Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor, Oct. 4

Oct 04, 2018

Column's comparison 'laughable'

I was able to enjoy a good laugh while reading the “Another View” opinion column in the Sept. 27 edition of your paper. And to be clear, I was laughing at the columnist, not with him.

Mr. Dolcater makes a point that our founders included a majority of self-identified Christians and goes on to state that we should never forget our faith in God. He goes on to compare the “hostile rhetoric” of people who actually do embody Christian values (Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters, Barack Obama and others) to the “frustrated tweets” of the White House. Tweets is a perfect word to describe the inane output of our president.

I can understand someone disagreeing with the politics of former President Barack Obama and the other Democrats listed, but comparing them to President Trump based on faith and Christian values is truly laughable.

Guy Scalzi

South Thomaston

Meriwether requests votes for County Commission

My name is Dorothy Meriwether, and I’m running for county commissioner for District 1, which includes Rockland, Thomaston, Owls Head and South Thomaston. Before I tell you a little about myself, I have to acknowledge that talking to people about the county, they too often admit they don’t know what a county commissioner is. In Knox County, it’s the group of three elected commissioners who administer county government, acting as the executive board and responsible for setting policy and budget.

The departments that make up Knox County are administration, finance, the Sheriff’s Department, including the jail and patrol, communications, which handles all the emergency calls for the county, emergency management, the airport, probate, deeds and the district courts. What about me? First and most important, I love Knox County, the place and the people, and I am proud to have been adopted by this community.

I was elected to the County Budget Committee for 10 years, and I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of working with some of the best people a person could ask to work with --  professional, dedicated, honorable, hardworking and caring. I served for many years on the Select Board for South Thomaston, its Budget Committee, and I was a representative to the Owls Head, Thomaston and South Thomaston Solid Waste Committee. I worked in the film industry in California, I owned my own business, and I have decades of experience in financial management.

Most valuable to me, though, have been the opportunities I have had to work closely with and learn from some remarkable people who have mentored me, guided me and taught me the fundamental skills for working in public service, including hearing and understanding opposing views, listening carefully and respectfully, keeping an open mind, honesty and a sincere concern for other people.

I hope you will vote for me, because your support means a lot, and I pledge to strive toward always acting in the best interests of the citizens of this wonderful place we call home.

Dorothy Meriwether

South Thomaston

Choose candidates who will make the best leaders

Having served four consecutive terms in the Maine Legislature from 2008 to 2016 representing several towns in Knox County, I’d like to share some insights on the upcoming election.

First of all, I’m very concerned about how divided we are as a society. Our best and most positive results come from working together, not against each other.

Each election offers us a new chance to get informed and make the best possible choices about who can best represent us at every level of government. I think it makes sense to look beyond the campaign and candidate to decide who will make the better representative, senator, governor, or other leader.

In the case of House District 92, Ann Matlack is a clear choice for me. She has a solid grasp of policy-making and considerable experience in local government. While it’s tempting, given the importance of the seafood industry in our local economy, to want to elect a career fisherman to office, I would argue that experience in representative government counts for a lot.

Dave Miramant, in Senate District 12, is an experienced senator and a responsive leader with a solid grasp of state government. He listens and responds to his constituents in very impressive style.

Pinny Beebe-Center is an extraordinarily talented legislator, and the Midcoast is most fortunate for her willingness to serve at the State House.

Jeff Evangelos is a caring and passionate advocate for local citizens, and we can be most grateful that he is willing to serve again.

In the governor’s race, I plan to vote for Janet Mills because she has the judgment and experience to lead our state. I reject the argument that a successful auto body shop owner like Shawn Moody is ready to be CEO of our state, with some 10,000 employees. I reject the idea that chief executive is an entry-level position.

Chellie Pingree deserves another term in the U.S. House. I would not be surprised to see her on the leadership team in the next Congress. For U.S. Senate, I will be voting for Angus King, who has vast government experience and, even though I don’t always agree with him, shows excellent judgment and wisdom in every vote he casts.

I hope all readers will think carefully about their choices and cast their vote Nov. 6.

Chuck Kruger

Thomaston

Question 1 is bad policy-making

Ballot Question 1 has very good intentions. It asks:  "Do you want to create the Universal Home Care Program to provide home-based assistance to people with disabilities and senior citizens, regardless of income, funded by a new 3.8 percent tax on individuals and families with Maine wage and adjusted gross income above the amount subject to Social Security taxes, which is $128,400 in 2018?”

