As a father of three school-aged children, a Maine homeowner, a taxpayer and an involved community member, I write this letter to encourage all Maine voters to take a close look at Eliot Cutler as a smart, strategic and experienced leader and executive who is the only intelligent choice for governor this year.

While Paul LePage and Libby Mitchell duke it out in the press with the financial backing from each of their parties’ national political machines and extremes, Mr. Cutler offers a very different campaign and a realistic and balanced view of the problems that will face our next governor.

His plans (he actually has detailed plans, not rhetoric) are practical. He understands business; he understands the unintended consequences of ill-thought-out regulations; he sees the future of Maine’s economic development from a global perspective; and cares deeply about all of our futures.

Mr. Cutler’s own family history is steeped in Maine ingenuity, heritage, hard work and perseverance. He has both governmental and business experience.

There’s been much talk about his financial success as a result of his hard work throughout his career. Clearly, he doesn’t need this job; but he wants it, for all the right reasons.

Vote on Nov. 2. Do your homework. Read past the headlines. Check out each candidate’s website. Read past the flowery vision statements and rhetoric to get to their plans. Watch the debates; listen closely for signs of leadership, not defensiveness and anger.

It’s easy to complain about the state’s current fiscal crisis, but which candidate will move us in the right direction to climb out of this hole? I say Eliot Cutler can. Check him out. Vote. Vote smart. Vote independent. Vote for Eliot Cutler.

Gary Smith
Yarmouth

 

Are you tired of seeing good-paying jobs leave Maine, tax/fee increase scams, $1 billion budget shortfalls, state cuts in education, state furlough days, people’s vetoes of sales tax hikes, potholes and excessive taxation?

Are you tired of career politicians only representing their special interest groups and not the majority of the Maine people? These are the real issues Mainers need to focus on this November, not an opponent’s French heritage or his religious beliefs.

Libby Mitchell’s liberal policies created these budgetary disasters and it’s now time to send her home. Don’t take my word for it, check out the Maine Piglet Booklet and see where Mitchell has been spending our money (maineopengov.org). Enough is enough!

Luckily for Maine, we have an alternative for our next governor. Mayor Paul LePage’s proven leadership skills saved Waterville from a fiscal disaster. Paul LePage’s mainstream policies have rewarded Waterville with a 1,000 percent increase in our rainy day fund, all while our taxes were being reduced.

LePage’s integrity and mainstream policies have earned the respect of both Republicans and Democrats. LePage easily won re-election in a heavily Democratic city. Combine that with his successful executive skills used to manage Marden’s and the Maine people have a winner.

LePage has a proven track record of cutting wasteful spending, balancing budgets and creating successful business climates that bring jobs, jobs, jobs.

Let’s elect Paul LePage as Maine’s next governor (along with Republicans to Congress and to the Maine House and Senate) and our state will become a leader in creating economic opportunities for all Mainers.

Votez pour Paul LePage gouverneur.

Gary Maheux
Waterville

 

Government in a democracy is not like a business.

In a democratic government, the needs of all citizens are worthy of consideration, regardless of their ability to pay. In business, only those who can pay have any value.

If government operated on that principle, it would be a dictatorship at worst, an oligarchy at best; not a democracy.

Beware the candidate who over-uses the term “taxpayer” — he is only concerned about money. Money is important, but as an overriding issue it is shortsighted and self-serving.

In business, when the management works hard and produces results, it rewards itself with fat paychecks and bonuses. In democratic government, when the management works hard and produces results, it simply gets to keep its low-paying job and all of the major hassles that go with it.

Beware the candidate who bad mouths your public servants simply because they are dedicated, or a part of government. That candidate has nothing constructive to offer. Pay attention, and give your vote to the candidate who instead of bemoaning government, which we need, addresses all those specific issues that concern the everyday lives of a wide variety of people.

Libby Mitchell listens, and will be a great governor. Instead of pursuing a fat paycheck, she has served the people of Maine on the pitiful salary that our legislators earn, and as a teacher. She will serve all Maine people, including discount store owners and managers.

Government in a democracy is not like business, nor should it be.

John Henderson
Auburn

 

Are you concerned with the welfare of your friends and neighbors? Do you wish for them good health and job opportunities for their children?

Does your concern vary depending on their annual family income? If you are like most of us in Maine, your community is made up of folks from every economic and educational demographic.

