Bunker for House District 137

Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, having a representative who is accessible and willing to try to understand your concerns is important. Politicians are expected to represent the interests of all their constituents, not just the ones they agree with politically. It is a cornerstone of representative government for elected officials to be accessible and take constituent concerns seriously.

Doug Bunker, a Democrat running for House District 137, is accessible. He’s come to my house and talked with me about the issues I face in Greenbush. He listens to what I have to say and tries to understand my concerns. By contrast, when I email Rep. Larry Lockman, he responds by dodging my questions and often mocks the viewpoints with which he disagrees, if he decides to respond at all. He’s even shared parts of our private correspondences on his Facebook page, which disallows people from commenting without his approval. Lockman is not interested in understanding my viewpoint; he doesn’t even want to hear it in the first place because it doesn’t fit his extreme views.

For example, while director of the Pro Life Education Association, Lockman claimed that men should be able to rape women if abortion is legal. Do you know anyone who shares this opinion? I sure don’t. Like most of us in the area, I want a representative who understands that we aren’t extremists with entrenched, polarized views. We’re good, hard-working, reasonable people.

Maine needs more representatives like Bunker and less like Lockman, so be sure to vote this November.

Aaron Ballman


Security clearances a privilege

Early in my engineering career, the FBI interviewed my family, friends, work associates and college classmates and reviewed all other information available about me before granting me a “Q” clearance for atomic secrets. During the time I had a “Q” clearance, I was always proud and humbled to be trusted with certain secrets and always aware of the responsibility I had to the United States.

When I moved on to unsecured engineering jobs, I no longer required “Q” clearance, but I kept quiet just the same. I understood a security clearance was an honor and a privilege, not a freedom of speech right.

Anyone who serves in any capacity that requires knowledge of United States secrets and holds a security clearance should not retain the clearance once the individual leaves the job. After all these years, I still “check in” before revealing details of my work.

Richard de Grasse


Keep the conservative majority

We are living in a most pivotal time in American history. There was a major shift in the political climate of our nation in the 2016 presidential election, the result of Americans committed to the founding principles of our great nation who voted for the right kind of change — to clean up the swamp in Washington, D.C.

The anti-American, anti-freedom, anti-faith agenda was dealt a huge defeat when Donald Trump and Mike Pence were elected to the highest offices in the land.

Now, we need to continue the momentum to restore the founding principles that made America a shining city on a hill. You can be part of this new movement that is spreading across America. This is a call to active citizenship — a call that requires us to put aside apathy and to commit ourselves to fight for our God-given liberties.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing. It has become very obvious to most thinking citizens of our great country that our enemy lies within our own borders.

The overwhelming factor that Trump would be our next president was really decided by very strong conservative voters. These are the voters who made the difference in 2016 — and these are the same voters who will clean up the swamp in 2018.

It’s time for the Christian church to awaken from its apathy and act responsibly. To be assured of a conservative majority in the Senate and House, we need your vote.

Gene Graves


Time for Collins to stand up

When I moved to Maine, one of the first things I heard about Sen. Susan Collins was her admiration for Margaret Chase Smith and how she wanted to be another Margaret Chase Smith. Smith stood up to her fellow senators and challenged the unfounded lies and accusations of Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

This is Collins’ chance. Stand up to the president and some members of her party. Call them out on their lies, insults, abuse of the American people and American ideals. Show them what the country stands for. Be a leader for human decency, human rights and respect for the people. Fight for America’s principles.

It is her choice as to who she chooses to be as a person, and I look forward to the day when the people of Maine say, “We have another Margaret Chase Smith.”

Joyce Polyniak


Children deserve safe water

Thank you to the BDN for the recent article on Kittery’s new yearlong “Safety for All” campaign. It’s reassuring to know that as children head back to school, teachers, staff and students will be equipped with the necessary knowledge to protect themselves from active threats. But there’s another threat that our children face every day when they go to school: lead in drinking water.

Lead is a potent neurotoxin that impairs how children learn, grow and behave. Maine’s particularly corrosive water can more readily dissolve lead from plumbing systems, and deposit this toxin into the water our children consume every day.

To protect our children’s health, here is a “back to school” homework assignment for Kittery: Let’s work together to get the lead out. We can start by immediately installing filters certified to remove lead from faucets and fountains in our schools. We’ll also need to replace the lead solder and fixtures containing lead that cause the contamination in the first place.

Meanwhile, let’s shut off taps where lead in water exceeds 1 part per billion, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Our children deserve safe drinking water at school. Let’s get to work.

Emma Dietz