Yes on Question 1

Despite misinformation being foisted upon us by those who prefer not to have accountable elections in Maine, Question 1 on the Nov. 3 ballot will not raise taxes. Instead, it will greatly improve Maine elections.

Question 1 will hit violators of our election laws hard. It will expose the names of big-money donors who buy political ads. But the jewel in its crown is its restoration of Maine’s Clean Elections Act. That law, enacted in 1996, enabled people without massive private campaign money to run for state office using public funds. The result? After 15 years, Maine is famous for having the “most blue-collar Legislature in the nation,” as author Nicholas Carnes put it.

Unfortunately, a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision deemed that the law’s method for enabling an outspent “clean candidate” to get extra funds violated his or her opponent’s free speech. This hamstrung clean candidates. As a result, the number of publicly funded candidates declined from 81 percent in 2008 to 53 percent in 2014.

Question 1 solves this, using a method that does not increase taxes but instead uses money from closing tax giveaways to corporations that don’t perform as promised.

Please vote yes on Question 1. Restore the Maine Clean Elections law.

Dick Atlee

Southwest Harbor

Conservatives’ voice

It amazes me when the liberals cry, moan, rant and rave that Gov. Paul LePage believes he is above the law and shows no regard for the Maine Constitution and the will of the people just because he is not bowing to their liberal agenda. In fact, he is doing what he was elected to do. They are not the only people whose opinion matters.

These are the same people who in their next breath would praise Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton if they did the very same thing on a much larger scale, doing far more damage to our country and way of life. Ironic, isn’t it?

True conservatives need to make their voices heard.

Kendall Bean

Corinth

Koch Kitchens

According to a rumor, the national government is planning to open soup kitchens in major cities across the country when Social Security beneficiaries won’t get a cost-of-living adjustment in 2016.

These kitchens, called Koch Kitchens in honor of the family that will run them, will be inexpensive. A dinner for two will include a healthy broth, crystal-clear water and a plastic spoon emblazoned with the Koch coat of arms. Those age 75 and older will be given paper napkins.

No gratuities, please.

Charlie Cameron

Addison

Abortion or adoption

How can any women support any elected official trying to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood? Planned Parenthood provides preventative medicine, including lifesaving cancer screenings, disease testing and birth control. I can understand concerns about abortion. But what is worse, abortion or adoption?

Are they trying to force more babies to be adopted? Women will lose the option of any unbiased opinions. What if some of these women who support these lawmakers had daughters? Would they deny her these services? Of course not. So why is it OK to deny someone else these services?

Adoption is a money-making business. Is this the plan? Is Maine going back into the lie to the birth mother, manipulate her to make her sign away her baby? Is this the direction we are going, to keep birth mom and baby off the system?

Ellen Meaker

Orono

Civility in public discourse

The Maine Council of Churches neither endorses nor opposes any candidate for elected office, but we must speak out when a line is crossed in violation of the spirit of civil discourse in elections. The council embraces the principle of civil discourse: keeping our dialogues and disagreements respectful, dignified and refraining from personal attacks even when we vigorously disagree.

Our faith tradition, along with the other great faith traditions of the world, teaches us that we should speak the truth in love and treat others as they would want to be treated. We believe these principles apply to personal relationships and to behavior in the public arena.

Thus, we decry the incivility and racism leveled against Lewiston mayoral candidate Ben Chin this week. We join the voices of those people in Lewiston and beyond who seek an end to this sort of attack on a candidate for office. We call upon all people of goodwill to hold one another to the highest standards of civility and respect. We pray that, despite our differences, we may all come to see one another as individuals with inherent worth and dignity, made in the image of our creator.

Richard Berman

President

Board of directors

Maine Council of Churches

Cape Elizabeth

LePage not above the law

No citizen is above the law, including elected officials. When a selectwoman from the town of Chelsea extorted a contractor, law enforcement officials immediately investigated and arrested her. She eventually was tried, convicted and sentenced to prison.

Gov. Paul LePage blackmails the Good Will-Hinckley board of directors for hiring Democratic Rep. Mark Eves by threatening to withhold scheduled payments of taxpayer dollars, and the board gives in to LePage’s demands for economic reasons. However, I do not personally agree with the message they are sending to their student population and future generations to come. The board fires Eves, and the governor not only admits guilt but is even proud of his decision.

While I have faith in the Government Oversight Committee’s investigation of the governor’s actions, I have little faith in the Legislature as a whole for taking action. Time and time again legislators have made excuses for this governor, and many do not vote against him for fear of retribution. This is a sad but true fact.

As a Maine citizen and taxpayer, I hereby request that state or federal law enforcement officials conduct a criminal investigation of using taxpayer dollars to blackmail the Good Will-Hinckley board of directors.

If we continue to do nothing, no Maine citizen is safe from LePage’s blackmail tactics and improper use of taxpayer dollars. Future generations in Maine must know that crime does not pay and that politicians who break the law are treated the same as other law-breaking citizens.

David H. Crockett

Augusta

Election notice

The BDN will stop accepting letters and OpEds related to the Nov. 3 election on Wednesday, Oct. 28.