Differences between Smith and Collins

The Bangor Daily News’ interesting piece about Margaret Chase Smith’s fifth campaign and its implications for Sen. Susan Collins left out some important differences between the two senators.

First, Smith was clear and consistent in her policies and statements. Agree with her or not, one always knew where she stood. Collins’ equivocating, “will-she-or-won’t-she” last-minute decision-making style would seem to go beyond thoughtful consideration to political calculation.

She updates Capitol reporters on her work with “ gangs” of senators, but it’s a “Gang of Two,” President Donald Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who call the shots. Meaningless, tortured statements from Collins are often careful not to directly criticize either.

Second, Smith never set a limit on her ability to run for office. Collins would not be worrying about a fifth term if she had honored her 1996 pledge to only serve two. Smith backed the re-election of Richard Nixon; Collins dances around whether she will support the current president.

Third, Smith’s 1950 “ Declaration of Conscience” was a true act of political courage, specifically condemning her party’s role in the evils of McCarthyism, and suffering politically for it. Collins issues tepid “concerns” and moral equivalencies about extreme wings of both parties. Her votes against both the original ACA and then its repeal show more political confusion than courage.

I’ve been hoping for Collins’ “Declaration of Conscience” moment, but it’s clear that’s not coming. Instead we got a carefully staged “Why I’m voting for Kavanaugh” moment. Sadly, Collins is no Margaret Chase Smith.

Judy Bielecki

Power lines through our state

It’s time for the people of Maine to stand up and be counted. From Fort Kent to Kittery, every resident taxpayer needs to come forward to vote on a referendum about whether we want to allow the power companies to build power transmission lines through our state. A yes vote from the people could outline the permit process that would allow Canadian green power to cross our state and then allow the State of Maine to expect a small monthly revenue to be sent back to the state from the power companies to be disbursed to the individual towns.

The permit for hydro-power coming from Canada should read as such: The powerline shall be built with our specifications and our laws. The resident taxpayers of Maine should be informed how the foreign power company is coming through our state. By giving the company a permit to cross Maine to Massachusetts with power from Canada, we the taxpayers should be getting a small percentage of the revenue generated by this line forever.

The way to do this is: once a year, say on Jan. 1, every town gives the state a count of the resident taxpayers — not including businesses, non-residents or renters. The state receives a monthly percentage to be determined from the foreign power company, and this percentage shall be transferred to every town in the state monthly. The only expense to the state is having a meter to measure the power running through the powerline.

The people of the State of Maine need to know the truth about this proposed hydro project and just what it means to Maine.

Urgel “Tony” Pomerleau

Internet investment

In Maine, internet access is growing. Service is getting better, speeds are getting faster and more people are getting connected every day. Expanded broadband access is creating new opportunities for Mainers. From new employment opportunities to distance learning to telehealth, and everything in between, growing broadband access is revolutionizing the way we live.

Unfortunately, bureaucrats in Washington want to derail the progress that’s been made and overregulate our internet. They want to impose Depression-era rules on our 21st century internet, slowing down our access to broadband and hurting families and businesses throughout our state, particularly rural Maine.

Overregulating the internet will push households across the state behind nationwide statistics on high-speed internet access. We need our lawmakers to stand up for Maine and stop Congress from taking over our internet.

Scott Wellman
Chief Financial Officer
Puritan Medical Products Company, Hardwood Products Company