Mainers should realize that things are not rosy in our state and that we must demand much better management than we have received in the past. Using data from the Bruce Poliquin campaign (BruceForMe.com), some of my concerns are:

Maine’s long-standing reputation for not being business-friendly.

The lowest percentage of residents 18 years old or younger but sixth-highest percentage of residents 65 years or older in the nation.

Unfunded liability of $8 billion for the State Employees Retirement and Retiree Health Fund.

The fourth-highest personal income tax burden in the country.

The highest cost per K-12 pupil in any rural state except Vermont, seventh among all states with only average matriculation in K-12 and below average in college.

In 2006, Maine’s household average income was $16,000 less than in New Hampshire.

The number of K-12 students in Maine from 1979 to 2006 decreased by 16 percent, but the number of teachers increased 32 percent and school administrators and staff increased by 52 percent.

Eligibility requirements for MaineCare (Medicaid) are practically nil, which together with very generous benefits draws folks from other states, which further increases our costs. Twenty-two percent of Mainers (275,000 of us) are enrolled in this program.

Restrictions put on private insurers by the Legislature have resulted in minimal individual health insurance competition and correspondingly high rates in Maine.

Maine excise tax on a new $25,000 car is $600 for the first year. In Connecticut, it is $38.

Lackluster results from nonprofit and government attempts to recruit new businesses and the loss of existing jobs are due to our anti-business image and policies.

Please consider these facts before you vote. I am voting for Bruce Poliquin for governor.

Bob Rasche

Wells

Several candidates for governor base their campaigns on their business experience and want to make Maine “business-friendly.” In itself, this is a good thing.

I heard in the news that Libby Mitchell, at least three times, proposed family sick time to the Legislature. She cares about people.

Business interests succeeded in opposing it, although they stand to gain in worker health, morale and loyalty.

I would ask each candidate to answer in one sentence: Where did you stand on family sick leave in the last legislative session?

Ruth Hassett

Gorham

The pending vacancy in the Blaine House must be filled by a candidate with an advanced understanding of Maine state government.That candidate must be able to restore public trust and confidence. He needs to take control and effectively manage the functions and work of the people.

There is only one candidate who has the skills, abilities and knowledge to run state government.

A candidate possessing this knowledge base would profoundly benefit all residents of the state of Maine. This is not the time to experiment with novice and cute personalities.

Our state needs strong and tested leadership. We need a person who has the courage to stop the influence of machines driven by lobbyists, big government loyalists, and D.C. politics.

That person is Peter Mills.

Holly Bernstein

Brunswick

I grew up in Bethel at a time when people couldn’t make a living in the town. The logging and farming industries had all but died. My father had a successful construction company, but he commuted out of town every day to work.

He did have one job locally: He was a contractor on the first condos at Sunday River, with Les Otten as the general contractor.

Thank goodness for Les Otten! Les had a vision for Bethel, for western Maine, and for Sunday River. And, Les was able to make that vision a reality. Once a tiny ski hill with a rusty T-bar, Sunday River is now a world-renowned, full-fledged, multi-peak resort, with thousands of skier visits each year, all thanks to Les Otten.

Now, folks can earn a living in Bethel again. Businesses of all kinds are making it in Bethel. And, the jobs created are not just at Sunday River, but throughout the Route 26 corridor to Sunday River.

I support Les Otten for governor. I believe in the same ideals he does: smaller government, more jobs and government accountability.

I also support Les’ candidacy because I know that he will be able to deliver on his vision for Maine. Read his “Jobs Plan” at LesOtten.com and join me in actively supporting his candidacy.

Les Otten is a man with a vision for Maine and he has the common sense, the work ethic and the ability to make that vision a reality.

Lesli Olson Mickool

Poland

Paul LePage is not personally wealthy. He will not, on principle, accept taxpayer money from the scandal-plagued Clean Election Fund. (Gad, what a misnomer!) So, he has to “make due” on the modest sums raised by his “good government” supporters.

Consequently, as one drives about Maine, his signs are less abundant than those of his competitors.

Yet, his signs seem better-designed, better-placed and seem to show up much better than those of his opponents. The same can be said of the rest of his media.

In short, Paul LePage’s positive grass-roots volunteer campaign represents the essence of good management: “The ethical management of scarce resources in such fashion as to achieve a desired goal.”

This is precisely what we need in Maine’s next governor.

In the interest of my grandchildren, I thank God for his candidacy. As an old conservative warrior for good government in our Legislature and in the Reagan administration, I just want to say to all who will listen, Paul LePage is the “real deal.”

