Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor, March 14

Mar 14, 2019

Independents have no party

There are so many inaccurate claims made by the media, I felt it was important to set the record straight. In his column last week, Reade Brower stated that "the Independent party undermined Democratic candidates." The problem is, there is no such thing as an Independent party.

If a person wants to register to vote, they can enroll in either the Republican, Green or Democratic party. If you do not choose a party, then you are considered unenrolled, or U. When running for office as an unenrolled candidate, you are allowed to choose three words as descriptors, which is called a political party designation, for example “Common Sense Independent."

For a man owning multiple newspapers, one would think he could use at least one fact-checker on staff, unless they don't have any, which could certainly be the case, given all the false and inaccurate statements being made.

Linda Bodnar

Spruce Head

Voter suppression knows no party

So, Mr. Brower is all for ranked-choice voting, because he is against Republicans' (Conservatives, Libertarians, Trump supporters) suppressing people's votes? RCV is the biggest scam to hit U.S. politics in history! It suppresses everyone's vote across the board! No doubt he is all for "ballot harvesting" if the vote doesn't go his way!

True, there have been instances where person(s) of a conservative "outlook" have been caught enabling procedures/processes to suppress a particular group's vote for a candidate/referendum. However, for any caught, one can fine at least five instances of a Democrat (Liberal, Left Wing, Socialist, Marxist, whatever) getting caught doing the same thing, in any general election! For some reason the "legacy media" only report on those conservatives who were caught. (Perhaps Mr. Brower can do something about that!)

"Ballot harvesting," to those first hearing this term, refers to a third party contracted by a vetted political party to make sure there are no ballots "missing" or "misplaced" by a city, county or state's election commission during the day of voting. Example: In the 2018 race for governor of Georgia, Democrat Stacy Abrams lost her race by a narrow margin. A day or two later some boxes of ballots had been "found" by unknown persons and brought to the attention of Georgia's Election Commission.

The final vote had already been counted. Ergo, there was a legal conundrum. Should these "found" votes be counted or not? Long story short, they were not. Again this was 2018. Two weeks ago I came across a story on the net, where recently, the ballots were counted from one of those boxes by a curious reporter. All of them were marked for Stacy Abrams as governor. Take it for what you will.

The other issue, not mentioned, in Mr. Brower's counterpoint is U.S. citizens voting more than once! And illegal aliens voting at all!

The Electoral Collage was set up by learned men and put into the Constitution. No matter how many states get rid of their EC, they by law, have to use it! Only a vote by both houses of Congress can change how the president is picked.

As far as the popular vote, for any election, other than for president, one person, one vote!

Roger V. Tranfaglia

Rockland

Facts contradict column's claims

This week’s Point-Counterpoint articles by Paula Sutton and Reade Brower were interesting; I was pleased with their agreement that the National Popular Vote is not in Maine’s best interest.

I was, however, very displeased to see Mr. Brower veering off topic to take potshots attacking all Republicans and blaming gerrymandering on one political party. Perhaps Brower does not realize that the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part First, Section 3 requires that Maine’s legislative districts be resized every 10 years.

Mr. Brower stated, “For years, gerrymandering redistricting has been a Republican mission in our state and throughout the country. Figuring where to draw the lines has been a political exercise; commonsense taking a back seat to politics. Lines should be drawn pragmatically, but that’s not how it’s been done.”

Mainers, including Reade Brower, may not realize that the last time the House and Senate district lines were redrawn and voted on in 2013, Republican former Congressman David Emery spearheaded the effort, and when the Legislature voted on LD 1557, the outcome was overwhelmingly bipartisan.

The Maine Senate voted unanimously in favor and the Maine House’s final roll call was strongly bipartisan 133-11.

Facts contradict Reade’s claim that gerrymandering is occurring here in Maine.

Surely there must be at least one fact-checker in Reade’s massive Maine media empire; therefore; common sense tells me Reade’s personal bias against Republicans is clouding his vision.

Statements such as “Voter suppression has been seen as part of the Republican agenda; using fear tactics and gerrymandering have been successful and remain part of the playbook.“ are strong accusations, slanderous and should only be made when backed up by credible facts.

The Maine people deserve far better from the man owning nearly every newspaper in the state. Common sense tells me that Mr. Brower’s words are fertilizer for hate. Reade’s views also undermine his own integrity and feed into the growing mistrust of news organizations. Fake news flourishes in the absence of truth.

Jonathan Tardiff

Rockland

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