Just a thought

I would like to recommend a possible solution to the budget deficit in the state of Maine. Charge a fee to all politicians for putting up their signs during election years on state-of-Maine properties. If

the roadsides, street corners, medians and fronts of a business are truly the property of the state, why not get paid for the advertising?

Then you could also charge extra for those who don’t remove their signs in an appropriate time. Bet you would have a lot fewer obnoxious and hazardous signs on the side of the roads and maybe just a little more money for the state. It’s just a thought.

Maryann Wescott


Just plain silly

I respect the right of the BDN to endorse whomever they wish, but the rationale behind the Obama endorsement is just plain silly. Here is a man who exploded the national debt by trillions, went back on his word to be transparent, has no energy policy except to increase the price at the pump and home heating oil, won’t reform entitlements, hasn’t passed a budget and is bent on making or keeping people dependent on government because that means more votes.

He is a narcissist who seems to be more concerned about appearing on talk shows, doing fund raisers and saving Big Bird than trying to save four brave Americans in Libya.

Rich Nutter


Vote no

My nephew is gay. I love him very much, but I must put God’s truth first. He designed and defined marriage through His creation of a man and woman to unite as one flesh for the purpose of procreation. It was never about the fulfillment of love. Most people do marry for love, but that was never the intent of marriage. Therefore, this focus on love and equality for all is unfounded and misleading as it is humanly impossible to bring equality to procreation through a union of the same sex. Absolutely impossible!

For all time, God was and is wise enough to know what would be healthy for the whole society despite man’s desires. When broken down, it affects moral, ethical, mental, physical and spiritual health and well-being for all. Those of us who have the highest regard for the Biblical truth of what marriage is, who it is for, and who it was created by, should never have to be expected to compromise and legalize what is not of God. This is not about not loving one another. It’s all about believing God at His Word. How can we ever live peaceably when we choose against God? Voting no on Question 1 in November is standing for God’s one and only plan for marriage and family.

In love, I’m fighting for my nephew and others not to be misled. God’s Word is never ours to change or redefine. Protect what only God has joined together.

Rhonda Bamford


Pease for state representative

While serving as sheriff in Waldo County, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of individuals in a number of different capacities. One such person I had the privilege of working with was Jethro Pease. Pease served as a county commissioner in Waldo for several years and helped to move the county ahead exponentially. During his tenure as county commissioner, projects around technology improvements, health insurance savings and infrastructure improvements were all priorities that moved the county in a positive direction.

When he was a commissioner, Pease and I locked horns a couple of times over a few issues. However I must say that he always worked with me to find compromise with the ultimate goal of serving the citizens, which was his priority at all times. Pease took the extra time to bring everyone together so that the best possible result would prevail for those we served. This is exactly what is needed in Augusta, and I believe Pease will have the ability to do this. I have watched many people in Augusta make decisions based on deals and following party lines blindly. I believe Pease will make decisions that represent the desire of his constituents.

I consider Pease a friend and know him to be a dedicated family man with integrity and work ethic. The citizens of his district will be served well with him as their state representative.

Scott Story

Waldo County Sheriff


Elect King

Recently, I attended a reception for independent Angus King and was struck by his humility, intelligence, genuineness, humor and good intention. I am disturbed by the amount of out-of-state money that is being spent to defeat him. Why would these factions be so concerned about his election unless he poses a genuine threat to the status quo and inertia that plagues Washington?

He represents a real chance for change and solutions. The negative ads launched against him are based on marketing strategies that amount to brainwashing and have no basis in truth. The facts are compelling reasons to support King:

• King understands that climate change is real and needs to be addressed, while we also shore up protection of the Clean Water and Clean Air Act, unlike his opponent, Republican Charlie Summers, who supports drilling off the coast of Maine.

• King supports the Affordable Care Act, while recognizing the need to bring down healthcare costs, unlike Summers, who would repeal the ACA, rolling back coverage for young adults and preventive care for all.

King represents the change that we need in Washington: a senator who will actually represent his constituents in a thoughtful and intelligent way, without hidden agendas or vested interests. So goes Maine, so goes the nation. Let’s show the rest of the country how to get the job done and elect King.

Joanne Miller

South Thomaston

Social worker supports Susan Longley

Twenty-five years ago I worked in a family court system in Chicago where all of the judges were required to have masters of social work degrees.