Porter D. Leighton

Falmouth

I am a student at the University of Maine. Recently, many of my friends and I attended the Republican convention in Portland to show our support for Steve Abbott for governor.

We love Maine but are concerned that when we graduate, we may not be able to find jobs here.

Steve Abbott wants opportunity for all Mainers, including the next generation.

He will work hard to bring health back to Maine’s economy so that we can all fulfill our dreams of living and working in Maine.

Please join me in voting for Steve Abbott on June 8.

Eliza Woodcock

Bangor

I am a mother to two children who will be raised and educated in Maine. The upcoming gubernatorial election is very important to their future.

An important issue for many Maine families is the ability for our children to find jobs and to be able to stay in Maine and raise their own families.

For our children to stay and work in Maine, we need to help build small business and encourage larger businesses to come to Maine.

Some candidates think the way to help small businesses is to give government aid to some that are struggling.

Where does that aid come from? It comes from taxing the rest of us. That makes it even harder for businesses to keep offering jobs.

With more taxes comes less spending; with less consumer spending comes less growth.

Les Otten has a different solution. He believes that taxes should be cut. This will increase the number of jobs businesses can offer.

This is especially important for small and family businesses.

Most states no longer have an inheritance tax. Maine still does, making it harder to keep wealth in Maine and harder to pass our businesses along to our kids.

Please vote for Les Otten with me on June 8. Then your kids and mine will have the choice to stay and work in Maine.

Kate Norfleet

Scarborough

I have listened to and read all the information on our future governor, and Matt Jacobson fills the bill for me.

My husband was in the Air Force and a railroad man for 38 years. He would be very interested in Matt Jacobson’s concern for restoring the railroad line up north. It would bring new life and prosperity to that region.

Please vote for Matt on June 8.

Marie C. Brown

Falmouth

With all the political broadsides and bullet points issued these days by candidates for governor, it is not so easy to evaluate differences, to distinguish which candidate is the best and know who to vote for.

A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to see another side of Rosa Scarcelli, one which few of us would ever know. It was at a small Democratic political rally in Cape Neddick. Several candidates were present.

At one end of the room someone was making a speech. The room was hot and cramped.

I happened to be standing next to Ms. Scarcelli. Close by, an elderly woman turned pale and began to wobble. The speech droned on.

When it was clear that the woman was in trouble and her kindly husband was unable to act, Rosa quickly went to the woman, who was now sitting unsteadily in a chair, and put her arms around her in the most caring and genuine way, as one would coddle one’s own child or mother. Rosa’s attention comforted the woman until an ambulance arrived and took her to York Hospital.

I was very moved by watching a remarkably strong and charismatic candidate react so quickly and tenderly when time mattered and there was no thought whatever of what it meant to the public or her campaign.

Jeremy Foss

Cape Neddick

Reading the Democratic gubernatorial candidates’ perspectives in the Maine Sunday Telegram on what needs to be done in education, I found they all have very individual viewpoints.

But when it comes to a labor-management dispute at Channel 13, why, they all think alike.

Every one of them vowed not to buy advertising from the station in order to pressure the station to give in to the union.

I’m appalled. Not one of these otherwise intelligent people even called to speak to the station manager, the news director or anyone to get a perspective on their side of the dispute.

What’s going on here?

Every hearing, every mediation session and arbitration over the past two years – including at least one decision by the National Labor Relations Board – have found against the union.

What does that tell you about the union’s case?

Meanwhile, the four Democrats supported the 40 disgruntled union members without knowing one iota about what’s going on except what the union told them.

It looks like they’ve been pressured (or is it bullied?) by IBEW Local 1837 to support the union. They are easily manipulated by their desire to please, and they seem to believe that in a labor dispute, the union is always right.

While only 40 members of the station are unionized, there are another 60-odd non-union members whose livelihoods may be damaged.

Sinclair could very well eliminate its news department in order to deal with its further loss of revenue, which will affect both union and non-union members.

And all this to support a union that created a hostile work climate for everyone there.

Democrats who can’t be bothered to examine both sides of a labor dispute before they put in their two cents are not people who are thoughtful problem-solvers who can wisely manage their relations with the Legislature and the resources of the state of Maine, especially in the state it’s in.

I was undecided before whether to vote for either Libby Mitchell or Steve Rowe. Now I don’t think either is a good choice.

As a Democrat, I’m voting for the independent, Eliot Cutler. At least he hasn’t jumped in with a rigid bias against anyone in a dispute with a union.

Stan Spiegel

Portland