Political double-standard

I ran into a friend recently and somehow talked about politics, thus my political thought of the day.

For those individuals who seem obsessed with class warfare and income inequality, I’d like to have them think about the upcoming re-election campaigns of Sen. Angus King and Rep. Bruce Poliquin. Why have those opposed to Poliquin continued to attack him — because he is wealthy and has made a lot of money? He grew up in Maine, went to college, got a great job, worked hard and made a lot of money, and made his money working in the private sector. Couldn’t 95 percent of us have done the same thing?

King is probably wealthier, and we never hear about how rich he is or how he couldn’t possibly understand the problems of the poor or the working man. Does anyone think it odd that because King caucuses with Democrats that he gets a pass, but it seems that Poliquin who is Republican is evil because he worked hard, maybe had a little luck and did well under our American free enterprise system.

Seems like a double standard to me. I prefer the days when achieving success was praised and candidates were elected based on their voting records and the values that they promote.

Charlie Webster


Assault weapons too dangerous

This assault weapons discussion is hard. Really hard.

The question is how can we arrive at a solution that reduces the number of mass killings while simultaneously guaranteeing that the original intent of the Second Amendment remains in place?

My family has a long heritage of hunting and fishing and an appreciation and regard for being around shooting weaponry. We were raised to see our guns as tools to be taken care of and used responsibly.

That responsibility was not just toward our guns. It was a responsibility that extended to the wild game we were hunting and the safety of our neighbors, hunting partners and, of course, ourselves.

There is, however, a profound difference between having recreational weaponry for target practice or game hunting and assault weapons that elevate the kill capacity by orders of magnitude.

The mantra is that if we ban one type of weapon, then all weapons ultimately will be limited. While this has been a dangerously effective PR campaign strategy, the logic rings hollow. If anyone could have the weapon of their personal choice, why not a machine gun, an anti-aircraft missile, or even a grenade launcher? Because these weapons are simply too dangerous for general availability of the public at large.

And so is an assault weapon. You don’t hunt deer, ducks or even moose with these kinds of weapons. You hunt people.

It’s time to establish a definitive line between sporting guns and assault weaponry. It could literally mean the difference between life and death.

Michael Lyons


Angus King committed to civility

These past many months of divisive politics on all levels have been disheartening and exhausting, for sure. The constant barrage of negativity and the tweets prompting one drama after another have taken a toll on all of us.

Through these trying times, I do appreciate Sen. Angus King’s commitment not to a political party, but to the people of the great state of Maine. As an independent, King is able to work most effectively by listening to his constituents and responding to their needs, working on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation that helps the people of Maine. Extremes on either side don’t work, and we must go back to getting along with each other and the art of compromise. It brings me hope to watch King’s commitment to the people of Maine and his efforts to bring back civility and bipartisanship.

After all, “As Maine goes, so goes the nation.” I am honored to support King for re-election in November.

Mary Swartz


Andrews for Maine Senate

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Sue Mackey Andrews for eight years. As a supporter of early childhood education and care, I have served on the Maine Children’s Growth Council with her and she has been extremely helpful in my organization’s work to prevent adverse childhood experiences.

Andrews is a nationally recognized expert in the area of adverse childhood experiences, and we are very lucky to have her here working to make Maine the way life should be for all of us. She works tirelessly with Democrats, Republicans, independents, and anyone who is willing to work on issues affecting rural areas and the people who live in them. As a longtime resident of Dover-Foxcroft, Andrews understands those issues and is effective at working with others in communities, the county and the Legislature to craft solutions.

We need more people like Andrews in the legislature. She will represent Senate District 4 very effectively.

Karen Heck


A win for media, public

Last week, the U.S. International Trade Commission handed down an important ruling that could lower the cost of newsprint here in Maine. It’s a decision that could have an impact on the way Mainers and all Americans live their freedoms. But how?

Publishers and media outlets in Maine and around the country have explained that the extra newsprint costs are an obstacle that could limit print media’s ability to play a vibrant role in the media landscape.

At the First Amendment Museum, we strongly believe that the more choices Mainers and Americans have to source their daily news, the better.

Maine’s congressional delegation spoke out. Sen. Angus King said in reaction to the decision, “Newspapers provide vital information to their readers and are critical participants in our democracy — particularly for those who live in rural areas where the internet either doesn’t reach or is inaccessible to residents, and for our older citizens, but also for those who just prefer to read the paper, on paper.”

Well said, senator.

Rebecca L. Lazure

Executive director

First Amendment Museum at the Gannett House