Families and children were treated with respect. The judges saw to it that safety and follow-up care for children and families were top priority.

When I came to Maine, I worked with children, families and did court work as an expert witness and guardian ad item. What a difference from my previous experience! Families and children did not get the continuity of care and were often forgotten.

In contrast, judge Susan Longley’s court is geared to work with children and families with a hands-on approach. Her attitude is firm and respectful, and she personally sees the situations from beginning to end. She does not rubber stamp but suits her judgement to the needs of individuals.

The mediation which Longley has instituted is a fine example of utilization of informed consent and often avoids court. I attended her educational seminars and was impressed by her personal commitment to her judgeship. Based on her history and commitment to the community that she serves, she will continue to change and improve the court.

A vote for Longley is a vote for change, growth and justice.

Gloria Young


One-up each other

On 60 Minutes on Sunday, a lady said, when asked what she thought about the political commercials she sees on TV, that the candidates were just trying to one-up each other when they should be working together for the American people.

Bob Woodbury


Vote Romney

Whatever happened to the nest egg? The paycheck just seems to evaporate with the elevated cost of gasoline, heating oil, food and other living expenses. The high cost of fuel is influenced by a policy of reduced drilling permits and conveyance of oil in our own country.

We have a huge supply of oil right under our feet, but President Barack Obama’s policy forces us to depend on foreign oil. Wind, solar and other alternative sources of energy should be pursued, but they are proving to be expensive and inefficient compared to oil and natural gas. This administration continues to spend, borrow, print money, hand out stimulus funding and increase taxes, with total disregard for the consequences.

Small business owners are holding back on expansion and hiring, due to the uncertainty of taxes and other costs associated with Obamacare and welfare. So, here we are with bad policy on energy, lack of employment opportunities, high food and energy costs. Not to mention national debt, bad foreign policy, no budget plan, etc. We the people deserve better and shame on us if we miss this last call. Choose a new team that has integrity and love of country.

A team with a plan that will deal with and solve the problems brought about by the Obama administration. Vote for Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Nov. 6.

Daniel Davey


Longley has integrity

A political mailing that I received last Saturday asked what sort of judge I’d want if I needed to go to court for my family.

I would want a probate judge who is a hard-working public servant, legally and ethically meticulous and genuinely caring about the individuals and families who journey through the probate court. Susan Longley is all of this and more.

Longley clearly has committed herself to running a clean and positive campaign. I will honor that by expressing only astonishment at her opponent’s creativity in casting aspersions upon a roundly good person of solid substance.

On Nov. 6, I will vote for a judge whose integrity and intelligence are thoroughly demonstrated: Susan Longley.

Lane Fisher


Love and acceptance

On the topic of the right to marry, I have read and listened to much debate and hate-filled rhetoric. When I hear the comments that our children are at risk, I feel the need to speak. This issue is not about the children. To me it is simple. It is not whom you love but how you live.

Having devoted my life to educating young children, I have learned a few simple truths. Children thrive with the support of many adults. Parents, teachers, friends and clergy, joining together, raise children. These children are as unique and special as the people who love them. Some of my former students are undoubtedly gay. It made no difference to me; they were children.

Their parent’s sexual preferences were also irrelevant to the education of children. What does make a difference is the level of love and support that children know in their homes. Children who are raised with love and acceptance grow up to be loving, accepting adults. Confident, non-judgmental adults raise children with open hearts and minds. What more could we possibly ask? Please, for our children, vote yes on Question 1.

Sharon Jones


Vote no

It is nice to see the true agenda being revealed behind those who are seeking to redefine marriage. The consequence of such a change will result in the silencing of all who believe in the original definition.

Even those who do not want to redefine marriage believe in freewill, and missing are the reports that homosexuals are unable to buy property, earn an income, adopt or conceive (artificial means), etc. So what is the ultimate, underlying motive that drives some in Maine to pursue forever changing what fundamentally has been defined as one man and one woman?

As a critical thinker, I only need to see the evidence around me to conclude it is the silencing of all who disagree, thereby eliminating freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Being threatened with lawsuits, loss of employment, fines and accused of “hate” crimes is the future for all who disagree with a new definition. We see this happening now. It would appear that it is not homosexuals who are forced into silence but those who, at the moment, have the right to disagree. Voting no will not deny someone the exercise of their free will. Voting yes ultimately will.