Keeping elderly and disabled people in their homes is important, and we need to make it affordable to people in need. We also need to assure that caregivers are paid adequately.

This ballot measure, however, is the wrong approach. Doing tax policy by referendum is not good policy-making. Taxing higher wage earners for specific purposes does not address the larger tax issues we have in our state; namely, over-dependence on high local property taxes, low sales tax and high income taxes.

Many property owners in the state do not live here year-round because of Maine’s high income tax rates. Individuals and businesses that would like to move here choose not to because of our income tax rates. Maine needs more income to address home health care, education and many other needs. However, there are other ways to rebalance and increase our tax revenues without increasing the income tax, especially by expanding our sales tax from 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent.

If these property owners become year-round residents, we will have greatly increased revenues from their contributions to our annual income tax revenues. If we increase the sales tax on nonessential items, we will also increase state revenues. By doing this, the state will have more money to pay for a part of education, thus reducing our property taxes; will have more money for home health care and the other human service needs that are seriously challenging our state.

Another flaw in this proposal is providing care regardless of income. People who can afford full or partial payment should do so.

Let’s work on developing good tax policy that is fair and that welcomes more full-time residents and businesses to our state. I invite you to vote no ballot initiative 1.

David Jones

Camden

Thompson for House District 92

I believe our Founding Fathers envisioned that this nation’s elected representatives should come from the very population they represented. That those elected would have an understanding of the challenges faced and be able to see how government could make a difference to improve their lives. They should be a strong voice for their neighbors and the communities that elected them. Public office should be for those willing to serve others – not themselves. The Founding Fathers didn’t anticipate the “professional politicians” holding many elected offices today.

I believe Justin Thompson exemplifies this vision. He has a reputation for working hard, is a lifelong resident and dedicated to the Midcoast communities. He understands our way of life. My family knows him as a strong family man and a loyal friend.

Serving more than 34 years as a U.S. naval officer, I have had the opportunity to observe many styles of leadership and teamwork – some effective and others not. Justin Thompson believes in America’s greatness and is ready to work hard to preserve it. He knows it is time for him to step up and serve our state and country as our District 92 representative. His charismatic style of leadership naturally draws others to him. Well respected and mature, he has raised two independent daughters and continues to mentor area youth.

Justin believes in the importance and value of education and training and its connection to good jobs and career opportunities. He has a vision for our community, but is also willing to cross the political line to do the “right thing” and make state government more efficient and effective. Justin is someone who will listen and be considerate of others, but will also not hesitate to ask the hard questions in order to understand all sides of an issue before he makes a judgment.

We want a state representative who works hard for us; listens to our concerns and shares many of our same goals and challenges. A state representative who will work collaboratively; who values teamwork and has a vision for a better, more responsive state government. That state representative is Justin Thompson. Our job is to make sure he gets elected and has the opportunity to make a difference. Vote for Justin!

Jan C. Gaudio

South Thomaston

Parties offer diverse choice of candidates

In the upcoming Nov. 6 election, Maine voters will be able to choose among different voices.

In the gubernatorial race the choice is between an establishment Democrat who is a successful politician, an Augusta insider, and a member of a well connected and influential Maine political family; a self-made working-class Republican and successful businessman; a liberal Democrat who is a Clean Elections candidate and a former assistant minority leader for the Maine House Democrats;; and a progressive Democrat who was involved in several election campaigns and who is well known as a community organizer, an advocate for progressive causes and as a smart growth and economic development proponent.

For the U.S. Senate, the contest is between the incumbent, a wealthy capitalist and progressive Democrat; the Democratic Party’s other candidate for the Senate seat, who is a Democratic Socialist; and a Republican state senator.

In the 1st Congressional District, the incumbent progressive Democrat with ties to Wall Street is being challenged by a conservative Republican and a moderate Independent.

In summary, the Democrats and Republicans are providing the voters with a diverse choice of voices from which to select fNov. 6.

Rodney Lynch

Rockland

King a 'calm, respectful voice'

In an era of unprecedented partisan rancor, Mainers need a calm, respectful voice in Washington willing to speak plainly and frankly about what’s in Maine’s — and the nation’s — best interest.

Angus King is providing that voice in the U.S. Senate. As a member of the Intelligence Committee, for example, King is working diligently to understand and defend against foreign interference in America’s elections through covert social media campaigns and other “active measures.” King’s solution — educating the public about tactics used by Russia and other bad actors so American citizens are less susceptible to being misled or confused; and establishing serious consequences to deter foreign adversaries from targeting the U.S. .— is a sound, sensible, bipartisan approach to protecting our democracy from a serious threat.

