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Friday, July 17, 2015: Mark Eves’ phony outrage, tax credits and poverty, Trump’s race-baiting, LePage’s French

Phony outrage

Mark Eves, a powerfully connected Democratic politician, was hired to be president of Good Will-Hinckley by its board of directors. The board chairman of the charter school run by Good Will-Hinckley just happens to be Bill Brown, who currently works for Speaker Eves in the House. Another Good Will-Hinckley board member is Rep. Erik Jorgensen, a Democrat Eves appointed to the powerful Appropriations Committee several years ago. (Good Will-Hinckley says neither was involved in Eves’ hiring.) Eves also has absolutely no training or experience as an educator.

Eves was to collect a $120,000 salary from a school that receives more than $530,000 each year in state funding. Eves has spent virtually his entire career in the House opposing state funding for charter schools, but somehow he doesn’t have a problem with the same state funding when it goes into his pocket. As a taxpayer and citizen, I find such revolving door political cronyism and sweetheart deals disgusting, and they certainly have, at the very least, the appearance of corruption.

The governor, to his credit, not only criticized the deal but stated his intention to withhold state funds, which he had every legal right to do. Thanks, governor, for protecting our tax dollars.

Because of the governor’s efforts, the board withdrew the job offer. But Eves will still get a severance package of $30,000. That’s a pretty nice payday for doing nothing.

If Eves had an ounce of honor, he would have turned the severance down and spared us the phony display of outrage.

Eric Tweedie

Bangor

Tax credits reduce poverty

I applaud Gary Laweryson for his July 8 BDN OpEd, which highlighted how the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit boost the financial security of veterans and service members and their families. As a board member of the Maine Children’s Alliance, which is committed to improving the lives of Maine’s children and youth, I want to echo the importance of these credits for children in all working families that receive them.

At Maine Children’s Alliance, we know children’s health and well-being are compromised when families face challenges in providing for their needs. Good economic policy is good child policy. The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit encourage work and help families make ends meet, such as paying a child care provider or putting food on the table. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, about 28,000 Mainers — including 14,000 children — are lifted above the poverty line each year because of these tax credits.

Research has shown that boosting the financial well-being of low-income families, which is exactly what these credits do, results in children who are healthier, do better in school and have higher earnings as adults. These credits are a long-term investment in children who will be more productive when they themselves are grown, giving their own children a better start.

Given the success in poverty reduction and work encouragement, our congressional delegation should be working to save these tax credits before key pieces of them expire.

Margaret Leitch Copeland

Bath

Trump swap

Donald Trump didn’t have to fire Macy’s, NBC, NASCAR, SERTA, the PGA and others for severing their business ties with him after his subhuman, race-baiting remarks. They fired him. No worries. When Trump finally decides to end the narcissism and withdraw from the 2016 presidential race, we have someone from Maine to fill the void: Gov. Paul LePage.

He has proven his willingness to obstruct democracy when he doesn’t get his way and is the perfect replacement for a candidate with no clue and a penchant for self-glorification.

Chris Young

Caratunk

Pardon my French

Here we go again, Gov. Paul LePage putting down our Franco-American ethnicity with statements such as “even I understand [the rules governing the veto process] and I’m French.”

Excuse my French, to quote him again, but isn’t this a low blow and insult to all of us in the St. John Valley and across the state who happen to be proud of our Franco-American roots?

Shame on LePage. Thank goodness we’re not all ignorant like him.

Lorraine Berube

St. David


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