In an Aug. 13 Maine Voices column, former Maine GOP vice chairman Scott Kauffman states, “What Maine needs is a strong economy.”

He goes on to write, “As Senate president, Libby (Mitchell) got things done that helped create jobs.” Since no examples of her success were provided, and since success is relative, let’s compare Maine with her neighboring state.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that for the 12 months ending June 30, New Hampshire had the second-highest rate of job growth in the United States, while Massachusetts was 12th.

Where does Maine rank? As of June 30, New Hampshire had the lowest unemployment rate of all New England states, 5.9 percent. What is Maine’s unemployment rate, in excess of 7.5 percent?

Mr. Kauffman asserts, “(Mitchell) is not afraid to make the tough decisions that will be necessary to lead our state.” Health insurance costs have been and continues to be a contentious issue. As she stated during her Aug. 9 Waterville Rotary speech, she is firmly in favor of increased wellness programs to control cost.

How tough is she when the major reasons that Maine’s health insurance costs are 50 percent to 100 percent higher than our neighbor’s are the three “elephants in the room” — guaranteed issue, community rating and lack of competition? These are factors she has done nothing about.

Compared to our neighboring state, Libby Mitchell’s “successes” demonstrate that more could have been done, more should have been done, and in the next four years more has to be done. Citizens of Maine deserve a governor who will get the important issues of job creation and health insurance cost resolved.

Citizens of Maine deserve a governor who has governing experience and has a record of accomplishment in business and government — Paul LePage.

Leo Martin
Westport Island

 

In the midst of such a beautiful Maine summer, it’s easy to forget that our gubernatorial election is quickly approaching. Elections and politicians come and go. However, this particular election is of special importance, as our beloved state is at a critical crossroads.

For several years we have wrestled with the question of how to develop desperately needed improvements to our business climate without succumbing to right-wing policies on individual social freedoms and environmental issues.

The primaries have left us with poor choices from the two major parties: a tea party Republican with little chance of negotiating effectively with the Legislature, and a Democrat who will impose even more restrictions on Maine’s business community. Neither of those candidates is capable of making the necessary changes to improve our economy.

That is why I am supporting Eliot Cutler, independent candidate for governor.

Eliot brings big-picture vision, plans for specific initiatives, leadership and business experience, and a reputation for practical moderation that our next governor must have in order to be effective. I am convinced he can do the job better than either of the alternatives, but he can’t do it without our support.

I urge all Mainers, regardless of party affiliation, to learn more about Eliot’s bold yet realistic vision for increasing Maine’s competitiveness in the global marketplace and preserving the best parts of the Maine lifestyle we all enjoy.

You can learn more about Eliot at www.cutler2010.com.

Peter Tousignant
South Portland

 

I have met Libby Mitchell twice during her gubernatorial campaign. Each time I have come away with a conviction Libby Mitchell would make an excellent governor.

She has more governmental experience than any other candidate. She understands how the Legislature functions and she has demonstrated her ability to work with leaders of both parties for the benefit of Mainers.

Roy Quinn
Saco

The founding fathers of this country gave us many wonderful rights, including the ability to have a voice in changing history. Maine voters should give careful consideration to all the candidates before casting their vote this November. In my opinion, Shawn Moody is a real independent for governor and the best choice for Maine,

Please think outside the box and party lines this election. Take a good look at Shawn Moody. He decided to become an independent from the time he was able to vote. He is the real deal. He can bring real world business experience to state government. Shawn also has a true concern for the people who are less fortunate. He is a successful businessman as well as a family man. Shawn is very active in his local community and always encourages others to get involved as well.

Maine’s best choice for governor is Shawn Moody. I truly believe that he will operate Maine as his does his business. He will build a great team of knowledgeable, dedicated people and tackle our problems with a creative and new perspective. Maine needs Shawn Moody as our next governor. Please take the time to vote and elect Shawn Moody this November.

Sherry Lavoie
Greene

This is a request for Paul Lepage, Libby Mitchell, Eliot Cutler, Shawn Moody and Kevin Scott:

I write this letter as a concerned citizen with a dilemma this election year. As a lifelong Democrat, I am seriously undecided as to which candidate for governor of Maine I should vote for.

I have been adamantly pushing for transparency in our judicial system for the past two years.

In May 2008, a nonprofit bipartisan group, Help Abolish Legal Tryanny (HALT), issued its report card on the state of Maine’s judiciary and we received a failing grade (“F”) in the overall grading. We were 50th in the nation , tied with Mississippi for transparency in our judicial system. This report may be found at www.halt.org

On Feb. 12, 2009, Gov Baldacci made the statement ,”Our judicial system should be a model for the rest of the country,” in response to a query about pay raises for judges. Apparently he never read the HALT report.

