Forbes magazine recently ranked Maine as the worst state to do business. Yes, Maine was ranked as No. 50, which is rock bottom.

Years of excessive taxation and excessive regulatory policies led to this ranking, not to mention the $1 billion state budget shortfall left by Baldacci for Gov. LePage to solve.

Why aren’t LePage’s critics talking about these issues? Aren’t these front-burner issues that deserve our attention?

How can Gov. LePage’s liberal critics overlook our current economic mess created by years of failed liberal policies? It seems like LePage’s critics are not interested in solving our current economic disaster zone. LePage’s critics only seem interested in inaugural poetry, the continued catering to special interest groups, personal smear and character defamation.

Fortunately, we now have a governor who puts the Maine people first and not the special interest groups. Gov. LePage isn’t afraid to speak his mind and perhaps may even be blunt at times. Nonetheless, LePage is a man of integrity and is right on the money with his policies. His policies are what we need to focus on, not political smoothness and Lauren LePage’s employment status.

Let’s start focusing on the real issues and get Maine working again. Let’s support Gov. LePage and bring some jobs back to Maine.

LePage was great for Waterville and he will be even better for the wonderful state of Maine.

Frances Maheux
Waterville
 

When I read my morning paper and the first sentence under the headline is “Gov. Paul LePage lied last week,” I expect to have something better than some sketchy details from one organization.

When you explicitly state that a government official has lied, you had better be able to back it up. It is really the word of the NAACP against LePage’s.

Perhaps the Press Herald should more tightly regulate what makes it onto the front page.

Josh White
Falmouth
 

I have been selling The Portland Press Herald at our store for 17 years. In that time I have watched your readership go down, down, down. There are lots of reasons for this we are told, and the Internet, talk radio and cable news lead the list.

What I see, though, for all my years of selling your paper is that working men stopped buying it. Suits and ties still buy, the elderly still buy, but the hard-working men and women have turned a blind eye to this paper. I have approximately 800 customers daily, we get 13 Press Heralds and often don’t sell out.

When I read an article like the one Bill Nemitz wrote about Devon Raymond, the young man our governor calls his adopted son, I understand why (“Answers by LePage result in questions,” Jan. 19).

Like a lot of the working guys that frequent my store, I don’t have a fancy degree like I’m sure Bill Nemitz and most likely all of the editorial board has.

We are still the backbone of this nation, like it or not and there are lots more of us than there are of you. Perhaps you should consider reporting to us?

The working guys in Maine are fed up, and like it or not, LePage speaks our language. Your social circles may be buzzing in outrage, but you should probably try to get outside those circles if growing your readership is of any concern. For what it’s worth.

Mark Ferguson
Poland Spring

Most Mainers don’t support AG’s health suit

In support of our voter education activities this fall, AARP commissioned a survey of Maine adults age 18 and older to help us assess which issues were most important for the next governor to address.

We found that nearly three-quarters of Mainers felt that it should be either a top priority (39 percent) or high priority (33 percent) for the next governor to improve the health care system so more Maine residents have access to affordable, high-quality health care in the state.

Since its passage in March 2010, the Affordable Care Act has already begun to improve access to health care for thousands of residents in Maine, including all the young adults who can now stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until the age of 26 and all the Medicare beneficiaries who will now have access to preventive health services and lower prescription drug costs

We regret that Gov. LePage and Attorney General William Schneider ignored the results of this survey before signing onto the lawsuit to repeal the new health care law that has already helped so many people in Maine.

Nancy B. Kelleher
AARP Maine
Scarborough

It’s not the radiation that makes smart meters dumb

Many letters have appeared on this page opposing CMP’s smart meters due to safety concerns.

The science doesn’t appear to support their arguments. The real question people should be asking is: Why is CMP being given $98 million of federal stimulus money for a program that will eliminate over 100 jobs?

Allan Phinney
Windham

Cell phone health concerns are overblown by critics

I read a letter to the editor recently warning us about cell phones (“People need warnings about cell phone cautions,” Jan. 17). This is a bogus claim that has been pushed in the past by out-of-state interests. Rep. Andrea Boland’s effort to put a warning on cell phones was thrown out of the Legislature the last time around and it should be again.

I realize that there is a lot of junk science floating around on cell phones, but for me it comes down to this – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Cancer Society say there is no evidence that cell phones cause health problems.

Warnings on products should not be based on “what ifs” but on actual scientific facts.

Our elected leaders should focus their time and attention on the real challenges we are facing. There are plenty to choose from.

Kenneth Finlayson
Portland

Permanent war state threatens our democracy 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a message to Congress, wrote, “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”

Today the American people, in ignoring FDR’s admonition, are tolerating private power’s takeover by the huge corporations: Wall Street banks, pharmaceutical, communications and defense industries, for-profit health insurers, the mercenary military and the Washington lobbyists like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

So our democracy is being diminished as these corporations, etc. continue to gain more power over our government. And the Pentagon has taken the liberty of turning our defense into world conquest, with over 700 bases scattered all over the globe.

Gareth Porter recently wrote, “Fifty years after Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Jan. 17, 1961, speech on the military-industrial complex, that threat has morphed into a far more powerful and sinister force than Eisenhower could have imagined. It has become a ‘permanent war state,’ with the power to keep the United States at war continuously for the indefinite future.”

And we go about our daily lives oblivious to the takeover of our democracy. Are we a nation of sheep?

Eliot J. Chandler
Hampden