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Support BIW workers

Bath Iron Works, which is owned by General Dynamics, has an ongoing machinist union strike. Thus far no agreement has been reached.

General Dynamics has received many tax breaks over the years in Maine, as well as in other states.

People might recall that in 2018 General Dynamics received a $45 million tax break. This is money that Mainers would need to compensate for through their tax dollars.

In addition, the ships that BIW builds are paid for through our federal tax dollars.

One can readily see that the taxpayers are compensating for General Dynamics twice through their tax dollars.

Mainers need to understand that. I urge Mainers to express support for BIW workers for a better wage and working conditions.

Some public officials have expressed support for the striking workers but need to be reminded it is our taxes, Mainers taxes who are supporting General Dynamics through tax breaks and ship purchases by the federal government.

Joseph Ciarrocca

Brunswick

I don’t need Senate debates

On July 15, the morning after Sara Gideon won the Democratic nomination, Sen. Susan Collins pulled what seems like a PR stunt.

She said, “I sent this letter to my opponent proposing 16 live, televised debates — one in each county starting tonight. Mainers deserve to compare us directly …”

I do not want to watch five debates, let alone 16. I do not need to compare the candidates directly. I already have. More importantly, these debates waste time and money during this crisis. I want her working right now, not creating popularity pageants.

Collins has not held a t own hall this century. I have met with every member of the Maine delegation except Collins. I tried, but it seems she avoids meeting with the “far-left,” a label she seems to throw on citizens who dare ask questions she does not like.

I think she avoids constituents just like Bruce Poliquin did, but with more savvy. The result is the same; the senator is not accessible or accountable to all her constituents. Collins is skilled at deflecting questions, often avoiding answering directly, staging PR and photo ops and creating her own narrative and spin. She has masterfully created a fairy tale image. I do not need any debate as I know Collins. I have seen enough.

I believe she has changed in the last 24 years, and she cannot erase her actions during the Trump presidency. Sixty-eight percent of voters checked the Collins box in 2014, including me.

If Collins is expecting my vote again, she is not going to get it.

Jennifer Jones

Falmouth

Don’t be fooled by Gideon ads

What Sara Gideon lacks in name recognition, she more than makes up for in fundraising from out-of-state special interest groups, and I think she is using their millions in a campaign to reinvent herself for Maine voters.

But Gideon is far from a blank slate. She has served in the Maine House of Representatives as speaker for four years now, and in that time, she forged a reputation as a partisan willing to go to extreme measures to advance her party’s agenda.

Contrary to the full-page ad she ran in all of Maine’s major daily papers, Gideon has shown that she is unwilling to work with members of the opposite party. Just three years ago, Gideon’s failure to successfully work across the aisle resulted in the first shutdown of state government in more than 20 years and she referred to her political opponents’ actions as “terrorism.”

Gideon’s inability to get things done still plagues her in Augusta today. It’s been more than 120 days now since the Legislature suspended session, leaving Maine businesses and health care providers to fend for themselves. She hasn’t even taken action to help allocate the funding that Sen. Susan Collins secured through the CARES Act months ago to support our towns and municipalities.

Don’t be fooled by Gideon’s endless ads. She has proven to be an ineffective leader time and time again. The last thing Washington needs right now is another politician who puts party before the people of Maine.

Chris Forrest

York