I am disappointed in the results of ballot questions 2 and 3 in last week’s elections. I thought for sure that during these difficult times, folks would support the creation of new businesses by private enterprise.

Perhaps more disappointing than the results was the revelation that two of the largest financial backers of the “no” campaign were political action committees created by the newly approved Oxford casino and Hollywood Slots in Bangor. Talk about hypocrisy! These two private enterprises fought tooth and nail to get enough votes for their own projects to exist and now are fighting against allowing others to do the same.

I am not a proponent of creating new laws for every situation, but if there isn’t an anti-monopoly law that makes this type of activity illegal, there should be. I am also disappointed that our “business-friendly” governor spoke out against additional casino projects just days before the election. “Open for Business” indeed!

Of course, the state of Maine has been knee-deep in the gambling business for years. Am I the only one who wonders how a state as economically strapped as Maine can afford such an expensive radio ad campaign for the Maine State Lottery?

Apparently when it comes to gambling, what is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. So while the “no” and “yes” campaigns prepare for the inevitable rematch, thousands of Mainers will continue to load buses and take their gambling money to Connecticut!

Jason Beever, Windham

 

ON THE FRIDAY before Election Day, I was disgusted by the political entreaty that arrived in my mailbox. The message on the back was a naked appeal to fear, suspicion and prejudice. Written in block letters was: “Mainers have the right to know their votes are secure. So why is the ‘gay-marriage alliance’ trying to take that right away?”

Here’s a better question: Since when did the “gay-marriage alliance” (assuming such an entity actually exists) have anything to do with Election Day voter registration?

Those responsible for sending out that ad ought to be ashamed of themselves. And perhaps they are. It took me several moments to ascertain who it was that sent my family this particularly offensive plea to the lowest common denominator — the return address, “Maine Republican Party, 9 Higgins Street, Augusta, ME 04230,” was printed in the tiniest font possible, at an odd angle, and in gray ink on a white background.

Fortunately, some good may yet come out of the Maine GOP leadership’s clumsy attempt at divisiveness. First of all, the mean-spirited efforts to defeat Question 1 fell resoundingly flat. In addition, the failure of this latest insult to Maine’s collective intelligence indicates that either the party’s base isn’t as big as the gay-bashing, ACLU-fearing geniuses who put together this senseless ad thought it was or, even better, the Republican base is a lot smarter and/or tolerant than the cynical people running their party are giving them credit for.

Andrew D. Young Cumberland

 

IN THE NOV. 13 Sunday Telegram, Penny Guisinger rightly took issue with the Maine Republican Party’s ad implying that Yes on 1 was the work of a “special interest” group, EqualityMaine.

I applaud her letter but want to correct her definition of EQME as “a group of gay Maine citizens.” As a straight member, I consider EQME to be what its name implies: an organization dedicated to the equality of straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and all other varieties of Maine people.

For that reason, in celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary next month, my wife and I have asked our invited guests in lieu of gifts to donate to Equality Maine. Marriage equality is something that all Mainers who believe in the institution of marriage can cheerfully embrace.

John Bernard, South Portland

 

UNDETERRED, THE Maine Republican Party says it will introduce legislation in January that would require a photo ID to vote. The right-wing, billionaire Koch brothers have helped bankroll this blatant voter suppression technique in 34 states, often through their front group, the ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council).

I thought that prohibiting same-day voter registration (thankfully overturned Nov. 8) was the only change to our voting laws that the Republican Legislature rammed through earlier this year. But not so.

On Friday, Nov. 4, I went to pick up an absentee ballot but was refused — the new law required absentee ballots to be picked up no later than the Thursday before Election Day. This deprived me of my usual habit of carefully looking over my ballot during the last weekend of the campaign.

As luck would have it, Tuesday found me suffering a raging case of the flu, spiking a fever of 103.8. But I had to drag myself out of bed to vote. Hmm … in my delirium, did I really shake hands with every Republican candidate outside my polling place?

I can’t recall. I can’t recall …

Marty Berry, Westbrook

 

I HATE WHAT I saw at my polling place in this last election.

I’m still feeling angry about what I had to go through to get through the door of the polling place. I had to pass through a gauntlet of people I’d never seen before, all sticking out their hands and expecting I’d shake those hands. They were saying, “I’m a friend of (insert candidate’s name) and thank you for voting.”

All the voters preceding me allowed their hands to be shaken. How come? Maybe they didn’t want to make a fuss or seem to be rude or defy what must have seemed to many an authority figure — that is, someone bold enough to be rude and overbearing?

It didn’t sit well with me. I’d never seen any of these volunteer handshakers before, let alone met them. So I did this: I threw up my hands in a fending-off gesture, and said: “I don’t know you. I’m not going to implicitly endorse your candidate by shaking your hand. Most of all, I resent your thanking me for voting. Who are you to thank me for voting, anyway? I’m an adult, I’m a citizen. How and why do you have the moral authority to thank me for voting?”

I’m feeling these good people unintentionally but arrogantly condescended to me. I’m also thinking all candidates need to rethink their approach to the citizenry. Don’t underestimate us.

Sue Cabot, Portland