The news media, the Legislature, the Judicial Board of Overseers, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and others in a position to make a difference have all turned a blind eye to this problem. I have even tried to engage the governor to at least look at the situation, to no avail.

I am respectfully requesting the five candidates for governor to look into this situation and debate their views as to what, if anything, should or could be done about this sad state of affairs in our judiciary. I feel such a debate is best held before the election for governor in November so the people of Maine have a clear understanding of how candidates feel about the branch of government “we the people” look to for justice.

Kevin P. Morrissey
Winslow

 

Can any thinking person deny that Maine is in serious economic trouble? Of the candidates running for the Blaine House, only Paul LePage has demonstrated (by transforming Waterville from fiscal disaster to one of the best-run cities in New England) that he is capable of doing the same for the entire state.

With a Republican majority in Augusta, LePage will be able to reverse decisions that have tied this state in financial knots. His plans for everything from dealing with the pension crisis, to taxation, to reducing crippling regulations are detailed and thoughtful.

LePage has a varied and ambitious program for lowering our energy costs. Did you know that the new generation of nuclear power plants recycles its waste? I didn’t. Are you aware that Vermont’s Republican governor has signed an agreement with Hydro-Quebec (like one LePage proposes) that will render their energy significantly cleaner and cheaper for the next 26 years? Why did Gov. Baldacci reject this inexpensive power source in favor of very expensive wind power?

We’ve tried the solutions other candidates propose. What about giving LePage and a different majority a shot?

Patricia Colling Egan
Rockport

 

I am supporting Eliot Cutler for governor of Maine. Like many, I have grown weary of the partisan bickering and gridlock in Augusta. Eliot brings fresh thinking and an excitement to the campaign. Both will serve us well in Augusta.

Eliot popped onto my radar when he brought Chinese businessmen to Maine, connecting them to the Maine lobster industry. In reading his website, I found his positions on issues thoughtful — which excited me. Eliot is no cookie-cutter politician, and that is crucial for the future of our state.

His use of social media is constructive. His unambiguous position on social issues are reassuring. Eliot’s statements on the economy and his track record on the environment give me hope for Maine’s healthy long-term future.

I am a life-long Democrat and one-time executive director of the Maine Democratic State Committee (circa 1986). This year I am putting aside my partisan nature and working to bring Eliot Cutler to Augusta to be Maine’s next governor.

I hope everyone will join me.

Sue Ellen Bordwell
Yarmouth

 

Bill Nemitz’s recent criticism of Paul LePage, “Communiqu?o a candidate,” covers all Maine citizens who share LePage’s desire to change how we govern in Augusta. Many of us, work, run businesses, pay taxes and educate our children here.

We are extremely dissatisfied with the recent fiscal record of our state government.

We are also dissatisfied with attempts to sidetrack the candidate with issues such as creationism that have no impact on our current economic woes. Paul is a plainspoken man of principle whom Mainers can relate to.

He is not a polished, slick politician with empty promises. He understands business and the struggles Maine families on welfare face. When state government runs in the red, it hurts everyone regardless of party affiliation.

Maine has over-regulated and overtaxed businesses. Many good companies are leaving, resulting in lost revenue and increased unemployment.

The poor business climate has contributed to our college graduates leaving to find jobs that do not exist for them here.

Libby Mitchell has had over 20 years to improve the Maine business climate, with unsatisfactory results.

We are looking for our elected officials to manage the people’s business in Augusta as we do in the private sector. We believe Paul LePage is the right person to accomplish this.

Jeff DeWitt
president, Maine Wood Furnaces Inc.
Durham

 

I was interested in the article in the Sunday Telegram about education and the Race To The Top application.

I was especially interested to read the gubernatorial candidates comments. I felt that of the three candidates, Eliot Cutler’s statement was the most open and direct.

He is right that Maine needs to to approve charter schools. He is also right that we need to improve teacher evaluations.

His comment that “We’ve put our good teachers in straight jackets” is right on. I have seen teachers, who in the past, have done very creative things that engage their students and help them to be successful but that creativity is being taken away by so called educational reform.

We must give these teachers the resources and the freedom to develop programs that engage students and make them want to learn.

Parents must also emphasize the importance of the academic side of education and push for honest grades and not inflated grades as that hurts the child in the long run.

What none of the candidates mentioned is evaluations for administrators. There are just as many bad administrators as there are bad teachers, in fact maybe more.

School boards need to find the courage to fairly and honestly evaluate their administrators.

The position of superintendent or principal is not a lifetime job and they have enormous effects on a community’s educational policy and how the money is spent.

Not enough money goes to the areas that need it the most, and that is in direct services to children.

Priscilla Payne
Windham