I regretfully read the profiles of two aspiring Republican Senate candidates, Scott D’Amboise (May 22) and Debra Plowman (May 23). Given the uniformity of their views — legalize gay marriage? No. Legal access for abortion? No. Raise taxes? No, no, no! — is it any wonder the GOP is known as the party of negative?

Democrats, who have trouble registering a coherent message, could learn a thing or two from this kind of groupthink, propaganda-wise.

The notion that a Senate candidate is picked to represent all of the people seems to have totally evaporated from the modern Republican Party, who apparently think it’s their chosen duty to impose their fundamentalist Christian viewpoint on the populace, whereas most polls indicate the country is evenly split between left and right.

It’s particularly unnerving when one considers these firebrands are vying to compete for a seat long held by one of the last truly moderate voices in the GOP, Olympia Snowe, who, in fact, bowed out of what would seem inevitable re-election because of her dissatisfaction with the partisanship that has so gridlocked Washington.

As usual, when it comes to candidates like D’Amboise and Plowman, their right-wing views are laced with hypocrisy. For all their talk about big government staying out of people’s lives, they don’t seem to mind legislating morality when it comes to abortion, gay marriage or drug prohibition. And although they claim to be “pro-life,” they are perfectly fine with our government indiscriminately throwing bombs around foreign countries, killing innocent victims, not to mention our own troops.

It is a cynical pack indeed, and it is hoped that the voters of Maine, who, until recently, have always held true to their independent views, will ensure that these extremist candidates — despite the coffers of well-financed out-of-state conservative PACS — remain unable to impose their dangerous views on the masses.

Joe S. Harrington

Portland 

Paper’s Hinck ‘truth test’ misleading on two counts

The Press Herald concluded that Jon Hinck failed the truth test by saying General Electric was not paying taxes and by understating the number of Americans who are underinsured (“Truth Test: Jon Hinck on GE’s taxes, uninsured Americans,” June 2). This calls for a response.

On the first point, we are told that GE enjoyed an effective net income tax rate of minus 18.9 percent from 2008 to 2011, so that on average over those years, it was subsidized. For 2011, we’re assured, GE would pay an effective tax rate of about 11 percent, 25 percent less than normal corporate taxes, but also pay local taxes, real estate tax on GE’s administrative campuses in Connecticut and so on.

But if, as according to the Press Herald’s own figures, the 18.9 percent “subsidy”/tax benefit GE received for four years was greater than the 11 percent “effective” tax it paid in 2011, then GE is effectively “paying no taxes right now,” exactly as Hinck claimed, meanwhile walking around with lots of tax benefits still sloshing in its pockets.

As for the second point, Hinck said that 30 million Americans lack health insurance — a disgraceful fact that Hinck clearly decries and proposes to address. The Press Herald pointed out that the number Hinck should have cited is closer to 50 million. In other words, the actual facts further underscore Hinck’s point and hardly make it a “truth meter” catch.

Thank God, in the words of Emily Dickinson, I’m “nobody” and can hope, in my old age, to escape being smeared and battered by the Press Herald’s arrogant condescension and covertly gleeful distortions, presumably justified, in a democracy, by its deathlike grip on the public pulse.

Kenneth Rosen

Portland 

Moonen cares about issues that matter to District 118

I was distressed to see the June 4 Portland Press Herald article about the House District 118 race (“Eight Portland Democrats vying for three House seats”).

While the online version was corrected to indicate that candidate Matt Moonen did not come from a private school in Tennessee and a life of privilege, the print version was not. More importantly, this kind of personal attack has no place in the Democratic primary. The race should be about what a person can and will accomplish for the voters of District 118.

I have known Matt for the past three years, and he is a smart, energetic and dedicated person who cares about the issues I care about. His stated priorities are working to reduce the influence of big money in politics; fighting for a fair budget; and working to strengthen our public schools so every child in Maine has the opportunity to get a top-rate education.

Let’s work to keep these elections focused on what matters. Matt Moonen is the right person for the job.  

Anita St. Onge

Portland 

Millett can get Maine back on the right track

I am writing in support of Rebecca Millett’s candidacy for state Senate in District 7. We need her dedicated and capable leadership in Augusta.

Rebecca will fight for and represent the people of District 7 and Maine. Based on her professional background and community service, Rebecca Millet knows how to negotiate, advocate and work for effective results that will best serve our state and our community.

Rebecca’s encompassing background of working in a financial-acquisitions arena, executive community leadership and local to international footprint within community reinvestment has provided her with a unique skill set that will provide leadership, vision and the ability to achieve results.  

Rebecca is committed to the right economic development that will lead to securing more jobs that will provide livable wages to Mainers. She has been and will continue to be an advocate and a driving force in fighting for fair public school funding. She will be a leader in pursuing alternative energy sources while safeguarding our state’s valued and vital natural resources and environment.

A vote for Rebecca on June 12 will be a vote to put Maine back on the right track. Let’s take the next step to helping the direction of our state by joining me in voting for Rebecca Millett on June 12.    

John Jamieson

South Portland