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Wednesday, May 30, 2018: Mills an environmental champion, protect ranked-choice voting, Olson for Congress

Mills an environmental champion

Protecting the environment has long been among our most important shared values as Mainers. Our state has played a national leadership role in law and regulation to keep our waterways clean, our coastal resources unspoiled and our air healthy. Yet, we cannot rest, as we see climate change impacting our natural resource based industries, such as lobster and other fisheries, forestry, and winter sports and recreation.

Maine’s future economic vitality and quality of life depend on having leaders with the vision and the experience to enact forward-thinking, science-based policies. Janet Mills has the ideas, the ability and the grit to make environmental protection a priority in the next governor’s administration.

I was privileged to represent the people of Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor and Bar Harbor for eight years in the Maine House of Representatives, where I worked closely with my then-House colleague Mills. She was an able and reliable ally on environmental matters. As state attorney general, Mills joined other attorneys general in successfully suing Volkswagen of America and getting millions of dollars to help advance clean car initiatives in Maine.

I support Mills for governor and encourage everyone who cares about protecting Maine’s environment to join me in voting for Mills on June 12 in the Democratic primary.

Ted Koffman
Bar Harbor

Protect ranked-choice voting

The rules of the Maine Republican Party adopted at their biennial state convention in 2016 state that each party officer shall be elected by a majority of the voting members. At the Republican convention, successive runoffs are used to ensure that each officer receives a majority vote. Yet, the Maine Republican Party has filed a lawsuit to prevent its members from using ranked-choice voting in the June primaries.

So, it seems like it’s fine for Republicans at their convention to use successive runoffs much like ranked choice to elect their officers but not for their constituents to use ranked choice in the June primary. The Republicans are trying to make ranked-choice voting out to be a partisan issue when, in fact, voters on both sides of the aisle have supported it.

If this lawsuit prevails, the Republicans would have successfully prevented their party voters from using ranked-choice voting this June. I urge voters in the June primary to vote yes on Question 1, the people’s veto to protect ranked-choice voting for future elections. Even if you are a non-party member, you can still go to the polls and vote on this ballot question on June 12.

Jill Martel
Dedham

Reject St. Clair for Congress

Take a close look at Lucas St. Clair. He came into our lives when we were at our lowest. We had recently lost our livelihoods. He promised to bring 400 to 1,000 jobs back to the Katahdin region with a national monument. Not too long before that his family closed most of the wild lands they owned to ATVs and some other outdoor activities we had been privy to for generations. Let us not fail to see that their primary goal is to make our beautiful state for tourists only and to create a legacy for their family.

Do we want someone representing us who came to us with what I feel was false hope of creating that amount of jobs? Granted, some jobs may be created, but most would probably be reassignments. When someone comes out with, what seems to me, to be false hope raising promises to get our votes to send him to Washington to pursue his legacy, I get a sickening feeling inside. Before you decide, look, listen and above all remember.

I am a Democrat, but I cannot support a candidate who, in my opinion, does not have the needs of Mainers ahead of his own political gains.

Timothy Smyth
Millinocket

Olson for Congress

Craig Olson is my No. 1 vote for Congress in the upcoming Democratic primary on June 12. A family man, an entrepreneur and a local public servant as a town selectman, Olson will return integrity and transparency to Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

Are the Rep. Bruce Poliquin supporters so scared of Olson’s candidacy that they have secretly coerced the Maine State Ferry Service to double its rates to keep Olson on the island of Islesboro? Maybe. But where Poliquin ducks into water closets, Olson brings to his candidacy an honesty and a knowledge of issues important to Mainers and all citizens of our nation and congressional district, such as health care and water rights. Olson is also pragmatic and inventive. When he purchased the contents of a used bookstore, he built a chute to slide boxes of books from the upper stories to the back of his truck.

He is not afraid to sweat. As a small-business owner he understands customer service and how that applies to constituent service.

Please join me in giving Olson your No. 1 vote for the 2nd District.

Robert Sezak
Fairfield

A vote for change

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Maine Legislature could get along in order to get things done in Augusta? Well, you may think it’s not possible, but I would argue that here in Maine we have a unique chance to make that happen. In fact, I believe we are at a significant turning point in American politics, and Maine could lead the way.

Unfortunately, we have to overcome persisting resistance from those who don’t want to give up their power or control over the Legislature. But on June 12 we have the chance to finally put these career politicians in their rightful place — out of office.

Please join me, and thousands of other Maine residents by voting “yes” on Question 1 on June 12 to protect ranked-choice voting. If you want to see positive change in Augusta, ranked-choice voting is our best option. Let us have more options in choosing political candidates.

Eventually, we will rid our Legislature of career politicians who opt for gridlock in Augusta rather than solutions. By voting “yes” on Question 1 we can say goodbye to those politicians who choose gridlock over diplomacy. I will be voting to protect ranked-choice voting. I hope you will, too.

Kevin Chasse
Dover-Foxcroft

Election notice

The BDN will stop accepting letters and OpEds related to the June 12 election on June 1. Not all submissions can be published.


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