March 25, 2019
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LePage and Portland, drones and term limits: BDN comment section wisdom

Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Gov. Paul LePage addresses the chamber during the 2015 State of the State address Tuesday at the State House in Augusta.

Commenters took to the BDN website recently to weigh in on the political implications of the LePage administration’s push to portray Portland as a wasteful spender of taxpayer dollars, a Gorham man’s request from the FAA that he shut down his website advertising his drone photography services, and a renewed push by longtime Democratic Rep. John Martin to repeal Maine’s legislative term limits law.

Here are some highlights that offer some unique insight into these issues, lightly edited for length and clarity.

Why LePage’s Portland offensive is a stroke of political genius, March 16

What has always made a society work, is that people look out for each other. Nobody falls through the cracks. Everybody contributes, everybody matters, nobody is abandoned. It has been this way for tens of thousands of years …

— westword6

Please don’t get me wrong, we need to help those that are struggling and want to get ahead in life. However, there are a growing number that are using our generosity with no intent of paying it forward. The only way to eliminate this drain is to attack the whole system and, yes, it does hurt those that need it. It is sad that our social system depends on the very people that abuse it to ensure job security for the system …

A better way of determining one’s needs and ability has to be developed. That being said, as long as one political party, i.e. Democrats, use these takers as their own source of job security, we will continue to have this blight. Today’s Democratic Party is not the same one I joined 25 years ago, which is why I am now not affiliated with any party.

— Not surprised in Aroostook

I live in Portland because I like it here, as do many. The only people who are really forced to live in Portland are the needy and disabled and a few recent immigrants because that is where they can get medical care, educational support, employment and, yes, financial support when needed …

All along, LePage has garnered support by creating conflict and encouraging hate. It is sad for me to see the good people of Maine wearing hardness of heart as the new fashion. Trying to take the urban out of Portland is like closing a mill in a mill town. It will be bad for the whole state.

— humtum

FAA tells Gorham man he must take down his drone website, March 16

A s a drone pilot, I can understand some of his frustration with the FAA. It is taking too long for them to approve and regulate the use of these devices for commercial purposes. I do not, however, agree with his point that the FAA is overreaching its authority. I am also a licensed radio operator. I have seen this kind of battle waged between individuals and the FCC. Courts have consistently held that the FCC, as the regulatory agency granted authority by Congress, does have the power to regulate the use of airwaves. Our whole system would fall apart if regulatory agencies could just be ignored …

— Nathan Marvin

The practical effect of FAA regulation has been safe aircraft and a safe flying environment for everyone. The fact that airplanes are expensive rests with the nature of the machinery and environment they work in, not the FAA. If that machinery is expensive, then it’s a rich man’s toy. When I’m flying I don’t want some on-the-cheap yahoo sharing the airways with me. In any event, there are plenty of affordable aircraft available that can be owned without being rich.

— AmusedInMaine

John Martin pushes to repeal term limits, raise pay for Maine lawmakers, March 16

Our Legislature has suffered from term limits. The same hundreds of “brilliant” ideas have been brought to Augusta by new legislators many, many times during the last several years only to discover: 1) it’s not that brilliant, 2) it has already been tried and 3) at best, it doesn’t work and usually does harm.

— Jason Webb

I find the lack of institutional knowledge frustrating. For example, most of Gov. Paul LePage’s tax reform is a do-over of what voters already rejected not that long ago. Most of what is happening at the Department Health and Human Services is recycling old ideas that didn’t work or reincarnating successful ideas that were defunded. Yes, every governor “went after fraud” and found there wasn’t much there …

Most brilliant ideas have already happened. Do your homework to see why they failed or succeeded before wasting [the] people’s time and dime proposing anything .

— really??

The danger with no term limits is that politicians would easily have a lifetime career, with the “same old, same old” running the state government, dirty money buying the governor and state Legislature …

Also, we need a system in Maine to recall a politician.

— Annemb


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