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Aroostook GOP has lost its way

As a former county chairman of the Republican Party, I am horrified by the recent actions taken by the Aroostook County GOP to formally censure Sen. Susan Collins for her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump. The blanket statements in the resolution do not reflect the values of our party as a whole, and they certainly don’t reflect my views.

Collins has said that you can be a good Republican without agreeing with every single position taken by the party, and she is absolutely correct. I may not always agree with her, but that’s not because she’s not “Republican enough,” it’s because we are each individuals with our own thoughts and values. Mainers haven’t elected Collins for a record five terms because we want a follower; we support her because she’s a leader.

Just a few short months ago, Mainers reelected Collins by a wide margin. By staying true to herself and our state, Collins earned the support of Trump and Biden voters alike. If the Republican Party ever wants to regain the ground it’s lost, it will need to embrace more candidates like Collins who appeal to those who don’t identify with the fringe of the base.

In my view, this recent censure is just another example of how the Aroostook County GOP has lost its way. This group’s views do not reflect the Republicans I grew up with.

Sen. Collins: “Shalom, Peace, Salaam” be upon you as you keep up your endeavors for Aroostook County Republicans and all Mainers.

Dick Rhoda

Houlton

Bipartisan isn’t always best

Regrettably, a bill or a budget is not necessarily better for the state just because it is bipartisan. When the politics of the day allow members of both political parties to focus on an issue and create a workable solution that is of benefit to citizens of Maine, that is great. When it is mindless obstructionism, as what happened to the recent supplemental budget bill that was passed by the Legislature, bipartisanship is not worth mythologizing.

Falling in love with a political process that makes government less able to do what is best for Maine is not the way to make Maine more closely resemble “the way that life should be.”

George Burgoyne

Bangor

Support DC statehood

Michael Cianchette got it wrong in his recent column about D.C. statehood.

While he seems to agree that D.C.’s 700,000 residents deserve the right to federal representation, he also seems to think that proposing statehood as a solution is some sort of trick to elect more Democrats to Congress.

That’s not why. The reason D.C. statehood is under consideration is that Washington, D.C. voters have petitioned their government to get it. Statehood is what the citizens of D.C. want — it’s their solution, and that is what is on the table. Retrocession, whereby the 700,000 D.C. residents would become residents of Maryland, may be Cianchette’s solution, but D.C. residents do not want to be part of Maryland, and — get this — Maryland does not want to annex D.C.

The real concern underlying Cianchette’s argument is more cynical. Statehood would grant D.C. voters the opportunity to elect one House member and two new senators, all of whom are likely to be Democrats. So let’s call that what it is. To deny D.C. residents these fundamental rights because some people don’t like how they’ll vote is voter suppression, pure and simple.

I urge Maine’s congressional delegation to support the Washington, D.C. Admission Act. It’s the right thing to do.

Ann Luther

Trenton