I am a registered independent, but have always supported our Maine senators. Sen. Susan Collins is well aware I no longer support her after seven years of being stonewalled on questions I asked of her. Now, I have lost faith in all of our elected officials.

Everyone in Washington is playing politics with the lives of the American people. No one will agree to anything to create jobs or improve the economy proposed by those on the other side of the aisle, in order to prevent the other side from looking good prior to the next election.

The Republicans, who have become the party of “no,” will do anything to defeat the president no matter the cost to American business or the American taxpayer. They are supposed to be working for us, not against him.

If we performed our jobs like our politicians do, we would be fired. They, however, protect themselves with laws so they are immune from the anger they create.

Why is it when those in Washington talk of cutting funds to every program imaginable, they never mention cutting the budget for the White House, Senate or the House of Representatives? How about cutting their perks, travel and number of staff to save money? They never think of that, but will gladly hurt the rest of us.

Politicians care only about padding their own income, benefits, retirement and winning the next election, and every American should be outraged with all in Washington.

It is time for Americans to go on a campaign of “Re-elect No One!” They don’t do anything to help us or protect us anyway.

Gary Phillips

Wells

Our two senators voted against President Obama’s plans to help out the people in the United States, and a lot of people, especially in the state of Maine, could have used their help. They gave some lame excuses that they could have done better.

They did not care about the people whom they represent. They cared more for the party they are members of. Who was more important to them: the people whom they supposedly represent or a political party?

The people in the state of Maine should no longer vote for these two women, who really don’t give a hoot for them. Nothing they say should matter to us. Remember, actions speak louder than words. Their action has told us where they stand. We should never ever again vote them into office to represent us because they care more for a party than human beings, and anything they may say should be taken as not true. Remember, a tigress never changes stripes.

Everett Perlman

Portland

If paper mills are sold, buyers need to do cleanup

I grew up in the ’40s in Bristol, N.H., downstream from paper mills whose runoff later ruined what had been the fresh-air town of my childhood. When we moved back to New Hampshire, to the New Hampton School to raise our own family in the ’60s, the late Rep. Tom Urie of New Hampton, five miles from Bristol, was waging a battle to clean up the Pemigewasset River that divided these two towns.

The stench and the rotting paint had affected Bristol so badly that tourists driving Route 104 from Interstate 93 had to close their car windows or hold their breath while driving along the Pemi, down Summer Street, lined with the then stately Victorian houses of Bristol. When we left again after eight years in Bristol, we had witnessed freshly painted houses and water sports both for residents and vacationers who returned to the river, then safe from pollution. (The day before the 2008 vote, Obama’s promise to reopen the New Hampshire paper mills may have cost him the last primary because the rain that day kept many voters from the polls, except for old-timers who remembered and were driven to the polls by volunteers!)

In Maine, the caution that environmentalists previously advised should be reconsidered, unless there is a guarantee of new methods of treating paper mill waste. Otherwise it will affect an already depressed real estate market wherever the waters flow and the winds do blow.

Meanwhile, I don’t care if the state of Maine has to pay for it, the mess left by the previous paper industry needs to be contained and neutralized to save our environment.

What would it matter if out-of-the-area buyers purchased the mills? They would still hire local Maine workers. Whoever can afford to do the job right with proper residue treatment should be running the paper mills.

Mary Elizabeth Nordstrom

Kennebunk

Maine is not immune to miscarriages of justice

There has been a lot of public outcry over the state of Georgia putting a man to death when there were many indications that he was, in fact, innocent.

That can’t happen here, right? Because we don’t have the death penalty, right?

But Dennis Dechaine is serving a life sentence for a crime that he didn’t commit.

Among other exculpatory evidence, such as time of death, false testimony by detectives and lack of any physical evidence that the victim was in Dechaine’s truck, there was male DNA under 12-year-old Sarah Cherry’s fingernails that does not match Dechaine’s (or that of anyone involved with the case).

While the state solved an even older murder case in Fayette last year using DNA under the victim’s fingernails, it continues to insist that it was just dirty fingernail clippers in the Dechaine case.

The state and the trial judge, Carl Bradford, turned down Dechaine’s request for DNA testing at his trial, saying it would take too long. (Dechaine even offered to pay for it.)

After he filed an appeal, the state destroyed potential DNA evidence, saying there wasn’t room to store it.

In 2006 the Legislature changed the DNA appeal law in Maine to make it more in line with that in other states.

Three years ago Dechaine filed a motion for a retrial under the revised statute, which included a request for further DNA testing. There can be no hearing on his motion until the testing is completed.

Obviously, if the state had also wished for this testing to be done, it would have been completed years ago. Could the state be more interested in protecting the process than seeking the truth?

Our deputy attorney general actually told two Maine legislators, “We don’t make mistakes in Maine.” Really?

Jennifer Bunting

Whitefield