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Disrupting plutocracy

After reading the editorial board’s lament about the misinformation and money in the U.S. Senate race, I could not help but write to ask: what on earth did you expect?

This campaign has seen no shortage of candidates screaming as loud as we can about the way our “democratic” process elevates campaigns that squander resources on misinformation, with candidates who cover up their own misdeeds by pointing the finger in a series of expensive half-truths. But the Bangor Daily News treated us as unimportant from the beginning — using epithets like “longshot” and “ lesser known” before every footnote mention of us in stories that focused on candidates with more money.

The editorial board endorsed Sara Gideon in the Democratic primary. The BDN barely mentions Lisa Savage’s campaign in continued coverage. The BDN denigrated Betsy Sweet and I throughout the primary by focusing coverage on who had accumulated the most money as the sole indicator of a strong candidate, and now the editorial board wants to bemoan the way “fact challenged and nasty” campaigns are “drowning out a discussion”?

Take some accountability. Take some responsibility for your actions. Have a little pride in the importance of the work you do. You are responsible for shaping the narrative of these races for Maine voters.

The only thing worse than having to watch these candidates blow millions of dollars on lying about each other is having to listen to a newspaper complain about it when it refuses to act in a way that disrupts this toxic plutocratic performance of democracy.

Bre Kidman

Former U.S. Senate candidate

Saco

Grateful for Janet Mills’ leadership

I woke up one recent morning, as I do every morning these days, thinking about the intertwined crises of pandemic and economic implosion that beset our country. In the midst of this storm, I am extraordinarily grateful for the steady and sane leadership of Gov. Janet Mills.

Against vocal and often strident opposition, Mills has steered a course guided by facts, medical science and responsibility rather than ideology, willful ignorance and magical thinking. As a result, unlike states that rejected the advice of epidemiologists and public health professionals only to see their infection rates and death counts soar, Maine has managed to keep the pandemic largely under control. States that reopened too early now face an agonizing choice: declare a second economically devastating shutdown or let the virus spread unchecked. Maine’s prudent and disciplined approach has so far spared us from both of these dire scenarios.

This relative success has come at great cost to Maine’s economy and, with the pandemic raging in other regions, will remain poised on a razor’s edge until an effective vaccine becomes widely available. But it should be clear to all at this point that Maine’s informed, active and flexible response has so far spared our state from the pandemic’s most brutal effects. Thank you to Mills.

Bruce Snider

Belfast

Maine will be fine if Collins loses

Sen. Susan Collins, in campaigning for her fifth term, seems to be doing everything she can to make us forget her presence as a member of the Republican Senate majority in Washington, essential to the functioning of the catastrophic Trump administration reign. If the only issue in the U.S. Senate race was who could best provide services specific to Mainers, Collins, with her four terms in office, probably would win in a walk. But the Senate election in Maine this year potentially has far more consequence for the country as a whole than it does for Maine.

If she loses, I think Maine will do just fine with Sara Gideon and Angus King occupying our two Senate seats. If she wins and helps Republicans hang on to their Senate majority, but Joe Biden also wins, she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be in a position to hamstring Biden administration efforts to get the country back on track. And if President Donald Trump wins re-election, I expect he and McConnell will again be able to count on Collins as one of theirs when they need her vote, or her silence, enabling Trump. That’s no longer acceptable, for Mainers or for the country.

Tom Eichler

Wiscasset