that send our jobs overseas.

As someone who has fought to keep jobs and businesses alive here in Aroostook County, I fully support legislation of this type.

Here in Maine we still make shoes. We make boards, bread and beans. Our work ethic is second to none, especially in the County. We should be proud of the industries we still have and we should do everything in our power to keep those manufacturing, lumbering and farm-based

jobs from being shipped overseas.

We cannot compete with sweatshop wages in other countries. The government needs to step in and stop rewarding big companies for pulling up stakes in America and putting down stakes in third-world countries.

If elected to be your next state senator, I promise I will be a part of this fight. It is critical to the future of our children and our grandchildren and to the survival of our communities.

Daniel Levesque

Ashland

Path of choice

The open-minded letter writer (July 17) deserves this appreciation for his support of same-sex partners. He says the issue is not about civil rights, just about the name “marriage.”

I would like to agree with him if it were only the name. In reality, the state of Maine issues a license to be married. That license allows its holder to access more than 1,000 other “civil rights” already in state and federal statutes. If our Legislature and Congress could amend all those statutes to replace the word “marriage” with “civil union” I would agree with the name change, leaving “marriage” to be the name chosen for a relationship affirmed in vows chosen by the participants in a ceremony of their choice. Then each holder of a license to marry would have access to all their rights.

If such mass amendments of existing statutes is unlikely, we are left with “marriage” as the path of choice.

Stanley Freeman

Orono

Vote Geoff

As a young person in the Bangor area, I was very excited to learn that Geoff Gratwick is running to represent Bangor and Hermon in the Maine Senate. Unfortunately, I don’t live in Senate District 32, and I’m not old enough to vote, but I live near Bangor and attend school there, so the positive changes that Geoff plans to make will affect me and my friends.

He understands how important it is to have access to affordable education, which means my friends and I can graduate with less debt. He also believes this area needs more good jobs, so that once we graduate we can choose to stay in Maine.

If you are a resident of Bangor or Hermon, I hope you will vote for Geoff Gratwick this November.

Julia Leslie

Orrington

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