This time reject hate

I was sickened to read that 11 innocent people were shot and killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue — victims of a senseless hate crime. This massacre is not the first of its kind and sadly won’t be the last. Something must be done to prevent such atrocities, but what?

Inevitably, today’s tragedy will be used to score political points. Democrats will espouse tighter gun restrictions and blame Republicans for the killing; Republicans will accuse Democrats of seeking to abolish the Second Amendment and stripping guns away from law-abiding citizens. Heated arguments will ensue and further polarize us. Maybe that’s our biggest problem.

We are slow to listen, quick to speak and quick to anger. We don’t respect one another. We try to silence rather than engage those with whom we disagree. We negatively stereotype people who think or look different. We preach love but demonstrate hate.

Instead of using today’s tragedy as an excuse to stir up more hatred, let’s use it as a reason to listen more, argue less, and reject hostility. There may not be a perfect solution to gun violence, but if we can each change for the better, maybe our nation will one day experience peace.

Brandon Aponte

Blue Hill

Dirty partisanship comes to Bangor

I’m a lifelong Republican, formerly employed by the GOP in a supervisory role, but due to Maine Senate District 9 candidate James LaBrecque’s display of dirty partisanship, I will be supporting Geoff Gratwick for Maine Senate. On Oct. 25, I received a mailer, paid for by LaBrecque’s Clean Election funds, which frankly makes me ashamed to call myself a Republican. To classify LaBrecque’s partisan shots at Gratwick as a mischaracterization of a good man would be a gross understatement.

I was Gratwick’s neighbor for a number of years, and can confidently attest that he is a kind, honest, hard-working man. I sincerely hope more conservatives will join me in condemning LaBrecque for this dirty shot of desperation at his opponent.

Ryan Warner


Poliquin fighting for Maine

As a longtime, successful small-business owner, currently a real estate agent in Bangor, I understand firsthand the challenges Mainers face, especially when buying or selling a home. That is a large part of the reason I believe we should send Rep. Bruce Poliquin back to Washington to continue fighting for fair regulations and lower taxes for Maine families.

Maine has one of the highest home ownership rates in the entire country. Poliquin has fought efforts to raise taxes and fees for homebuyers, to protect Maine’s middle class. He has done everything possible to ensure that taxes and regulatory burdens are decreased.

Poliquin fought tirelessly to make sure that the mortgage interest deduction was kept in tax reform. Additionally, he prioritizes safeguarding home ownership investments by supporting legislation to establish a balanced, financially sound National Flood Insurance Program.

He has always supported legislation to reduce unnecessary federal regulations on Maine’s small banks and to make sure Maine’s housing market is on the right path to providing high-quality, affordable opportunities to families. He has also voted to cut red tape so our local, community banks can provide mortgage and small business loans.

Poliquin’s top priority in Congress is helping to grow small businesses and boost our state’s economy.

Poliquin works each day to protect private property rights, lower taxes and allow more opportunities for growth in Maine communities.

I have no doubt he will continue fighting for Maine as a down to earth, hardworking representative for the people of the 2nd District.

Lisa Caron


Stand for the truth

When I went to school, I was encouraged to tell the truth. When I was in Boy Scouts, telling the truth and not lying was emphasized. When I went to Sunday school and church as a child, I was taught that to lie was to break one of the Ten Commandments. Now I hear some religious leaders justify the lies of a president. I hear U.S. senators and representatives either keep silent about obvious lies from their president or echo them.

I can understand people, politicians and even presidents occasionally getting facts wrong, making mistakes and, yes, even exaggerating. But what I can’t understand why our current president tells major lies consistently and people continue to listen to him unapologetically. I can’t understand why people in his own party continue to admire him unapologetically. I really can’t understand why the press doesn’t just point out the lies and then ignore him as a person who cannot seem to tell the truth.

I believe and I hope that voters in this great country of ours will go to the polls in droves and reject the politicians who support the current president who doesn’t seem to know the difference between telling lies and telling the truth.

Charles Stephens

Blue Hill

Re-elect Poliquin

As a small-business owner for 37 years, I, along with other business owners, look for a U.S. representative who will keep our economy growing. That benefits all of us.

Our congressman, Bruce Poliquin, understands what it means to keep budgets in check and create jobs. He has supported reductions in wasteful government spending, lower taxes and the elimination of red tape. Even before becoming a member of Congress, as Maine’s state treasurer, Poliquin eliminated pension debt and allowed for the largest tax cut in state history.

He knows your health and financial security are important to you, now more than ever.

Poliquin voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and has been an ally of small businesses, earning the National Federation of Independent Businesses’ “Guardian of Small Business” award. He has the track record and the experience we need to keep our economy growing.

Irvine Marsters Jr.


Election notice

The BDN has stopped accepting letters and OpEds related to the Nov. 6 election. Not all submissions can be published.