Letters to the editor, The Courier-Gazette
Clear view of scope
I have recently received a political mailing from the Maine Conservative PAC, based in Nobleboro. This mailing contained no information whatsoever about any candidate they support, only "smears" and wildly negative claims intended to discredit Jeff Evangelos, who is running as an Independent for the seat in House District 49. These tactics are vicious, cowardly and repulsive, and the Republican or Democratic party should be ashamed if this organization is distributing such rubbish on their behalf.
Actually, this mailing has clarified my thinking as to which candidate deserves my vote, and respect. Jeff Evangelos will be an excellent representative for us in District 49. I have known and respected Jeff since I served on the MSAD 40 school board, and he worked as the business manager for the district. Jeff has served as the town manager of Warren, he has served on their board of assessors, and he has served as director for the Midcoast Planning Commission. He has served as treasurer and board member for the Waldo Theater, and he has owned and operated an excellent import business: Central Asian Artifacts. Jeff has impressive business acumen and experience that will serve us well in District 49. Jeff has a comprehensive knowledge of history, and a clear view of the scope of current issues facing us. He is compassionate, committed and fair minded, and he's a wicked smart guy. We are lucky to have such a candidate.
A nod for Evangelos
Thirty-seven years ago when I first met Jeff Evangelos, he was the young town manager of Warren. We were both representing our towns on the board of the Eastern Regional Midcoast Planning Commission. During those years and later when we were both on the board of the Time and Tide Resource Conservation and Development Council, I came to know Jeff as an able and knowledgeable public servant.
During his subsequent career as SAD 40 business administrator, he saved our district towns hundreds of thousands of dollars by adopting energy controls and other management measures that we still benefit from. At the same time he protected and enhanced wages and benefits for district employees.
Later, since becoming a Friendship resident, he has often volunteered his expertise to help the town. He wrote a grant to secure fuel assistance funds. He served as business manager for the very successful book, "Friendship Homes," a fundraising project of the Friendship Museum. As is often the case, this book project turned out to be more demanding in terms of time and command of history than some of us expected, but Jeff was a diplomatic and painstaking person of strength through it all.
I have found Jeff to be one of those people who takes the time to become informed, to communicate and to reason from the basis of reality. He understands finance and budgeting and has always been a fiscal conservative. He has owned his own small business. I am glad that he is willing to represent me in the legislature. Judging by the number of his signs that I see on lawns around the district in Friendship, Cushing, Union and Warren, I think many others feel the same.
$1 to every farmer
I have been sad to see many newspaper articles, television stories and Internet clips about our country's struggling farmers. I ask that everyone send $1 to farmers you know or know about (or from the Internet). If 1 million people send $1 to every farmer, they would be able to keep their farms and supply us with the produce, meat and other products we expect and need from them and their gardens, livestock pens and other venues. Thank you.
I have known Chris Rector for many years and was delighted when he decided to run for elective office a decade ago. I supported him enthusiastically then and continue to do so today.
While we share a common bond as Republicans, more important for me, Chris is widely-known and respected in the legislature as a problem solver who, from within a core philosophical framework, approaches all issues with an open mind and a strong desire to craft as bipartisan a solution as possible. I haven’t always agreed with Chris’ conclusions, but I have always admired the integrity and conviction he brings to every step of the decision-making process. This approach has, at times, subjected Chris to criticism from fellow Republicans, such as when he co-signed a letter critical of the tone of some of Gov. Paul LePage’s public comments.
We hear a lot of talk of the need for more bipartisanship and civility at all levels of our public discourse. I urge all of you for whom this is a core consideration to vote for Chris Rector on Nov. 6.
Rector for Senate
What do you look for in a candidate for state senator? My criteria include the following: integrity, responsibility, effectiveness, dedication, hard-working, educated.
Well-respected. These are just some of the criteria that Chris Rector possesses. For two terms in our state senate, and three terms in our state House of Representatives, Chris has represented the varied concerns of our district and his constituents. He also is currently so dedicated, working as chairman of the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee; as a member of the Energies, Utilities and Technology Committee; and as co-chair of the Maine Economic Growth Council, he has sacrificed valuable campaign time and efforts, to continue to serve us, when he could be out campaigning for himself! That’s admirable! That’s Chris! Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an independent, Chris is the man! Please cast your vote for Chris Rector for state senate on Nov. 6.
Sandra Freeman Orluk
Thinks for himself
I write in support of Sen. Chris Rector, R — Thomaston in his bid for another term in that office.
