Mark Dion for governor

I have watched Mark Dion‘s career since he was Cumberland County sheriff. He has worked to help the court and jail systems focus on restorative justice and mental health services. He administered a large department and wasn’t afraid to speak in favor of medical cannabis, against the rest of Maine’s law enforcement establishment. As a state representative and senator, he represented his district’s progressive values while proving himself a collaborative leader.

This year, he risked his reputation, working with Senate Republicans to minimize damage being done in a rewrite of the cannabis referendum passed in 2016. He brings professional credibility to the gun control discussion, and supports the protection of citizens’ digital communications from unreasonable searches.

Dion is a soft-spoken listener. His platform, available at, outlines his positions and rather than repeat that information here, I’ll tell you what I saw when he visited Rockland. Direct in seeking our opinions and thoughtful in his responses, he considered our ideas and concerns and answered with honesty and patience, in spite of having already spent half the day at a candidate forum in Damariscotta.

The 21st century presents Maine with serious challenges, not least of which is the bickering and name-calling that dominate the news. We need leaders with compassion who will meet and work with those of differing perspectives.

Make Dion high on your Democratic Party gubernatorial ranked-choice ballot on June 12. If not first, then consider him for your second choice. Let’s rebuild Maine together.

Shlomit Auciello

Reject St. Clair

Once again, we see that people who run for government offices say they have the best interest of the people and our state in mind. Lucas St. Clair, for one, has showed that he does not believe the majority of voters in this region are competent decision-makers. As we know, several towns in this area voted down a national park. So, he used the back door to Washington to get a monument.

I don’t have any issues about the monument, just that the president of the United States went against the voters of our region. St. Clair showed that he had no respect for the voters who were against a national park or monument and Maine. Is this leadership worth having in today’s society? Money and power have a way to get people to forget what our U.S. Constitution was written for years ago — to give people the freedom to vote and voice their opinion.

St. Clair has proven one thing so far and that he is going to have his way no matter what the voters of Maine decide.

Is Maine ready for this kind of politician? All I can do is pray that God will again take over this country and give these politicians the path to tell the truth. Work for the people and not against the people. Once again it will come down to the voters or will the interest groups come in and get their politician elected?

Scott Leavitt

Pruitt attacks clean air

It’s that time of year again: the spiking of gas prices. It’s already close to $3 a gallon. President Donald Trump and his Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, are making those prices even higher. They are working to repeal the clean car standards that save families money at the pump and increased fuel efficiency.

The transportation sector is the largest source of carbon pollution in this country, and rolling back these standards will make this problem worse. There are many states working to improve their air quality, and Pruitt is removing their right to do that — which is odd for someone who champions himself a fighter for state rights. Pruitt is gutting the Clean Air Act, which gives states the authority to put in place stricter limits on tailpipe pollution. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia, representing 113 million people, have exercised this right. An 18 state coalition representing half the auto market that is suing the EPA to maintain the current standards.

Rolling back these standards will hurt all Americans, but Pruitt’s rollback of state authority is a direct assault on the 113 million people who have moved beyond the EPA to protect their communities. States must be allowed to manage vehicle pollution within their borders as the Clean Air Act intended. By taking away states’ authority, Pruitt is gutting the Clean Air Act. Maine will vigorously resist any effort to strip its right to protect our people.

Ryan Kittle

America needs good leadership

Republicans hold majorities and have shown that they choose not to lead us but only to get their way or whatever the Heritage Foundation tells them is best. Conservative values are commendable yet they would rather line their pockets and kick the can down the road versus paying down our debt and distributing benefits fairly. Democrats have not performed much better. We need some strong centrist philosophy that draws upon ideas from both sides of the canyon.

Fix what is wrong and uphold what is right. Don’t vote for politicians who side with a self-righteous party that does not represent people but prefers to represent corporations, wealthy donors and whatever protects their wealth and control. Isolationism, protectionism and nationalism divide us further. Attitudes like I know better than you, I have more money than you and might versus right, are simply awful.

Vote out career and millionaire politicians who do not care about their constituents. Voting for good character may be a smarter way to go. President Donald Trump’s gutter language, vile narcissism and autocratic idealism may lead us to a cliff with no other plan but to jump into chaos. The military industrial complex would be quite gleeful.

Trump gets an F for more than 3,000 lies told, the tax plan for the wealthy, health care inequality, unnecessary trade wars and allowing unregulated corporations to poison our water, air and land for money. America is in dire need of qualified leadership versus unqualified, unfair, un-American oligarchy.

Dennis St. Jean

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.