Disclose tax and medical records

There ought to be a law, amendment or federal election regulation that every candidate for president of the United States must submit his or her medical records and tax returns for the past three years at the time they announce their candidacy.

Then maybe the candidates, their surrogates and the 24-hour news shows can start talking about the real issues: economic policy, foreign policy, domestic policy, environmental policy and national security.

Ray Andresen

Camden

Poliquin an ally to veterans

As an accredited veteran service officer for the American Legion, our nation’s largest military service organization, I see on a daily basis U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s commitment to Maine veterans and their families.

He is hands on with veterans, visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, Togus, community based outreach centers and veteran centers, not relying solely on reports when dealing with the health care of our veterans.

He has traveled to Aroostook County, and he was a champion of the ARCH Program, working with the Veterans Affairs to ensure that veterans in the northern part of our state have workable options to access VA health care.

Poliquin has a dedicated group of staffers who are out and about in Maine, attending gatherings of veterans across the state and identifying veterans, survivors and family members in need and referring them to submit claims for pensions, compensation and survivor’s benefits. They also have helped veterans stuck with health care bills and worked with veterans service officers and the VA to seek proper handling and payment.

On my recent trip to Washington, D.C, to testify in front of a joint committee of Congress, Poliquin made the time to sit with us and listen intently to our concerns about veterans issues in Maine. He is a champion of veteran-run businesses, especially veterans who are entering farming in the state.

Please vote to re-elect Poliquin in November he is a tireless representative of the veterans of Maine in Washington.

Amedeo Lauria

Retired lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army

Sabattus

LePage destroys civil discourse

I’m not so mad at Gov. Paul LePage anymore over his portrayal of Hispanics and African-Americans as the enemy and the obscene voicemail he left for Rep. Drew Gattine. I’m most furious at those in Maine’s House of Representatives who can’t or won’t grasp what his behavior means for the business of the Legislature.

Yes, the governor lumps human beings into groups according to color, education, patriotism and many more. Yes, he doesn’t seem to get that if governors don’t practice consensus leadership everyone loses, especially the people. And, yes, he’s now not speaking to the press, who are charged in America to inform the public about what government does. These things are brutal as ignorance is always brutal. And they are all manifestations of the violence I heard on that voicemail.

This violence destroys civil discourse and the function of Maine’s governance.

Maybe LePage might remember that verbal abuse is the way domestic violence starts. Much of his career has been about helping the people he sees as victims of this. I have no doubt that it’s this passion that animates him. He really does feel enormous compassion sometimes, I believe. But the abused can become abusers. I wonder if he can see himself playing this out. I wonder if he can help himself and help Maine.

Laus Ellis

Otisfield

Yes on Question 5

Question 5 — to establish ranked-choice voting for federal and state elections — on this year’s statewide ballot is without a doubt the most important issue on which voters will vote.

There are many reasons why this is a good idea for Maine. First, in a state where independents make up 40 percent of the electorate and races with three or more candidates are the norm, this would finally create a level playing field for independent and third-party candidates. Second, this system would give voters more power to support their favorite candidates without having to settle for the lesser of two evils. And third, it would bring majority rule after 40 years during which nine our last 11 governors were elected without a majority vote.

Portland successfully took the lead on ranked-choice voting in 2011, using the system to elect their mayor that year. It’s been used by military voters in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and South Carolina, and in Ireland to elect the president. In each of these cases, voters have responded favorably to the system.

If people believe that our system is broken, then I urge them to take a closer look at ranked-choice voting. It’s the way to go.

Eli Prescott

Portland

Clinton right about Trump’s ‘deplorables’

I would like to thank Hillary Clinton for saying that half of Donald Trump’s supporters fit into a “ basket of deplorables.” What she said was true and honest, and I’m so thankful she said it straight into the camera. For the love of God, don’t apologize. The truth said out loud needs no apology.

I am grateful someone has had the political courage to say what so many of us have been saying for years. This country is full of bigots, racists, misogynists and homophobes. They have attempted to hide their true beliefs for years, feeling that society would frown on them. Now they are coming into the light, encouraged by fellow bigots like Trump. Someone needed to work up the courage and point this out. I’m proud of Clinton for doing it.

I was beginning to despair that this election cycle was going to be just another in a long line in which none of the candidates worked up the courage to criticize the people in this country who are truly responsible for the state of our country — the American people themselves. We the people are responsible for the state of our country, from the economy to race relations. We now stand on the precipice of voting for a racists, bigoted imbecile in the form of Trump. And it says as much about the nation as it does about him.

I would rather Clinton lost this election saying the truth than win it by taking the easy road. Let’s hope she continues to do so.

Ed Woods

Newport