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Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012: Election Day Letters Part 1

Voting for Frey

I was shocked that Jim Parker, Republican incumbent representative for District 18, voted against LD 1260: An Act To Improve Transparency in Maine Government. This law would have strengthened ethics rules for government officials and lobbyists by creating tougher disclosure requirements.

Legislative decisions such as the vote against LD 1260 will only slow Maine’s economic recovery by increasing distrust of state government.

Maine needs legislators who value people’s trust and understand that businesses will be attracted to the state if they are confident that government is on their side.

This November, I will be voting for Democrat Aaron Frey to represent Veazie, Bangor and Orono. Frey is practical and has a plan to get Maine on the right track. His plan begins with educating young Mainers in skills businesses need. A well-trained workforce is critical to attracting businesses with good-paying jobs to the state.

Frey is also dedicated to improving our roads and bridges. Finally, unlike Parker, Frey will fight for strong ethics rules for elected officials and lobbyists. I hope you will join me in voting for Frey on Election Day.

Joan Perkins


Running for Bangor School Committee

I am running for the Bangor School Committee because I seek to support the teachers and administrators in the Bangor public schools who are providing one of the best educations offered in Maine.

My wife and I moved to Bangor more than 20 years ago because of the outstanding reputation of the city’s schools. We have seen firsthand — as our three sons advanced from grade school to middle school and as our oldest son studies at the high school — that Bangor provides an exceptional education. Our sons’ teachers have been enthusiastic educators, well prepared for class and more than willing to remain after school to provide assistance. As a parent and an attorney, I want children who attend Bangor schools to continue receiving the best possible education from our dedicated teachers.

Having been a high school teacher, I understand the challenges that confront educators and know what it takes to be effective. Having volunteered as a coach for Little League as well as for youth football and youth hockey in Bangor, I will support the many diverse, extracurricular activities offered at our schools. Participation in athletics and other after-school activities provides students with opportunities to develop confidence and to learn the values of teamwork, good sportsmanship and giving one’s best effort.

I also understand the need to avoid increasing taxes to a degree that will discourage economic growth. I will appreciate your support on Nov. 6.

Jim Moore


Adam Goode for Bangor District 15

Rep. Adam Goode, D-Bangor, is a hardworking legislator who knows how to be responsive and accessible to his constituents. I know personally Goode takes the time to listen to my concerns, and he even took the time to visit my workplace to learn more about the employment and community living services offered by my agency.

Whether he is taking time to respond to a concern I have sent him by email or by visiting my workplace, I know Goode can be counted on as an accessible and hardworking legislator.

As someone who has lived in Bangor for 14 years, I appreciate that he gives back to the community. Goode is a fifth-generation Bangor resident who has lived here all his life. I am impressed he has used his passion and energy to improve our community through leading a nonprofit organization, serving in the Maine House and coaching students at Bangor High School.

Goode has appeared at Bangor City Hall with me in an effort to promote jobs in Bangor through the passing of table gaming, and he listened to my concerns regarding tractor-trailers on our city streets.

These are some of the reasons I urge Bangor voters to re-elect Goode to District 15, since he serves all residents regardless of party affiliation.

Frank Hartnett


Different thinking in Augusta

I am writing to bring your attention to a Washington County candidate who is running to be a state representative for District 31. Most of you probably know him as the guy in the short pants and the big brown truck. Over time he probably delivered a package to almost everyone in the area.

Harold Clark, a Democrat from Calais who now works in the family’s insurance business, has seen a need for different thinking in Augusta and is asking for our support. Clark’s thinking is not taken from the playbook of a career politician, and his experiences of traveling around our area and meeting face to face with the people who live here has given him a unique insight into the wants and needs of our friends and neighbors.

Here are some of the things Clark wants to bring to Washington County: make Internet accessible to all areas, bring equality to spending in education, build responsible tidal power, work to return business and manufacturing to this area and bring rail back to Washington County as part of the expansion of the port at Eastport.

