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Bad public policy
The New England Clean Energy Connect is bad public policy.
In response to the Aug. 11 column from Richard Barringer and Richard Anderson, it is sometimes necessary to employ every available legal option, including a referendum, to stop bad public policy.
I don’t think the state regulatory review process that approved the NECEC is an objective process that reveals meticulous findings of fact, nor does it apply objective legal criteria to the subject matter under review. For example, state regulators rejected sworn testimony that the lease agreement to allow the use of public reserved land for the NECEC was illegal and a violation of the Maine Constitution. As a result of that denial of objective legal facts, 21 of us had to seek legal remedy in Superior Court. Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy declared that the lease agreement was invalid and a violation of the Maine Constitution.
The governor appoints all the members of the regulatory agencies. Their role is to review and pass judgment on major projects that affect the environment, economy and public interest of the State of Maine. In doing so, though, they often ensure that the policy agenda of the governor is implemented. It is a more sophisticated political process, but no less political than the legislative process.
Support for term limits
In regard to William Natbony’s recent piece in the Bangor Daily News on term limits, I strongly agree. For many decades I believed that term limits were quintessentially undemocratic, because they denied the right of the people to choose their own representatives, and if the people continued to elect congressmen that were unsatisfactory, well, that was their right. For reasons such as this, Aristotle, among others, felt that democracy was seriously flawed.
I have for some time now completely changed my mind and strongly support term limits. This is because the scales are unevenly tipped in favor of incumbents, especially with regard to money. The best way to keep terms unlimited is for Congress to act in the people’s interests, and not their own, by passing comprehensive and effective campaign finance reform. Their failure to do this rightly invites — and necessitates — term limits to be imposed upon them by the very people whose interests they claim to represent.
At war with COVID-19, not fellow Mainers
Regarding the story, “Maine Republicans join State House protest against health worker vaccine mandate”:
A recent report in the BDN noted that Rep. Laurel Libby told a crowd outside the State House, “To be clear, this is war!” and encouraged health care workers to sacrifice their jobs. Respectfully, I find Libby’s public behavior troubling. I don’t think it’s acceptable to provoke a crowd by telling them they’re at “war” and should abandon their livelihoods.
Earlier this year, we saw what can happen when a crowd near a government building is incited and made to feel untethered from everyday life. To me, it seems like Libby was playing with fire. It’s my personal belief that Libby’s speech outside the State House was irresponsible and could have led to a more dangerous outcome.
The only war we’re in is against COVID-19, not our fellow Mainers.
In that spirit, I end this letter with a heartfelt request. If people haven’t elected to get the COVID-19 vaccine yet, it’s not too late. They should please reconsider their choice, think of the health of their community and get vaccinated today.