St. Clair for Congress

I’ve been watching and voting in the 2nd Congressional District races since I moved to Maine in 1967. I remember Bill Hathaway’s win in 1968. I recall parallel victories of a man and a woman whom I consider as good people and great politicians, Bill Cohen and Olympia Snowe. My mother didn’t easily accept the fact that I was supporting these two Republicans, but it has always been who the candidates are that has mattered to me. This holds true now in my enthusiastic support for Lucas St. Clair.

I watched St. Clair as he campaigned for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. I thought he faced long odds initially, with many opposed to the concept. The years of work St. Clair invested showed his tenacity. His style demonstrated leadership through organizational excellence, well-crafted arguments and his sincere ability to listen to the voters.

I saw some of this work up close as he sought to secure the support of the local chamber and learned that the man portrayed on television was the same man in someone’s office, off mic and candid.

St. Clair believes in Maine’s 2nd District. He has the ability to connect dots, and he knows that our prospects for economic growth are intrinsically tied to our treatment of our natural resources and each other. He has the demonstrated ability to chart a clear course and make sure the goals are achieved. He’s got brains and heart.

I ask you to join me in supporting his campaign for Congress.

Dennis Marble

Another school shooting

The Valentine’s Day (and Ash Wednesday) massacre in a Parkland, Florida, high school was one of 18 shootings in American schools this year. And it’s only February.

The Gun Violence Archive reports 30 nationwide mass shooting incidents — where four or more people have been shot. And it’s only February.

Most voters want tougher gun control laws; the powerful National Rifle Association does not. The House of Representatives passed a bill loosening gun regulations and allowing concealed weapons permit holders to legally travel to other states, a top priority of the NRA.

President Donald Trump told a cheering crowd at last year’s annual NRA convention: “You came through for me, and I am going to come through for you.”

In Maine? Gov. Paul LePage in 2016 “opposed background checks because the NRA told him to.” Last year “he supports them because the Trump administration told him to,” Lance Dutson, a Maine Republican consultant, wrote in the Bangor Daily News in December.

We have become inured to day-after-day of gun violence. What will it take — if anything — to stop the bloodbath?

Connie Sage Conner

Reject Trump’s budget

Last week, President Donald Trump released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2019. The administration proposed spending cuts on environmental and health programs: the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget is cut by 34 percent, and the Department of the Interior’s budget is cut by 16 percent.

These drastic cuts in our environmental and health programs would be harmful to Mainers. The EPA works to keep our air and water clean and safe for us and future generations. As the tailpipe of the nation, Maine receives air pollution from around the country, increasing asthma rates and other health impacts. Maine’s Sen. Ed Muskie promoted the Clean Air Act, one of the EPA programs that ensures Mainers and all Americans have clean air to breathe by reducing the amount of pollution in our air. Fully funding the EPA is critical to providing clean air to Mainers and improving public health.

I urge Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins to oppose the administration’s budget for fiscal year 2019, for the sake of Maine’s environment and Mainers’ health.

Jacqueline Guyol
Campaign organizer
Environment Maine

No tax giveaways for General Dynamics

The same moral bankruptcy being played out in our nation’s capital seems, unfortunately, to be echoed in our state.

With the release of the proposed budget, we have in print how the Trump administration proposes to pay for the $1.5 trillion in “tax relief” for the rich who control our nation’s legislative agenda — by devastating cuts to critical programs and services for the rest of us to the tune of $1.7 trillion. Of course, the Pentagon is spared.

Here in Maine, we’re having a $60 million tax break for General Dynamics, parent company of Bath Iron Works, foisted upon us. LD 1781, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer DeChant of Bath, would extend the corporate welfare that General Dynamics has extracted from Maine. This at a time when General Dynamics is spending $9.6 billion to buy CSRA Inc., a provider of IT services focused on national security. Among other things, this deal is expected to add to General Dyanmics’ earnings per share, which should help a lot when it comes to stock buybacks.

Imagine for a moment the real-world needs that could be met in Maine with $60 million. There are so many it’s hard to know where to start: education, health care, the opioid crisis, food insecurity and crumbling infrastructure, to name a few. One thing is for sure: providing corporate welfare to General Dynamics is not one of them. It is outrageous and irresponsible to consider doing so.

Connie Jenkins

Hayes for governor

I am writing to ask people to consider Terry Hayes for governor.

Hayes has a lot of experience as a mother, school board member, legislator and currently as state treasurer. As an independent she is not dedicated to any particular political party yet has working relationships with both.

Many people are looking for positive change, which I believe can only be achieved with experience. Positive change means different things to different people, good people who often disagree with one another, which is why an independent listener offers our best hope.

Hayes is a Clean Election candidate. This is not welfare for politicians, but a system that enables candidates to spend their time working for the people of Maine, not fundraising and making promises to the people who contribute, which happens in both Democratic and Republican parties.

Independence alone is not enough. We need someone with experience in the workings of state government, and Hayes has it.

Richard Ness