How can a person call himself independent when he depends on a clutch of “rich, old white men” – as Cynthia Dill describes the problem of atrophy in government – for buckets of money to support him?
Angus King doesn’t look independent when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls, and King runs to Bloomberg’s home for a private fundraising “party,” while the gallant Eliot Cutler does duty in Maine.
A knight of enormous wealth in King’s court, Cutler sets off to avenge his own “independent” defeat, and slay the worrisome women who stalwartly rally to support Cynthia Dill in the face of her own party’s fearful apathy and amid the long-going flurry of King media coronations.
Cutler’s deprecating characterizations of the arguments of Patsy Wiggins and Libby Mitchell as “flights of fantasy” (did he mean “flights of fancy”?) – along with his “understanding” of fellow knight Greg Kesich’s call for Dill to drop out – hints of a not-so-subtle problem with women leaders (Maine Voices, “Eliot Cutler: Notion that independents are interlopers is wrong,” Oct. 11; “Greg Kesich: An early exit by Dill would shake up U.S. Senate race,” Sept. 26).
Cynthia Dill has stood tall without benefit of her national party’s vast financial resources, and hasn’t fudged or obscured her positions. Tell me again, who’s the independent candidate here?
Is it fair to call Cutler and King spoilers? Yes. While they both aggressively reached out to curry favor with Democrats, they were equally both too faint-hearted to compete in a primary. Dill did, and won.
She speaks out clearly, coherently and intelligently to honor the average Maine person, and those betrayed by the powerful and the privileged, to tell us exactly where she stands, independently.
A powerful group of like-minded people of enormous wealth, joining together for a private meeting to support their King, might just be a bunch of self-important knights at a lavish round table, but while too exclusive for just anyone to join, it looks more like a kind of “political party” to me.
I just hope a crusade against women is not on the menu or part of the platform.
Rep. Andrea Boland, D-Sanford
District 126 (part of Sanford)
I consider myself one of, if not the most elder politician/teacher in Maine, having entered the political realm in 1942 as a sophomore at Wellesley, taught Latin and English at Deering and was president of the Teachers Association in Portland before going back into my more active role in politics.
Each of us must, at this time of crisis, look beyond personal preferences and party affiliations to elect the leadership we can trust to uphold our basic beliefs here in Maine and in Washington.
I have read and studied the many political diagnoses written in the Press Herald by well-known, articulate men and women.
Ben Grant’s Sept. 28 column is particularly impressive in its presentation of Democratic philosophies and programs of the Democratic Party (Maine Voices, “Asking Dill to step aside assumes King is lying about his true intentions”). I am a Democrat.
However, the overriding necessity in this election is that we Democrats re-elect President Obama and that we defeat Charlie Summers.
Don’t replace a moderate Olympia Snowe with a Republican. As much as we admire and respect Cynthia Dill, we believe she cannot win this election. She can only bring defeat to Angus King and victory to Summers and his Republican vote to the U.S. Senate.
We Democrats must stop nitpicking. We must cast our ballots for King. King can win this election. We can trust him. We must not allow a Republican victory.
Esther B. Clenott
Thank you, Colin Woodard, for your clear and concise articles on Angus King (“The making of a man without a party,” Sept. 23) and Cynthia Dill (“U.S. Senate race: Democrat Dill stands her ground, then and now,” Oct. 14). I am a person who relies largely on intuition, but I know when it comes to politics, facts are needed.
I am in agreement with state Sen. Dill’s politics and believe that one day she will be the right choice for the U.S. Senate, but now is not that time. Maine and the nation need someone of Gov. King’s experience to lead us in these challenging times.
The fact that Sen. Olympia Snowe is stepping down from the Senate because of, in her words, “the dysfunction and political polarization in the institution,” should be a wake-up call for the nation. It was that for me. While I vote, I generally sit on the sidelines, not playing an active role in my government. So writing this is a first step.
The people of Maine need to remember that our standing governor was elected with only 38 percent of the vote. This could easily happen again and Charlie Summers could slide into the Senate. This is what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is relying on, as evidenced by their recent ad campaign targeting Angus King.
From my perspective, it is time for Angus King and Cynthia Dill to come together and for Sen. Dill to have a place on Gov. King’s staff when he becomes Maine’s next U.S. senator.
Help Maine’s rural economy by supporting Question 2
Agriculture continues to be a growth sector of the Maine economy. With the most diverse agricultural economy in New England, Maine achieved farm gate sales of $718 million in 2011 and an overall value exceeding $3 billion. Since 2000, more than 1,000 new farms have been added in the state.
To help build those family businesses, farmers turn to the University of Maine for essential diagnostic services. This work monitors crops for threatening diseases and provides science-based answers to prevent animal and crop losses, minimize the use of pesticides, and maintain food quality and safety.
With the global economy bringing new invasive threats annually, UMaine has to respond swiftly and effectively. The current animal and plant diagnostic facilities at UMaine built in the 1950s are outdated and inadequate to meet new disease, pest, biosecurity and quarantine needs and the growing demand for these services.
The huge growth in bedbugs in the United States is also occurring in Maine. This is a nonagricultural issue, but UMaine is responding with insect identification and education to help homeowners, and the tourism and hospitality industry.
With deer ticks and Lyme disease, UMaine addresses questions from parents, health care providers and others, including whether submitted specimens carry this disease or other co-infections.
This November, Question 2 will ask Maine voters if they support $11.3 million for infrastructure projects at the University of Maine and Maine Maritime Academy, and within the Maine Community College System. The majority of the funding, $7.8 million, will build and equip a new animal and plant diagnostic facility at UMaine.
Voting “yes” on Question 2 will support Maine’s rural economy, farmers, students, veterinarians, Maine state government and many others. Maine needs to invest in the capacity of UMaine to support rural jobs and safety of our food and the health of our people.
Ted St. Amand
Adams ‘compassionate advocate’ for District 119
Herb Adams is a Maine treasure, and we should consider ourselves lucky that he is willing to continue his service to the residents of District 119.
I served with Herb both in his first terms and during his recent terms.
Herb is known for being of true service to constituents, always willing to listen thoroughly and respond to their needs. He read all the bills and amendments in a comprehensive way, and when he spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives, he was prepared, thoughtful and one of the few who could change votes on the floor.
He was very often the last person to leave the chambers as he sought to be fully knowledgeable about matters that concerned his district.
As a compassionate advocate, Herb Adams deserves to represent District 119; please vote for him Nov. 6.
Rep. Anne Haskell, D-Portland
District 117 (part of Portland)
Email misleads voters on Platts’ Question 1 stance
On Oct. 12, EqualityMaine sent out a very misleading email to its support base. The email started out saying that EQME is excited to let me know who the pro-marriage equality candidates are for both the Maine House and Maine Senate in my district.
But the email did not tell me that. The email said that EQME makes no endorsement for House District 119, as all the candidates running for State House support marriage equality. Yet the email did endorse Justin Alfond for state Senate, and it failed to mention Green Party candidate Asher Platts.
This omission implies that Asher Platts does not support marriage equality – which is not the case. Asher Platts is a friend of mine. He enthusiastically worked on EQME’s “No on 1” campaign in 2009 and supports marriage equality just as enthusiastically today.
I am disappointed in EQME because that email makes it seem like EQME is putting partisan favoritism before the issues that we both support.
Sean E. Fletcher