Unlike Clark’s opponent Joyce Maker, a Republican from Calais whose ideas for economic development are still stuck in a failed industrial complex, Clark is thinking of the future and would like to help us get there.

He deserves your vote.

Gary Guisinger


Gratwick the choice

Bangor and Hermon are very fortunate to have a strong candidate like Geoff Gratwick, a Democrat from Bangor, running for state Senate. Gratwick is known as an accomplished physician, civic leader and Bangor City councilor for the last nine years. I am personally aware of Gratwick’s hard work, his care and compassion for people, as well as his steely dedication to fiscal discipline. He will serve Bangor and Hermon very well.

The current Legislature, and sadly that includes Bangor’s Republican members, have supported Gov. Paul LePage’s agenda of cutting aid to education, gutting health care coverage, cutting taxes for the wealthiest, while forcing taxpayers to pay more in property taxes to make up the difference.

Did even one member of the Republican delegation from Bangor dare to say anything publicly when the governor threatened to shut down nursing homes and public schools this past spring? Or when the governor line-item vetoed budget items that would have cost Bangor property taxpayers more than a million dollars per year?

LePage does not have a record of doing what is good for Bangor and Hermon. What concerns me the most is that no one in Bangor’s Republican delegation has the courage to put us first, independent of LePage and his agenda. Clearly we need a senator who puts the voters of Bangor and Hermon first and foremost, not a rubber stamp.

Gratwick will have no problem putting Bangor and Hermon first and standing up to the harmful agenda of the current governor.

Joseph M. Baldacci


Election trap

Alright, fellow Democrats and independents, unfortunately, it’s time to have “the talk” about the race for Sen. Olympia Snowe’s seat. Two words, really: LePage and Cutler. I think we all remember how Gov. Paul LePage won with a measly 38 percent of Mainers voting for him because the majority of Maine voters (55 percent) voted for one of the two progressive candidates (independent Eliot Cutler or Democrat Libby Mitchell).

Remember the numbers from 2010? I sure do: LePage, 38 percent; Cutler, 36 percent; Mitchell, 19 percent. Just enough to ruin things for her party’s hopes and platform. Most Mainers did not want LePage, but the Republicans were smart enough to sit back and let the Democrats destroy each others’ chances.

So what are the numbers this year? Independent Angus King, 37 percent; Republican Charlie Summers, 33 percent; Democrat Cynthia Dill, 12 percent. I’m sure Dill is a fine representative and will be a great standard bearer for Maine’s and her party’s ideals, but this is not her time. And God forbid anyone still considers the “vote early for Dill” trap, as voting early cost many of my friends the chance to help elect a moderate governor two years ago.

Think the Republicans have forgotten 2010? They’re using the exact same playbook and even paying for ads for Dill. Honor your principles and hopes above some ill-conceived “party loyalty.” Don’t waste a vote on Dill, and don’t vote “straight Democratic.”

John Picone


Support of Herbie Clark

I work for a small business that received notice in June that the cost of the health insurance plan was increasing by 46 percent effective July 1. Fortunately we were able to find another plan providing comparable coverage, but it came with a deductible that is $1,500 higher than our old plan. That higher deductible means more money out of employees’ pockets.

When I looked into why our health insurance costs increased so much, I found out that it is because of LD 1333, Maine’s new insurance rate-hike law. Its supporters claimed it would make health insurance more affordable by cutting costs for Mainers. However, the reality is for those of us living in rural Maine, the results have been anything but affordable. I was further astonished to learn that my representative, Sen. Doug Thomas, R- Ripley, voted for the rate-hike law.

The last thing small businesses and employees need is increased health care costs. Thomas apparently didn’t do his homework on this bill, and now rural Mainers are paying the price through higher premiums or deductibles.

Fortunately, I have a choice Nov. 6: Democrat Herbert Clark, of Millinocket, who is running to represent us in Senate District 27, is an experienced legislator who did his homework. As a representative, Clark voted against raising health care costs for rural Mainers. Clark has my support in November.