Jodi Lassell


No on Question 4

On Election Day Maine voters will be asked to vote on referendum Question 4, which is a bond issue “for improvements to highways and bridges, local roads, airports and port facilities.” I implore voters to carefully consider the costs and benefits of the bond before voting for it.

Only by reading the text of the bond bill does one discover that $5 million will be used to improve Mack Point in Searsport, which is the proposed site for a 137-foot tall, 23-million-gallon liquid propane gas storage facility that will be built for industrial giant DCP Conoco Philips.

Costs and risks of building the LPG storage facility include the obvious safety concerns, reduced residential property value, and lost business due to the aesthetic impact of increased industrialization and truck traffic in an area that survives mainly on tourism.

The interest and principal payments for the bond issue only add to the costs that Maine citizens are being asked to pay in support of a company that neither needs nor deserves further public support.

I will vote no on Question 4.

Michael McDonald


Vote Geoff

I want to express my support for Democrat Geoff Gratwick for Senate District 32. Based on his experience in the city council and from conversations I’ve had with him, I know that he is thoughtful, sincere and always thinking about what is best for Bangor.

I have no doubt that Gratwick will take the same approach in Augusta and will do what’s best for Bangor and the state, not what’s best for the governor’s agenda or for a party line. We will all be best served if Gratwick is representing us in the Senate.

John Thompson


Longley gets it right

Susan Longley has my vote for Waldo County probate judge. Support for mediated resolution of family disputes is a hallmark of Longley’s eight years of service on the probate court bench and is the defining difference between Longley and her opponent.

Families, and especially children, benefit when lines of communication between hurt, angry, estranged family members are reopened so that damaged relationships can begin to heal. Mediation can provide a safe, structured environment within which emotions can be aired, and issues can be openly and productively dealt with. Family members that succeed in resolving a dispute through mediated agreements often gain insights and learn communication techniques that help them handle other problems too. And they save on costly lawyers fees, which put additional strains on already struggling families.

Judicial dispositions have their place when alternative dispute resolution efforts fail. Both candidates for probate judge have the credentials and experience to render sound decisions when that outcome is needed. But I want families in Waldo County to get encouragement and skillful support to resolve their own disagreements when that is feasible. Longley has demonstrated her commitment to providing court-supported mediation services and in doing so has earned my respect and my vote for reelection.

Juliane Dow


America working again

Evidently, there are still a considerable number of people who have not yet made up their minds as to which presidential candidate they will vote for. Fellow small business owners (job creators), who I talk to overwhelmingly reject the reelection of President Barack Obama. Our economy needs jobs, and the policies of the current administration present arguably the largest remediable impediments that job creators are facing.

We’ve all heard many of the pros and cons about these policies, but one overarching argument should be all that’s needed to convince voters that a change is necessary: If current policies are so desirable, why haven’t the president’s own supporters shown enough confidence in them to go out and start businesses and hire people and do their part to fix the economy?

They’ve had nearly four years to do so, and have chosen not to. That leaves us with only one of two conclusions: Either they truly do not believe in the president’s policies and will not risk any of their own assets to create economic growth; or they are not job creators in the first place. In either case, given the desperate need for jobs to revitalize our economy, why do we even listen to them?

We need a new direction, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will provide that. If the current administration is returned to office, I hope their supporters finally step up to the plate and do their fair share in getting Americans working again.

Dick Bradstreet


Lies in politics

I recently received a mailing from Republican Jim Parker’s campaign to represent Bangor, Orono and Veazie in the state Legislature. The main point of the mailing was to claim Parker had received an A-rating from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. Upon further research, I found out that this was not true. A conversation with the alliance’s executive director, David Trahan, revealed that Parker had not even completed the organization’s survey this year.

Lies in politics are poisoning our politics. Politicians like Parker do not deserve our support.

I strongly encourage voters in Bangor, Orono and Veazie to consider Parker’s opponent, Democrat Aaron Frey. Frey is an honest man that has a plan to get Maine’s economy going again. Frey’s plan begins with increasing access to training programs in the skills businesses are looking for.

If Maine has a highly skilled workforce, businesses with well-paying jobs will inevitably come to Maine. Frey is also dedicated to improving our roads and bridges. Excellent infrastructure will be a great reason for businesses to return to Maine. Finally, Frey will fight for stronger ethics rules for elected officials and lobbyists. If businesses know that Maine government is open and honest, they will be willing to invest in Maine. I hope you will join me in voting for Frey this November.

