Beware the propaganda
As the final leg of this election unfolds this month, we are all being bombarded by political advertising.
It comes in the form of signs on the side of the road, flyers in your mailbox, calls on the phone, advertising on television, in newspapers and in magazines. In many cases, this advertising doesn't even come from the people campaigning to be elected.
Special interest groups and those promoting a specific agenda often use Political Action Committees or PACs to buy advertisements. In some cases these groups prop-up a candidate they support. More often, they launch attacks against candidates they oppose.
A recent example was a political flyer aimed at House District 49 candidate Jeffrey Evangelos, calling the independent a "liberal extremist." It was paid for by Maine Conservative PAC, and Evangelos's opponent Robert Carter said he was not involved in sending out the flyer.
This is all part of our political process, people and groups exercising their right to freedom of speech. However, citizens should be careful what election hype they decide to believe. Most of the information provided in advertising materials and fliers promoted by PACs is subject to spin to promote a specific agenda.
In the case of this flyer, we don't learn much about either candidate's position on the issues that impact local residents. Instead, we just have name-calling.
We would encourage residents to seek the best information possible to decide how to vote. Go to a candidates' debate and hear the positions straight from the candidates.
Some of the local candidates for the Maine House of Representatives and the Maine Senate have agreed to a debate Monday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at Rockland City Hall..
State Sen. Chris Rector, R-Thomaston, and Democratic challenger Edward Mazurek of Rockland and House of Representatives candidates Elizabeth Dickerson and Gordon Mank Jr., both of Rockland, have agreed to participate in a candidates' night organized by Courier Publications.
The public is encouraged to attend and ask their questions of the four candidates. The debate also will be broadcast live on the government access channel, or Channel 22 in Rockland.
This will be an outstanding opportunity to ask the candidates your questions and hear from them. You can email questions for the candidates to the newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also running articles in this edition and coming issues of all our Courier Publications papers profiling candidates and their specific positions on issues, to help cut through the propaganda from campaign ads. We also have election sections on our VillageSoup websites providing all the latest election news.
Stay informed and get ready to vote.
Don't hibernate just yet
With temperatures dipping, it's tempting to just curl up in a blanket and sleep away the season, but we encourage readers to fight all the harder to stay active and healthy this autumn season.
Now is a perfect time to go out and get that pumpkin for your front steps or pick some apples for an autumn treat. This will get you and the family on your feet and out walking around.
Get out for a walk, when the weather allows, to take in the fall foliage and the crisp air.
This is also a good time to finish up those yard chores of mowing, raking and cleaning up. All the summer toys and grills should be put away for the year.
Take a look around the house for ways to button up and improve heat efficiency. For some this will mean the annual project of putting on the storm windows or putting plastic over the windows. For others, this may be the time to replace leaking windows and add some insulation.
Have your furnace tuned up and maintained for the coming winter, and get that chimney checked to make sure it's ready.
This is also a good time to take the car into the garage to have it readied for winter. The antifreeze should be checked and snow-grade windshield wipers can be added.
A little preparation now will provide a sense of security as the cold blows in.