I don't take much interest in political party membership; I'll vote for a candidate of either party, but I won't vote for a candidate who seems to be either a sincere extremist or someone too easily peer-pressured. Party must not come before the specifics of each issue, each problem, or each community. I believe this moderate perspective more accurately represents Maine. We hunt, we cut wood, we home school — and we let our neighbors live however they wish, with whomever they wish. Be they vegans or fur trappers, Mainers respect independence.
The Republican Party in Augusta is not a monolithic Tea Party group, despite what some would have us believe. There are still a few moderates among our Republican senators and representatives, and I believe we should support them. Sen. Chris Rector is one of those. Resisting peer pressure and media-fed oversimplification takes courage. That courage should be acknowledged, and the best way to do so is to let such public servants continue their work.
I live on a small island, in one of Maine's smallest communities, a place often either forgotten or inaccurately stereotyped by those in positions of authority. Some (including some legislators) sadly think that Maine's islands are merely summer retreats for the wealthy or hideouts for the crackpots. Not so. Sen. Chris Rector understands that working families still inhabit the islands (and, indeed the whole coast of Maine) and he works to keep our needs and concerns on the table in Augusta. He attends the meetings of the Maine Islands Coalition regularly, assists islanders when they need the ear of Department of Transportation on issues concerning our state ferry service and our island airstrips, and supports the small island schools and distance-learning initiatives. He is interested in and committed to fisheries and energy-related concerns as they impact both island and mainland in Knox County communities.
I asked Sen. Rector outright about rumors that he was affiliated with a certain national right-wing organization that has been in the news and social media recently. He explained that he is a member of several large associations of legislators — left, right and centrist — going to the occasional conference to meet and perhaps learn from other legislators nationwide, and to understand what these large organizations are doing. But, Rector, assured me, he does not adopt anybody's "model legislation," assume their opinions, kowtow to their corporate funders or necessarily agree with their positions.
It sounds like he thinks for himself and has the courage to diverge from the Republican clique when he can serve Maine best by doing so. I respect that.
Voters in Maine’s House District 49 recently received a high gloss flyer attacking Jeff Evangelos – calling him an extremist progressive. Extremist? Really? Voters should listen to Evangelos when he knocks on your door, attend debates and pay attention to what he really stands for. As an independent, Jeff has promised to work with both parties. He will balance the competing goals of limiting tax burdens on the middle class while keeping services already in place. Are these extremist positions? He will focus on our public schools, recognizing the state has yet to meet its goal of 55 percent support to local education. What’s extremist about finishing the education funding job we started several years ago? Jeff would reduce income tax rates for people earning less than $80,000 a year and raise taxes for higher income earners. These are not extremist positions. These are positions which would bring progress to Maine, step by step. Jeff signed the voluntary pledge to run a clean election campaign and he is keeping his pledge. His opponent, Republican Bob Carter, did not sign the pledge. The attack flyer was paid for by the Maine Conservative Political Action group in Nobleboro which was only just organized in August 2012.
Jo Ann Myers
Yes on Question 1
On Nov 6, Maine residents will vote on whether to allow the state to issue marriage licenses to same gender couples. Jesus reached out to those on the margins of society and taught his followers to love one another.
An old hymn goes, “For the love of God is broader that the measures of our minds; and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.” (Frederick William Faber).
In 1995, my family gathered on Southport Island to celebrate the love my sister had found; in the presence of family and friends, my sister married her female partner. Their union was blessed by clergy and the love of family and friends but does not have the legal standing of marriage. Their love has weathered the ups and downs of life and has been a blessing both to my sister and our extended family. If a majority of Mainers vote yes on Question 1, no clergy or church will be compelled to marry same gender couples or to recognize their marriage as sacred. If a majority of Mainers vote yes on Question 1, I will then have the religious freedom as a Christian clergy person to officiate at the marriages of all couples whose love reflects my understanding of the love of God. Please join me in voting yes on Question 1.
Rev. Nancy R. Duncan
Strengthens our resolve
It has become disturbingly common to overhear local folks talking about the loss of political campaign signs from their front lawns. I have recently had two removed, and one apparently run over by a motor vehicle.
It would seem that there are local individuals who feel very strongly in support of a specific position or candidate, and they do not agree with those that our household has chosen to support.
Oops! Fooled you! We are still going to vote for the individuals and referendum issues that you disagree with. Plus, your acts of vandalism only strengthen our resolve to encourage others to join us.
The first amendment allows us to put those signs out on the lawn, and it allows us to discuss issues and candidates with others in hopes of convincing them that our position is the one to support. If the “sign vandals” could redirect their energy towards supporting their candidates/issues, then they would influence the process in a positive manner — and maybe gather a few votes for their position along the way.
This is America, and voting is what we do — with or without lawn signs!