Doug Kempner


Maine legacy

In this last week before the election, as a “severely moderate” Republican, I’d like to share my views on the race for U.S. Senate.

Maine has a legacy of strong, independent-minded leaders as our senators dating back more than 60 years. Margaret Chase Smith’s “Declaration of Conscience” speech in 1950 put an end to McCarthyism. Ed Muskie served us for 22 years and ran as the vice-presidential candidate with Hubert Humphrey.

William Cohen started his first term as senator as an independent voice right in the middle of the Watergate investigation, served on many committees — including the intelligence committee and the armed services committee — and he even served as secretary of defense under a Democratic president.

George Mitchell rose to Senate majority leader and was instrumental in reauthorizing the Clean Air Act and passing the Americans with Disabilities Act; he brought peace to Northern Ireland and gave it his best shot in the Middle East.

Our current Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have carried on the traditions of moderate, practical independent and effective leadership in the Senate.

Maine’s best chance to continue this tradition is to elect independent Angus King to fill the seat vacated by Snowe. He has shown himself to be an independent thinker; he will not go in on the bottom of any party’s pecking order, and, with any luck, King will be able act as an independent go-between to bring an end to this partisan divide and get the Senate working for the American people.

Woodie Bartley


Vote for Gratwick

Bangor and Hermon need a state senator who has the informed judgment, critical skills and due diligence to represent the needs of their citizens. Regrettably, Republican Nichi Farnham does not possess these qualities. She has authored no legislation and has voted with Gov. Paul LePage 85 percent of the time.

Their budget has shifted costs to cities and towns, has insufficiently funded education at all levels and has cut many essential services. Farnham and LePage’s policies are short-sighted and will lead to greater costs in the future. Education, in particular, is a fundamental building block of economic and workforce development, and Farnham and LePage’s underfunding of it undermines our economic growth.

Luckily for Bangor and Hermon, there is a candidate who understands the interplay of these issues and will work tirelessly to provide for a more prosperous future. We are very fortunate to have such a candidate in Democrat Geoff Gratwick. I heartily encourage you to vote for this exceptional candidate in this important local election.

Scott Ruffner


Voting yes on 1

As someone who grew up in a Catholic household, I understand that marriage is a sacrament for many Mainers and an important part of their faith. I also understand that for those people, the idea of changing that sacrament is deeply disturbing.

The fact is, voting yes on Question 1 doesn’t require anyone to change their faith or beliefs. Voting yes on Question 1 only requires us to uphold the promise of this country to respect everyone’s right to liberty and the pursuit of their own happiness.

Marriage is a religious institution, but it is also a wholly civil one as well, and those two ideas are separate. No church can create a legal marriage without a state-issued license or dissolve one without a court. At the same time, the state can’t force a church to perform or recognize any marriage it doesn’t want to, and therein lies the beauty of our country. We are guaranteed our religious freedom and our freedom to not be ruled by the religious beliefs of others.

Marriage equality is not about changing the religious institution of marriage, but to finally realize that as long as same-sex couples are denied the right to enter into legal marriages, they are not being afforded the equal protection of the law that our Constitution says they must be provided.

So please join me in voting yes on Question 1, and make it so all Mainers are treated with the dignity and legal equality we all deserve regardless of our beliefs or backgrounds.

Maurice Langlois


Volunteers stay positive

I was surprised to read an article on the front page of your newspaper that made reference to “death threats and other types of harassment” from those of us who support marriage for same-sex couples — “Why These Sisters Are Voting ‘No’ on Same-Sex Marriage, BDN, 10/21.

I am not sure who is making these threats, but I can tell you it is not the people who are volunteering for the Yes on 1 campaign — or anyone getting paid to do this work. Our volunteers stay positive; we don’t resort to scare tactics or aggression.

I spend six days a week going door-to-door for the Yes on Question 1 campaign. I love talking to my neighbors, friends, family and fellow Mainers about an issue that means so much to me.

I truly appreciate all of the people who have taken time to answer their doors to partake in these conversations throughout the past two years.

We run into our fair share of voters who do not agree with us, but we all recognize that their opposing views do not make them bad people. Some of the folks who are opposed are related to me; I babysit for them, sit in their classrooms, have known them since kindergarten. Voters in our well-connected state are often people I care very much about, so I treat every single person I talk to with the utmost respect.

