Respect will of the people

The Legislature should respect the will of the people and maintain the 3 percent surtax on annual income over $200,000 for funding education. The time for arbitration was before it was passed by the voters.

It’s time the Legislature represents the people and not the “haves.”

Sam Gath


Don’t listen to St. Clair

If Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wished to present an air of studied neutrality during his recent visit to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, he should have immediately booted Lucas St. Clair off his coattails and told him to shut up.

When St. Clair’s mother, Roxanne Quimby, donated some 87,000 acres of worn-out pulpwood forest to the government, she relinquished her ownership rights to it and should then have no further say as to what is done with it. The same goes for her son, whose unchallenged accompaniment of the interior secretary speaks volumes for the unlikelihood of a decision fair to the local citizenry.

Carroll B. Knox


Poliquin should join climate caucus

Thanks BDN for publishing for the excellent June 13 OpEd by Citizens’ Climate Lobby Executive Director Mark Reynolds on the three Republican senators — Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham and John McCain — who were ahead of their times in introducing legislation to reduce fossil fuel emissions several years ago.

It is now even more imperative that action be taken to ensure a livable world, for example, by pricing carbon to reflect the true cost of fossil fuel pollution, thereby making renewable energy sources even more competitive than they already are. This market-based strategy, which would refund the carbon fee collected to every American household, should appeal to Republicans as well as Democrats.

Recently, 1,300 Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers, including some from Maine, took the trouble to gather in Washington to let legislators know they want action on climate change.

The House of Representatives has created a bipartisan climate caucus, now up to 42 members, equally divided between Republicans and Democrats (whoever wants to join must be accompanied by a representative from the other party). Carlos Curbelo is the driving force behind the caucus. A Republican from South Florida, he has seen firsthand the consequences of climate change.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have our 2nd Congressional District representative, Bruce Poliquin, invite a Democrat to join with him. After all, climate change is affecting the fisheries and winter tourism industry in his district.

Christina Diebold


Trump guilty of dereliction of duty

There has been much chatter in the news as to whether President Donald Trump might be guilty of obstruction of justice. That would be up to the special counsel to determine.

One thing of which I think Trump is clearly guilty, not that it’s an actual crime, is dereliction of duty. Our 17 intelligence agencies have determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 last election with the goal of influencing the outcome. Trump’s response, “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia.” Can someone who is totally dismissive of our entire intelligence community really be trusted with the welfare of our nation?

The House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the FBI are doing the responsible thing and investigating this matter. They are working to determine what happened and how to prevent it from happening again. Trump’s response is, “it’s a witch hunt.” And then he fires the person in charge of the investigation.

As information comes out in the media, Trump is very interested in finding out who the leakers are; he shows no interest in finding out the truth.

Can we continue to pretend that this is normal or proper?

Carey Donovan


LePage not acting in my interests

Our governor has frequently expressed his distaste for the people of southern Maine. Before Congress, Gov. Paul LePage recently denigrated the economic opportunities and ecological values of Maine’s amazing Baxter State Park and Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument by referring to the entire region as “the mosquito area.” Which leads me to wonder: which parcels of Maine, and which of its diverse residents, does he care for? In whose best interests is he acting?

Not mine.

Craig Kesselheim

Southwest Harbor

Implement ranked-choice voting

On ranked-choice voting some members of the Maine Senate would like to keep the will of the people from being heard.

Legislative leaders should do their part, support the Maine people, and endorse LD 1624 to amend the Maine Constitution in favor of ranked-choice voting.

America is more divided along party lines than ever before, yet only roughly 60 percent of the Maine population participates in elections.

Over the last 40 years, nine of our last 11 governors were elected with less than 50 percent of the vote, and five of those 11 were elected with less than 40 percent of the vote.

This means that we are being represented by people who have been voted for by less than a quarter of our population. How can we as a people be heard from within a system that rewards such a low bar of success?

A majority vote will allow us to hold our elected officials more accountable to the people. Ranked-choice voting has been successful for electing the mayor in Portland since 2011. Both Ireland and Australia successfully use ranked-choice voting in national elections.

Our legislators should respect the overwhelming will of the voters, especially for federal elections and state primaries where this system is already constitutional, and they should support an amendment to the Constitution which allows ranked-choice voting in statewide general elections.

Jeffrey Egolf


King not an independent

Sen. Angus King talks about Russian interference in the 2016 election as “the most serious attack on the United States since Sept. 11,” yet says little about the attack on his fellow members of Congress during a baseball practice, which I think is the most serious attack since 9/11.

King is not an independent; he is a Democrat. Calling himself an independent is a ploy and disgrace to those who are truly independents. He should change his political affiliation and stop trying to please the Democrats.

Ray Bryant