Reclining Congress

Suggestion: Congress should replace the chairs in the House and Senate with recliners. It’s disturbing to see these inactive poor souls asleep with their heads on their desks.

Charlie Cameron

Waldo County needs Herbig

I met Erin Herbig eight years ago, when she first ran for the Maine Legislature and was recruiting folks to help with her handmade, hand-painted yard signs. My first impression was wow.

Herbig knows how to roll up her sleeves and get the job done. Raised in Waldo County, she was the first in her family to go to college, and she now chairs Maine’s 21st Century Workforce Taskforce to make sure that bright, young Maine kids can stay in — or come back to — Maine and have a path to success.

As House chair of the Aging Caucus, Herbig works to help Maine seniors “age in place” by supporting family caregivers and fighting for more funding for home health care. Go online to learn more about Herbig’s passions and legislative accomplishments — she’s simply amazing.

If the past eight years have taught us anything, it’s that Herbig brings passion, energy and commitment on behalf of her Waldo County constituents. And with her unique ability to work on both sides of the aisle we need Herbig to keep working for us in Augusta.

Diane Hull

Honor Maine’s police

We demand a lot from law enforcement officers. We expect them to prevent acts of mass violence, fight crime, resolve domestic disputes, avert school threats, deal with the addicted and mentally ill, and respond to accidents and keep traffic flowing. We expect them to do it in a polite and respectful manner. We don’t show them much appreciation and are not very understanding when things go wrong. We’re more likely to vilify officers for being biased or trigger happy, than we are to thank them.

One of the ironies of democracy is that we make our laws, but we don’t always follow them. That’s why we need police officers. It is a fundamental form of public service. It is essential to a well-ordered, peaceful and productive society. It’s not glamorous or lucrative. It can be very tedious. It can be dangerous, even fatal. But it is important work: helping those in distress, solving crimes, keeping the peace, protecting life and property, enforcing the law, doing justice.

Most of the people who do this work are well-intentioned, good-hearted people, trying to do their best at a challenging job. The vast majority of interactions between officers and the public occur without incident.

In October 1962, Congress passed a joint resolution declaring May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor officers killed or disabled in the line of duty and creating National Police Week (May 13 to 19) as an annual tribute to law enforcement service and sacrifice. Please join me in thanking all law enforcement officers for the work that they do to keep us safe.

Halsey B. Frank
U.S. attorney
District of Maine

Protect ranked-choice voting

Why are Maine Republicans so adamantly opposed to ranked-choice voting? There are four Republican gubernatorial candidates on the June primary ballot. Hypothetically, if the first choice votes resulted in a 26 percent, 25 percent, 25 percent and 24 percent apportionment, and ranked-choice voting was not in place, the candidate with 26 percent of the vote would be declared the winner for receiving the most votes (a plurality). That would mean that 74 percent of voters did not favor this candidate.

Why would a party put forward a candidate who does not have the support of the majority of its members? Ranked-choice voting allows voters to express their support for other candidates, even if they are not their first choice, so the winner can emerge knowing that he or she has the support of a majority.

If the Maine GOP does not believe in ranked-choice voting, then party members are free to limit their choice to just one selection on their ballots. But why would they not take advantage of the ranked-choice voting system, which acts like an instant-runoff election, to provide a candidate who can garner the most voters’ support? The Republicans may prefer plurality voting, but the majority of the electorate has put ranked-choice voting in place.

Protect ranked-choice voting. Vote yes on Question 1 on June 12.

Eric Boothroyd

Golden for Congress

As a voter who is not affiliated with either political party, I try to approach election seasons with an open mind and compare the records and experience of the candidates. I am supporting Democrat Jared Golden for the 2nd Congressional District because he has the attributes I look for to represent Maine at the national level. Primarily, I believe that we need a representative who understands how to get things done in Congress, even as a junior representative from a small state. While I also would like someone who agrees with me on policy issues, if he isn’t able to work with colleagues, form alliances, and leverage support, then he won’t do us much good, regardless of his positions.

Golden has worked in the Maine Legislature since 2014, and has a reputation for being well-respected by his colleagues and others who have worked with him, many of whom have endorsed his campaign. He has also presented specific ideas for improving Maine jobs and wages, and a common-sense approach to health care, and his work in Augusta has been consistent with those goals. Golden’s record of public service in the military, volunteering, and in the Legislature shows him to be a hard-working and effective leader with the experience and drive that we need. He is available and listens to his constituents, and does not shy away from tough questions or hard work. I am confident that Golden will be the leader we need in Congress.

Audrey Braccio

Election notice

The BDN will stop accepting letters and OpEds related to the June 12 election on June 1. Not all submissions can be published.