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Tuesday, July 2, 2019: Taking care of our own, recognizing our energy future, open primaries a bad idea

Take care of our own

This country needs to take care of its own first. I got a two-inch foam mattress and slept six inches away from someone else when I was homeless in Portland for six months. There were homeless veterans but, in my experience, no homeless refugees because charity groups took care of them, real quick.

It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth when citizens get little to no help, but everyone helps refugees because they feel sorry for those who come from another country.

Really, donations for non-citizens? Just wrong.

Politicians and the media should stop sugar-coating the refugee problem and tell the real story.

Michael Tetreault

Lewiston

Recognizing our energy future

I would like to thank Sen. Paul Davis for his prescience and determination to protect our future by supporting two bills that will bode well for Maine’s future energy needs. This is not the first time that Davis has put the people of Maine first.

The first bill, LD 1711, is a comprehensive solar bill that will lower energy costs by increasing access to solar power. Want a glimpse of our future? Check out Cianbro’s solar farm in Pittsfield on Route 2 and the Colby College solar farm in Waterville off Interstate 95. Community solar farms are a ray of hope for our climate, economy and future generations.

The second bill, LD 1494, will increase Maine’s renewable portfolio standard to 100 percent by 2050. A diverse mix of renewable energy sources will help wean us away from fossil fuel and its destructive effects, increase energy independence and provide stabilization, as well as predictable pricing to Maine’s electric grid. In effect, we’re cleaning up our act. Davis correctly read the people of Maine and seized the opportunity to ensure their economic vitality and environmental sustainability. We need that bipartisan effort so necessary in building protection for future generations.

Robert Fritsch

Dexter

Open primaries a bad idea

In response to a letter to the editor, “Open Maine’s primaries,” in the June 26 edition of the BDN: Political parties choose their nominees through primaries. That’s the most important decision a party can make, and a party’s most important decisions should be made by members of that party.

If you want to participate in a party’s primary, you should be a member. Every citizen has a right to vote in general elections, that’s where we choose who represents us in government. This doesn’t extend to primary elections, which are used to determine nominees.

Your rights aren’t being violated if you can’t vote in a primary, because you’re not a party member. Primary elections aren’t the same as general elections, and it’s a mistake to treat them that way. Some political scientists refer to parties as ” semi-public utilities.” They serve important public functions, such as determining who may run for office, but they’re also quasi-private organizations that set rules for their memberships. They’re organizations with members, and their decision-making processes aren’t open to just anyone.

There are legitimate reasons for not joining a party, but that decision has consequences, such as not getting to participate in that parties’ decision-making processes. Allowing non-party members to choose their nominees is a good way to destroy a party and its meaning.

James Waite

Old Orchard Beach

 



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