I was appalled to read that the 2014 governor’s race will be entirely funded by private money. What happened to our first-in-the-nation Clean Election option?

According to your article (“Donor lists criticized in Maine gubernatorial race,” Sept. 24), the funds for gubernatorial candidates were cut in Gov. LePage’s budget proposal, and this cut apparently made it through the entire legislative budget process. What short-sighted nonsense!

Maine people led the nation when we passed Clean Elections and gave candidates a way to run for office without courting private donors.

Now, in the race for our highest state office, we have sent candidates back to the bad old days.

I’m not surprised to see that large donations are responsible for most of the money raised.

If you had to dial for dollars all day, who would you call first? The people with the most money, of course.

The fact is that without Clean Elections, our campaign finance system stinks. And now, thanks to the Legislature (which retained Clean Elections for their House and Senate races) and the governor, all the candidates are trapped in it.

Adam Law

Saco 

Overthrowing governments: Just what’s newsworthy?

Over the past week, the national news media have routinely presented American-Iranian relations against a background of events dating back to 1973, the year Iranian students stormed and occupied the American Embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Rarely, if ever, is the essential historical background of this “act of terrorism and anarchy” (to use President Carter’s words) provided.

In 1953, the CIA engineered the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh, to prevent Iran from nationalizing its huge oil reserves. In Mosaddegh’s stead, the compliant Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi was installed as head of state.

The overthrow was, as the CIA subsequently stated, “an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government.”

Perhaps the overthrow of democratically elected governments by a country that is continually exhorting other nations to democratize is no longer considered newsworthy.

Jon Swan

Yarmouth 

Access to health care should be for everyone

Do we as a state want people to have access to a doctor and medical care or not?

At issue seems to be adults under retirement age without children, since those are the people to whom Gov. LePage and some Republicans want to deny care.

Answering in the negative means that those people’s health care issues will go undetected or worsen without timely intervention.

Eventually the people will become ill enough to need emergency care and/or dramatically more costly care to survive.

Their ability to work will be hampered and they will need more costly assistance – or without it become homeless or at the very least depend on social services even more. Or they could actually die from the lack of care.

Answering affirmatively could mean effective intervention could take place, people could get back on their feet and while feeling better, be able to care for themselves.

And Maine would get federal dollars to cover the costs through the new Affordable Care Act.

No First World country except the United States denies health care to its citizens.

Those other countries have decided that access to health care is a human right. At the same time, they spend less for it per person than we do and have better results.

We are 15th in “avoidable mortality” while spending way more than any of the other 14 countries.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

Mainers are caring people.

This campaign on the governor’s part is cruel.

Let your legislator know you support health care for everyone and that you want the state to help those who need it.

We can turn this around.

Delene Perley

Windham

Health tax is too big a burden for small businesses

We are small-business owners who are worried about a tax that will take effect in January unless Congress intervenes. It is part of Obamacare, and it is called the health insurance tax. It will have a negative impact on local companies like ours, and we need support in standing up against it.

The health insurance tax is a hidden tax that will negatively affect small-business owners and the self-employed.

Though the government will directly tax health insurance companies, it will be passed along to companies like ours in the form of higher premiums, while large corporations and labor unions will be exempt. Since we provide health insurance for three full-time employees, this will amount to $1,500 in higher premiums next year alone!

We have been in business for more than 30 years now and have been able to keep our doors open through some difficult times. It is wrong to keep heaping expenses like the health insurance tax on top of the small-business community.

We cannot continue to afford everything that is expected of us.

There seems to be a disconnect between those of us who are trying to make a living and create jobs and those in Washington who are passing laws.

We will not benefit from this tax, and we cannot foot this extra bill.

There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, and Congress still has the ability to stop this tax from harming us.

We need our elected officials in both the House and the Senate to vote in favor of the Jobs and Premium Protection Act.

This specifically aims to repeal the health insurance tax provision within Obamacare, and it will help the small-business community.

James and Kim Ray

owners, Ace Hardware Cornish