I want to let folks know that as much as we want you to vote for same-sex marriage, we can always respectfully disagree.

Rachel Johnson


Response to Malone

If historically people were to “vote your faith” as suggested by Bishop Richard J. Malone (“Former Maine bishop says voting for gay marriage ‘unfaithful to Catholic doctrine,’” BDN, 10/26) we’d still be a unique species created by God in his image, living on a planet around which the entire universe revolved. Church doctrine may well help people live better lives, but progress is made when people think for themselves. I applaud the members of Catholics for Marriage Equality for their courage in representing the dichotomy of being both faithful and wise.

Jeff Owen


Michaud the choice

I love living in Maine where I can really get to know my elected officials. The very best of them is U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District.

Michaud is a what we call a true Mainer, born and raised in Medway, just like his father and grandfather. He worked at the Great Northern Paper Mill until 2002 when he was elected to Congress.

As a member of the U.S. Congress, Michaud works at the people’s house in Washington, D.C., But he never forgets about the people of Maine. Almost every weekend, Michaud flies back home and travels all over the state to work with the people and businesses of Maine.

Michaud is also working very hard trying to keep manufacturing businesses like New Balance open in Maine. He has co-sponsored a House bill to force the Department of Defense to comply with current law, which requires our service members to be outfitted head-to-toe in American-made products. If passed, this would keep more than 600 good jobs in Maine.

We need to keep Michaud, so he can continue to work hard for our veterans, the people of Maine and all the people of this Country.

Sheila O’Neill


King vote

I am a retired educator who had the good fortune to work in my district with independent Angus King when he was governor. The 1990s were exciting times as we connected our rural schools to the world for the first time. School districts across the state are using technology today because of his vision for the role it could play in every classroom.

I am happy to be able to add my voice and my vote to help send King to Washington. We can be assured that King will continue to provide both the leadership and fiscal responsibility that is so lacking. The future of our country depends on strong voices who can clearly articulate what really needs to happen if we are to improve the educational system for our children and their children.

Faith Garrold


Separation of church, state

Bishop Richard J. Malone assertion that Catholics who vote for same sex-marriage in November are “unfaithful to Catholic doctrine” is a desperate attempt to sway voters. The bishop forgets Vatican II, which affirmed the right of private conscience for Catholics. If not a doctrine, exactly, it was the consensus of the world’s bishops.

Malone well knows that thousands of Maine Catholics left their church after the despicable attack on gay marriage in 2009, disavowed later by one of the architects of the campaign.

If standing up for social justice provokes an accusation of unfaithfulness, so be it. Some Catholics are faithful to a truer gospel message than Malone understands. A doctrine they uphold is separation of church and state.

Peg Cruikshank


Set the record straight

It is sad and unfortunate that misinformation gets printed so close to the election. My opponent, Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, claims that Maine lost 2,300 jobs in both the public and private sector in the last year and a half. The truth came out shortly after the article was published.

Maine employers added some 7,400 private sector jobs between June 2011 and June 2012, with the employment growth spread across a wide range of business sectors, including health care, leisure and hospitality, education, professional services and construction.

This strong employment report was detailed by Glenn Mills, chief economist at the Center for Workforce Research at the Maine Department of Labor. Mills said “There appears to be an upward trend in job growth.”

Set the record straight.

Rep. Peter Edgecomb


Vote yes

Special rights? This morning I heard that there will be a news conference by an organization speaking against offering “special rights” to same-sex couples who want to marry. I always have a series of reactions to this type of thing: First I’m amazed; then I’m disappointed; and then I get angry at the unfairness of this type of opinion. In an attempt to not react simply with anger, I spent a lot of time this morning thinking about the concept of special rights, and I had a realization I’d like to share.

Whenever we ask a group of people to not have the same expectation that they can live as others do, whenever we separate a group with a law or ordinance that keeps them from being treated equally, whenever we give a noninclusive religious definition to a legal issue, we hold those people apart.

When one person is held apart from living a right others enjoy, those others are the ones who are getting “special rights.” So let’s overturn the current “tradition” that promotes the special right of only a man and a woman being allowed to receive a marriage license. I ask you to stop the separation that keeps a group of people set apart from the rest of us. I ask you to vote on Tuesday (or before), and when you do: Vote for love; vote for inclusiveness; and vote for equality by voting yes on Question 1!

Laurie Cartier