Open Maine’s primaries

This letter is a response to Lance Dutson’s April 25 column on open primaries. I am a lifelong Republican, and I agree with Dutson that open primaries would strengthen the Maine GOP. Unenrolled voters comprise the largest voting block in Maine. If the Republican party wants to earn the support of these voters, they should allow them to participate in primary elections.

Maine is one of only 11 states that require voters to be registered to a party in order to participate in the primary. This means more than one-third of Maine voters are not allowed to participate in the selection of candidates for the general election. Unenrolled voters tend to be more moderate in their political views than voters in any of the parties. When nonpartisan voters are removed from the political process, the candidates nominated are more likely to be those clinging to ideological purity, which exacerbates the divisiveness that makes good governing so difficult.

We need to restore a higher level of dignity, trust and respect to our politics. A good first step would be to permit more people — the 35 percent of Maine voters who are unenrolled — to participate in primary elections. According to a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, nearly 80 percent of Maine voters definitely support or probably support moving to an open primary system. I urge you to contact your representatives and ask them to support open primaries as well.

Clifton Eames

Bangor

Winds of change

The recent offer by Longroad Energy to conserve several thousand acres of land in Hancock and Whiting to offset the environmental impact of their proposed Weaver Wind installation is commendable. Notwithstanding, it is clear that the wind energy industry has its eyes on the forests and hills of Down East Maine, such as the proposed Apex project in Columbia. It has become obvious that the visual impact of these turbine installations is regional, not local, as the view to the northwest from atop Tunk Mountain will attest.

Coastal Hancock and Washington counties comprise the last hundred miles or so of relatively unspoiled coastline on the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Do we really want to be known by future generations as the one that destroyed it for the proverbial 30 bits of silver by allowing these structures?

Larry Balchen

Jonesport

People over party

When will the citizens of the United States get a government that works for the people, and not for members of Congress themselves or a party to which they belong? Isn’t it more important to work for Americans instead of a party?

I am an independent because I do not want any political party telling me I have to vote for anyone. Our members of Congress have become too powerful, and they seem to consider themselves above the law and think everyone else should bow before them.

When did Americans give up their right to representation with taxation? It’s as if we are going back to when a king wanted to rule our people and tax us to death without representation. We are back to where we first started our fight for representation and independence, and once again, we have no representation by a Congress that feels they are more important than the people of our country.

When will Americans wake up to the fact that something has to change? It has to change soon or it will get worse for our citizens. We have to once again take control of our own destinies and stop all that is not good for the American people.

Robert Tomlins

Aurora