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Thursday, May 7, 2015: Clean Elections Act, Rep. Lockman’s comments, EBT abuse

Hunting values

Don Loprieno’s May 4 BDN OpEd about young hunters touched on my disdain for the politically motivated people who think they need to micromanage everyone’s lives. When I was a young man, we had to buy a $1 hunting license when we turned 10. Not that you couldn’t hunt till then.

The same people that would limit parents’ teaching their children their values, ask people to pay for their children’s lack of self-sufficiency. Think about this for a minute. They want the system to pay for medical, education, student loans, etc.

Should I find myself with a few extra bucks to donate to help society, it’s not going to be to an organization, like the Humane Society of the United States, that shows abused puppies and asks for donations that do nothing to take care of them. My donations go to the local animal orphanage where the money is not used to hinder my way of life.

I have an idea. Why don’t these people start an organization and declare its purpose to be banning guns and hunting. Their CEOs and staff would be relegated in short order to getting real jobs. When someone donates to any of the groups mentioned by Loprieno, including the NRA, they know exactly what the money is going to be used for. “The silence isn’t deafening”; it’s falling on deaf ears.

Robby Perkins

Orono

 

Peaks-Kenny praise

Aislinn Sarnacki and John Holyoke’s May 1 BDN article included a section on spring camping at state parks. But I was disappointed to see that one of the best state park campgrounds was not mentioned. Peaks-Kenny State Park on Sebec Lake in Dover-Foxcroft has 50 plus wooded campsites. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring.

There is a fairly new bath house with free showers. The park also has a great beach with many picnic sites, bath house and several hiking trails. From the beach there is a view of Borestone Mountain. Anyone traveling this summer should check out Peaks-Kenny.

Frances Field

Dexter

 

Money and politics

This week, LD 1290 — a bill to repeal the Clean Election Act — is being discussed in Augusta. I am writing to express my desire to not only shut down this repeal bill in Veterans and Legal Affairs C ommittee, but to strengthen our pre-existing Clean Election law.

Under the current campaign financing structure, the political parties are just two sides of the same coin. Big corporations and donors invest billions nationwide every election cycle, oftentimes investing in two opposing candidates to ensure legislative control. Big corporations and donors are buying up our constitutional freedoms, and I believe strengthened Clean Election laws are just what we need to win these freedoms back.

In fact, Mainers have demonstrated through tens of thousands of signatures to get an initiative on the ballot, not once but twice, that strengthened Clean Election law is one of our top priorities. No such efforts were made to get the repeal question on the ballot. But now the big money funded courts and lawmakers are trying to open the door to even more big money in our elections.

As down-to-earth Mainers, we know that most of us aren’t capable of writing big campaign checks just to tilt the coin in our favor. A strengthened Clean Election Act will break politicians’ reliance on big donors and will encourage candidates to run transparent, integrity-based campaigns. Let’s show Augusta that we are watching. Let’s take back the coin.

Madison Cook

Belfast

 

Lockman out of line

In every state Legislature, there are a number of cranks and extremists seeking to push an organization’s – political or otherwise — agenda. At the same time, there are the majority of sensible, dedicated legislators who, despite their political party affiliation, keep government functioning by getting work done for the good of the state.

After reading Rep. Lawrence Lockman’s May 3 BDN OpEd, I was disappointed in the caustic tone of his comments. Nondismissive of his previous offensive statements against women, Lockman’s comments were inflammatory, reckless and unbecoming of a legislator. A majority of Mainers hope their representatives — regardless of political party — will do their best to create solutions to improve Maine’s economy. I like many others — especially in the 2nd Congressional District — are frustrated with Maine’s perpetual economic malaise.

But electing individuals like Lockman, who only seek to play on people’s frustrations instead of appealing to their hopes and dreams while pursuing an out-of-state’s organization’s political agenda that is of no immediate concern to a majority of Mainers, may leave some of us feeling politically satisfied, but it’s not making everyone’s wallets fatter.

Lockman’s vile and extremist rhetoric against Maine’s Democratic Party, at a time when political cooperation is desperately needed in Augusta, is detrimental, unproductive, irresponsible and all at the expense of Mainers who desire and seek a better life for themselves and their families.

Mike Turcotte

Bangor

 

EBT abuse

The federal government should get on the ball, too, about limiting junk food purchased with an EBT card like the Maine Legislature is trying to do. Why hasn’t this food program been regulated much in the way WIC has been?

What a waste of taxpayer money to fuel junk food and sugar addiction. EBT shouldn’t be used at high-priced convenience stores either. I have been outraged by the misuse for years.

Katherine Tuck

Bangor

 

Concert noise complaints

This season’s Waterfront Concert series opens Saturday, May 9.

During the past two seasons, a number of Bangor residents have voiced their concerns at City Council meetings and special committee meetings regarding disturbing noise levels at some of the concerts.

In order to determine the extent of these disturbances and their locations, the city will be monitoring sound levels and has posted a nonemergency police number to call if residents find noise levels at any point during the concert disturbing. The number to call is 947-7384, press 5 to reach the dispatcher. The call will be quick and friendly. Residents are encouraged to register their complaints at the times disturbances occur.

Jim Bishop

Bangor

 


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