Maine children need Mills

I like Shawn Moody. He is a very relatable and friendly man. But his business experiences doesn’t translate to the skills needed to lead the state of Maine. Effective public policy isn’t about opinions; it is about expertise.

My life’s passion is in delivering and develop services to support the wellbeing of children. Maine is far behind other states when it comes to supporting our children. The median age of onset for anxiety is 7 years old and for depression it is 15, yet we lack access to evidenced-based services for children with mental health needs.

Our state’s one locked juvenile justice facility is forced to hold youth who have committed no serious crimes, because we don’t have more appropriate supports for them. Young adults living with autism have ended up held in emergency rooms or jails because of the lack of resources for them when they reach adulthood. This is heartbreaking given that I have experienced early intervention services for children with autism that have resulted in profound improvements in one’s the ability to become a successful individual. Maine’s childhood trauma rate is higher than the national average, yet our child welfare system struggles with a lack of vision or the approaches needed to support workers tasked with investigating child abuse.

Having worked for truly great leaders (New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell) and being committed to the wellbeing of Maine’s children, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Maine’s children need us to elect Janet Mills.

Jenna Mehnert

Readfield

Collins listens to McConnell

All this fence sitting, all this hand-wringing, all this open-mindedness. Such political theater! Sen. Susan Collins may vote yes to Brent Kavanaugh’s nomination. She may vote no. But in the end, it will not matter. Collins will do whatever Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allows her to do. If he needs her vote, she will vote yes. If there are Democratic defections and he doesn’t need her vote, he will allow her to vote no and, thereby, provide her the political cover to claim the mantle of “moderate” Republican.

Let’s make no mistake here. When it is Mitch McConnell handing out the shipyard contracts, the committee assignments, and all the other goodies, the old adage applies: “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

Ron Hidu

Hampden

Kavanaugh, Trump undermine ACA

The combination of President Donald Trump and a Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is a threat to Mainers’ health. That’s no exaggeration. Trump has vowed to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and having failed to persuade Congress to repeal the ACA, he has undermined and crippled the law by refusing to defend a guarantee of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions now under threat in the courts. Nearly 600,000 Mainers have pre-existing conditions so they need these coverage guarantees. Trump has also worked to destabilize insurance markets and reduced federal enrollment efforts.

If Kavanaugh gains a seat on the Supreme Court, Trump will gain the new and powerful ally he wants. He promised to look for nominees who are hostile to the ACA, asserting that “my judicial appointments will do the right thing, unlike Bush’s appointee John Roberts on Obamacare.” (Chief Justice John Roberts upheld the ACA in the major case against it).

In 2017, 80,000 Mainers signed up for a 2017 ACA insurance plan through the individual marketplace. In a referendum last year, a majority voted to add more than 70,000 Mainers to MaineCare, using federal funds from the ACA. Mainers don’t want a Supreme Court looking for ways to end our coverage. Sen. Susan Collins must vote against Kavanaugh.

Barbara Peisner

Portland

Herbig for Senate

In a time of political prima donnas and questionable ideologies it is reassuring to know that there are still some political leaders at work who are actually doing their jobs, focusing methodically on the real problems of real people.

During her years in the state Legislature, House Majority Leader Erin Herbig has helped to develop substantive policies to encourage economic progress, educational opportunities, and environmental protection.

She has earned a reputation as a hard worker and leader in pushing for the kind of systemic connections that benefit all stakeholders, such as more funding for public education, tax credits for employers in exchange for supporting apprenticeship programs, similar benefits for employers who support housing benefits for workers, support for needed infrastructure such as increased broadband for rural Maine, and more funding for community college programs especially in midcoast and downeast locations. Her support for farmers has been especially longstanding. She has earned perfect ratings for environmental protection and public health.

Anybody who encounters Herbig in or outside of the Legislature is impressed with her extraordinary energy, intelligence and ability to focus on the particulars of public issues. She combines the lived experience of a rooted native of the area with a comprehensive grasp of the economic, environmental and social needs of the entire state and the leadership ability to inspire others to support essential policies.

She is, in short, the perfect candidate to represent Waldo County in our state Senate.

Larry Litchfield

Belfast

Support for Kavanaugh

I am confident that Associate Justice Elena Kagan exercises her responsibility with the highest respect for the law and our Constitution. However, it is amazing how we accepted her appointment and confirmation after holding only political and academic appointments but never a judgeship to evaluate how she would actually decide cases knowing her political persuasion. Yet, we question the appointment and confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh who provided more than 10 years of significant rulings to be reviewed in order to appreciate his judicial philosophy at work. He also had numerous professional papers to further expose his decision making process, and had the unanimous highest approval of the American Bar Association.

In support of his confirmation he was introduced by a declared Hillary Clinton supporter and a Barack Obama voter who, as an attorney, had pled cases before Judge Kavanaugh.

Opposition to Kavanaugh is pure politics. Donald Trump was elected president and along with it goes the appointment of justices. There will be many more elections.

Let’s hope the parties exercise their responsibility to offer the people the best candidates so that whoever wins the election also wins the support of the entire voting public.

Ted Raia

Camden