When we elect a candidate that is not committed to improving the cost of doing business in Maine, that is satisfied with the cycle of poverty experienced by children born into families without work, we condemn our friends and neighbors to a stagnant state economy.

Eliot Cutler is voicing a plan to make a first-class education available to every citizen, not just those who can afford to opt-out of underperforming districts.

If you take a tiered welfare-to-work program and you combine that with increased access to education, incentives for the expansion of Maine businesses and a focus on the insatiable “localvore” movement, you build a rock-solid economy that you can be proud to pass on to your children.

It is just a joy to have a candidate like Eliot Cutler to vote for. Please don’t vote out of fear, vote for the person who shares your goals. Mine are jobs, education, accountability and experience.

Deborah Cluchey
Pownal

 

These comments are in reference to Bill Nemitz’s column Sept. 15, “Toying with LePage for ‘not playing.’ “

You are correct, Bill, there is “something we (you) don’t know” (such as the purpose of the purchase in Florida — for the care of an elderly parent there by the candidate’s wife).

There is clearly more to the story. but I doubt you care. You have the “issue” that you’ve wanted.

“The politics of personal destruction” may play well with you media folk, but the people of this country and this state have had enough of it. We distrust the media. I trust Paul LePage!

Faith Pock
South Portland

 

I’d like to say I don’t believe it but, in truth, this is normal strategy from Democrats. Libby Mitchell certainly cannot defend her record so she wants to scare us away from voting for Paul LePage. In Maine, the environment seemed the best possible place to attack, so we get pictures of burning oil wells.

Paul LePage has no specific plans for offshore drilling. He plans to put every possibility on the table and choose what will be best for families in Maine. He is interested in hydropower and so am I.

Why do we pay so much for power when we have swift-running water all around us and hydropower is the cheapest way to generate?

I would like a real solution to the excessive rates we now pay. I think Paul is the man to find that solution.

Jarom Atwater
Old Town

 

I am disappointed that the Libby Mitchell campaign has sunk to a new low and is attacking the family of her opponent for a minor oversight to unenroll from a homestead exemption approved 12 years ago.

I feel the homestead exemption is a farce devised by our legislative leaders so they could appear benevolent and omnipotent; it is a disguised gimmick and results from an overcollection of your tax dollars during prior periods of excess state revenues.

Instead of the Legislature reducing your taxes, Libby Mitchell and her cronies in Augusta chose to keep your money and redirect it in a gesture of legislative goodwill.

Nice sleight of hand against taxpayers who could utilize the money to stimulate the economy instead of legislative egos.

With all the recent interest that Libby Mitchell’s campaign is focusing on Mayor LePage’s family, it brought to attention my family’s exemption.

Following the headline attacking Ann LePage, I called my town office to discover what my exemption was worth. Lo and behold and holy moly, I discovered I had not received any exemption since 2002.

In an oversight, I failed to apply, and also discovered that my son and his wife who purchased a home in Waterville in 2008 were not receiving their exemption. It is easy to see why Ann LePage forgot to unenroll from what she did 12 years ago. I confess I am guilty up until now (thank you, Ann ) of forgetting to enroll and losing 8 years of exemption benefits.

As a result of my newfound fortune and entitlement to all future exemptions resulting from this attack upon Ann LePage, I resolve and hereby forever grant and release to Ann LePage my past unclaimed homestead allotments, which are worth eight times her exemption and hold harmless prior legislative bodies and the state of Maine as of this September 2010.

The moral being, thank Mayor LePage for lowering your taxes in Waterville 13 percent without cutting your services — and call your assessor to ascertain you are receiving your homestead exemption.

John Fortier
Belgrade

 

In reading your article about the forum featuring Eliot Cutler and Paul LePage, Mr. Cutler cut to the heart of the difference between LePage and himself. Paul LePage is “harking back” when he talks about his preferred order of forest products, fishing and agriculture as the top economic activities of the state.

This is not the Maine of 50 years ago. We cannot go back to that time because the resources in those areas have shrunk. I have no doubt that Mr. LePage is a good businessman, but I just think that he is an old-fashioned conservative. I realize that this makes some people very happy, but I worry about that mind-set.

Eliot Cutler is not provincial. I know enough about him to know that his career was all about solving complex problems among competing interests.

The days of laissez faire in the land are over. The future of Maine lies in our biggest assets, which are its beauty, its culture and its thousands of entrepreneurs.

I really think Eliot Cutler totally gets that.

Kevin Callahan
Lewiston