Mainers are fortunate to have such an advocate representing them in the U.S. Senate — let’s keep him there. Vote for Angus King Nov. 6.

Ed Geis

Camden

Liberman is tough but fair

The people of Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties are very fortunate to have Jon Liberman as their district attorney, and I hope you will join me in voting to elect him.

Jon is very tough on crime and makes sure that those who commit them are held accountable. I am particularly impressed with his advocacy for victims of crime. He fights to protect victims’ privacy rights and secure financial restitution for them.

While he is tough on offenders, Jon is also fair and is always looking for ways for offenders to rehabilitate themselves when possible. He is a strong advocate of community-based restorative justice for juvenile offenders that encourages them to take responsibility for their actions and become productive members of society.

He is also working to establish a “Drug Court” in Midcoast Maine. This unique approach to helping addicts recover has had tremendous success elsewhere in Maine.

It is this type of innovative approach to prosecuting crime that has made Jon Liberman such an effective district attorney, and I hope you will join me in voting to elect him Nov. 6

Mike Thibodeau

Winterport

Ed. note: Michael Thibodeau is president of the Maine Senate.

Sutton behaves with integrity

Just had to drop a note in support of Rep. Paula Sutton. I do not live in Paula’s district, but I would definitely vote for her if I did. She always works hard to find out what her constituents think about the issues and provides reasoned, well informed, and thoughtful responses when she is questioned about why she voted the way she did. She is always respectful of people’s opinions on social media and conducts herself with integrity. I think we need more people in Augusta like Paula.

Robert B. Monroe

Spruce Head

Evangelos cares about justice and fair play

The people of Waldoboro know me well as their pharmacist. I worked the pharmacy bench for 50 years and have heard many tales. Some are funny and others not.

One person came to speak to me needing help with food stamps.The amount received was going down and this person needed help getting what was needed..Food stamps are not my expertise, so I called Jeff Evangelos to help with this problem. Jeff was the seated state representative at the time and he got things rolling. It took many hours and more conversations. One time it would be the right amount and the next it would be less. J eff stuck with it and got it right.

It doesn’t matter to Evangelos what your status in the community is. What matters to Jeff is justice and fair play. That is why I urge you to vote for Jeff Evangelos. We need his caliber in the State House.

Ted Wooster

Waldoboro

Miramant works to improve the lives of Mainers

I am writing to encourage the voters of Knox County to cast their vote for State Sen. Dave Miramant. Dave has dedicated himself to service and his focus in the Senate has always been how to improve the lives of Mainers.

I’ve known Dave for nearly 30 years. He has always been passionate about protecting the environment of our great state. He understands that the health of the people of Maine and the economy of Maine depend on the preservation of our waterways, our ocean and our land. He believes, and works hard in Augusta, to make sure that Maine can attract businesses that will be net contributors to our quality of life by providing nonpolluting jobs and living wages.

It has been a challenging few years in Augusta, with extreme partisanship making collaboration difficult, even on the best ideas! Dave has demonstrated that his first priority is the people of his district and the state, and to that end, he reaches out to his colleagues, regardless of party, to advance legislation that will make Maine the best it can be.

Achieving the all-important goals of livable wages, affordable, accessible health care, food security and clean, sustainable energy will require hard work and dedicated collaboration. Sen. Dave Miramant has an impressive track record of working steadily toward these goals. We have been very fortunate to have Dave’s energy and imagination at the service of the great state of Maine! He is eager to continue the work he has started, and we can make sure that happens by voting for him Nov. 6.

Susan Dorr

Camden

Fortman knows what low-wage workers face

We live in an unusual time when unemployment rates are low, but workers just can’t seem to get ahead. People are working low-wage jobs or part-time jobs that make it hard to see that open window of upward mobility. Laura Fortman, candidate for Maine Senate, knows what that is like. She grew up in a working-class family and held down a number of minimum-wage jobs. She juggled parenting and college courses while working part-time. She took that life experience with her to a job where she advocated for women (often low-wage earners) and children. She knows how working families struggle and brought that perspective to her job as commissioner of labor for Maine. I want Laura Fortman in the Maine Senate looking out for working people as we claw our way back out of a recession and create prosperity for all Maine people.

Lisa Miller

Somerville

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