Regarding “The Cutler Files,” this entire saga is what is wrong with politics and why citizens are mistrustful of the political process and politicians in particular.

The continuous “issuing of statements,” the vehement denials, the obfuscation, the parsing of words — this is the type of nonsense that makes people throw up their hands in disgust and check out of the political process.

When you see a story like this, it’s amazing that half of the registered electorate in Maine still bothers turning out to vote, as casting a vote often isn’t a matter of simply deciding which candidate will be best.

Instead, it’s often a matter not of simply voting for a candidate who will best serve the people, but of weeding through webs of lies and half-truths from political consultants, special-interest groups and incessant attack ads.

Until we put an end to this vicious cycle, our political process will continue to be broken.

Kevin Fay

Raymond

To paraphrase the Wizard of Oz, “Scarcelli, Bailey and Rhoads! Oh my!”

For Rosa Scarcelli to live unawares so closely with a person who was, as it turned out, sordidly involved in torpedoing Eliot Cutler’s gubernatorial campaign says all I need to know about her fitness to lead in the public arena.

Either she is dimwitted, disingenuous or a master of dissembling.

None of these are qualities I look for in a leader, despite the fact that I wholeheartedly supported Scarcelli during the 2010 Democratic primary. She has forever forfeited any right to my support in any run for public office.

I applauded Dennis Bailey during his many past Casinos No! campaigns, especially in the frank portrayal of out-of-state gamers as being totally untrustworthy and little better than charlatans out to make a gain at someone else’s expense.

Apparently Mr. Bailey needs to consult his own image in the mirror a tad more closely. Never again will I believe a single public word he utters.

As for Tom Rhoads, in my personal opinion the man is a fitting mate for Rosa.

Bruce Sanford

Raymond

Don’t let state lawmakers deny health care to smokers

I am of the understanding that there is a bill put forth by Republican state Sen. Thomas Saviello that would deny MaineCare benefits to smokers.

I would recommend that people contact their state senators to vote against this illogical bill.

I understand people’s frustration with the cost of health care. However, such a bill would only increase costs.

Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs. Smokers have a serious addiction as well as significant risks for numerous other diseases.

But smokers need optimal support to attend to these health issues, not less assistance.

Further restrictions in health care access will inevitably result in more costly and complicated access needs in the future.

Research consistently reveals that positive reinforcements for behavior change and associated health issues (including addiction) are far more effective than negative ones.

This bill would prove counterproductive and should be voted down.

Robert Klotz, P.A.

New Gloucester

AIG gets bailed out when ordinary debtors just suffer 

Recently, this newspaper reported that AIG was prepared to pay back to the United States a good part of the funds loaned to it during the financial debacle.

Let’s see if I have this straight: If you are “too big to fail,” or as a corporation or large financial institution like AIG you represent too much political and social power, we will use public funds to bail you out even if your trouble was reasonably foreseeable and caused by greed and utter stupidity.

On the other hand, people who can’t afford their mortgages, either because they were misled, didn’t think the economy would tank or were otherwise not realistic, have to take their lumps because, after all, we are an individualistic nation and each of us must live with our choices.

James Atleson

Cape Elizabeth 

How old do you have to be for senior citizen discount? 

In the Jan. 14 letters column, Tom Heels asks, “At what age does one become ‘elderly’?” Webster’s New World Dictionary defines elderly as “past middle age, approaching old age.” How’s that for a clear-cut answer?

My sense is that “elderly” is a state of mind!

What I would like to have is a consistent definition for “senior citizen.” There is a practical reason, since many businesses offer senior citizen discounts.

Some begin the offer at age 55, but I have seen it kick in at 65. Men may be less bothered by the process of determining whether or not one qualifies, but I’ve heard that some women are sensitive about their age.

I recall standing at a window to purchase tickets to a Sea Dogs game, and hearing the woman at the next window yell in an angry voice, “Do I look like a senior citizen?” (I’m not sure how the Sea Dogs define the term, so I can’t speculate on her appearance.)

Wouldn’t it be nice if every business used the same definition? I don’t think legislation is required.

Perhaps the AARP could be charged with setting the age. Or I would be happy to settle the issue myself. Now that I’m 60, that age works for me!

Maddie Akeley

South Portland 

Maine master comedian Bob Marley is the man!

My 95-year-old Mom recently died of natural causes, having lived a good, long life.

Over the last several years when Bob Marley appeared in Manchester, N.H., where she resided, she and her husband would attend his shows.

She was a tiny, white-haired lady who was also blind, but her sense of humor had gotten her through many rough times in her life.

Well, she and Bob hit it off and he would wait for her after the shows, when he paid special amounts of attention to her.

He called her on her 95th birthday, and also while she was confined to the hospital recently prior to her death. And he expressed sympathies to the family upon her death.

He said he will miss Evie sitting front row center. We, her family, thank him for making her feel special. Indeed he is the man!

Linda Aaskov

Lyman