Felecia Glidden


Support Victoria

Victoria “Tori” Kornfield, a Bangor Democrat, was an excellent English teacher at Bangor High School, which is why I am very excited she is now running to be the state representative for Bangor.

Her 30-year career as an educator exceptionally positions her to understand the challenges Bangor faces, through her long-term involvement with generations of Bangor residents. As a teacher, she always lectured of the importance of keeping an open mind and listening to all people’s perspectives.

Her positive attitude and attentiveness to gain a greater understanding of the issues at hand positions her to find the best possible solution to our issues. She has seen the struggles that young people face finding jobs in Bangor, and she knows that the Legislature needs to increase economic opportunities for Maine’s middle class by making higher education more accessible for working families.

Nobody will work harder to represent our community and support our needs. I hope that voters like you will join me in supporting Kornfield on Election Day.

Jacob Birmingham


Romney banks

You can spend money you earn as you please. You can buy a company, fire its workers and burn the buildings. However, bank loans are different. Bank loans create new money.

During the 50 years of America’s strongest growth, a strong business plan was needed for a commercial loan. This changed with 1980s financial deregulation. Security speculators could now tap into vast bank money.

In a leveraged buyout, a trader borrows to buy 50 percent stock in a company. He then transfers the debt to the company’s books. After that, if the company goes belly up, the trader doesn’t owe any money. The bankrupt company owes it.

For example, Republican Mitt Romney bought the retail chain Stage Stores with $300 million in loans. The loans were arranged by Michael Milken, then famously under federal investigation.

Romney’s company made an estimated $175 million on a $10 million investment. Romney had no desire, no experience and no plan to run a chain of retail stores. He saddled the company with monstrous debt, took its profits and let it sink.

Romney got his campaign contributions by promising to free banks and Wall Street from regulation. Romney’s top 20 contributors are the same financial firms that have wrecked our economy.

John Pankowicz

Boothbay Harbor

Who is Angus King, and what is he saying?

We have all seen the TV ads telling us that Angus King is an independent who will go to Washington and work with both sides to break the partisan gridlock and get Congress working again. Is that true or is King really telling us something else?

In one of his TV attack ads — that he said he would not do — King states: “Charlie Summers signed a ‘no taxes ever pledge’ that will make it impossible to solve the deficit.” What King is really saying is that he would raise our taxes to solve the deficit.

Still another ad states, “That’s the choice, more of the same or a new, independent direction.”

Here are the facts: King will vote to raise taxes. He supports the Affordable Care Act.

King is pro-choice and supports gay marriage.

My fellow Mainers, King is not an independent; he is a liberal, progressive, spend-and-tax Democrat who, if you send to Washington, will further the gridlock and advance the Obama agenda for Maine and America.

Vote Republican Charlie Summers for U.S. Senate.

Tom Huffstutler


Swinging freely

Like many of you, I am on a “do not call” list. This means that I cannot be solicited by organizations for the selling of goods or services. The Federal Trade Commission maintains this registry and can fine any organization that fails to comply.

However, political organizations, the very group that initiated the idea of this registry, are exempt. If a child tried to implement a rule so only he could use the playground swings, would we allow him to do so? Why do we tolerate politicians taking liberties just because they are in a position to do so? Most of the copious political calls that I receive don’t allow me to say, “Don’t call me again,” because it is a recording. The politicians have told us we can not use the swings but are swinging freely themselves.

Allison Valley


Re-elect Chris Rector for Senate

What do you look for in a candidate for state senator? My criteria include the following: integrity, responsibility, effectiveness, dedication, work ethic and intelligence.

These are just some of the criteria that Chris Rector, R-Thomaston, possesses. For two terms in our State Senate and three terms in our State House of Representatives, Rector has represented the varied concerns of our district and his constituents. He is currently working as chairman of the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee; as a member of the Energies, Utilities and Technology Committee; and as co-chair of the Maine Economic Growth Council. He has sacrificed valuable campaign time and efforts to continue to serve us when he could be out campaigning for himself.

Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or independent, cast your vote for Rector on Nov. 6.

Sandra Freeman Orluk


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