When I was executive director of EqualityMaine, I learned that providing a vision, developing a long-term strategy and plan, and building a coalition of Democrats, Republicans and independents was key to winning legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Mainers.

I believe this same model of leadership is the most important tool for a governor.

Throughout his life Eliot Cutler has utilized this leadership model with incredible success. Eliot embraces a vision for Maine that is inclusive and collaborative, which he outlines in his book, “A State of Opportunity.” (http://www.cutlerformaine.com/book)

That’s why I am leading an independent campaign called Campaign for Maine to elect Eliot Cutler as our next governor.

Admittedly, when Eliot entered the race I felt a moment of conflict not because of any doubt about the kind of leadership Eliot would bring to Augusta, but because of my respect for U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud.

What I have come to resolve is that supporting Eliot is not about working against Mike, it’s about working for the best leader for Maine, and that’s Eliot Cutler.

I’m a Democrat and rarely do I support a candidate who is not a Democrat. But this time around, not only are my core values of equality and choice most closely aligned with Eliot’s – a lifetime of being pro-equality and pro-choice – but his leadership strategies of building coalitions among all political affiliations are an extension of the work I’ve been doing for the last two decades and are critical for moving Maine forward.

Eliot Cutler will not only provide vision and leadership, he will create an environment that promotes collaboration to achieve a secure and promising future for all Mainers. Please join me if you agree.

Betsy Smith

Portland

Gay Maine resident welcomes Mike Michaud

I’m glad that when Mike Michaud announced his intention to run for governor of Maine, he made it clear that he is gay. As a gay Maine resident myself, I welcome him wholeheartedly.

Being gay himself, he’ll feel close to all of us who are denigrated as gay. And Mike has served our state for a long time and will be elected to serve us again – this time as governor.

Good luck to him!

Elliot Burton

Portland

Get to know a liberal and see they’re not so different

I would like to respond to David W. Knudsen’s letter to the editor published on Sept. 28 (“Gov. LePage’s liberal critics ignore his accomplishments”).

Among other accusations, Mr. Knudsen says that liberals want to:

â–  Increase job-killing regulations.

â–  Bring back unemployment rates in Maine higher than the national rate.

â–  Expand the size and cost of state government.

â–  Pass the largest tax increase in Maine history.

â–  Expand failed or harmful welfare schemes.

I’m as liberal as they come and I know many other liberals, and I do not know anyone that wants to do these things.

Mr. Knudsen is referring to the “mythical liberal” that is created by the Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks of the right-wing media.

Mr. Knudsen needs to calm down and stop listening to these hate-spewing, divisive media personalities.

He should sit down and have an honest conversation with a liberal, and I’m sure that he will discover that we have more in common than he believes.

He might also discover that he and I have a common nemesis, which is the super-powerful corporations and elites of this country that have stacked the deck to be in their favor over the common citizen.

Liberals and conservatives alike simply want a fair system where opportunities are plentiful, hard work is rewarded and the common citizens’ interests are represented by their elected officials.

Please, Mr. Knudsen, investigate what liberals really want, and you likely will discover that you have been duped by the right-wing media.

Andy Wright

Cumberland Foreside

The War on Poverty wasn’t the success editor claimed

On Nov. 13, 2013, Greg Kesich, the editorial page editor of the Portland Press Herald, published a piece discussing politics and poverty that contained a claim that grossly distorts the truth.

To promote the pro-welfare view, Mr. Kesich claimed that the War on Poverty of the late 1960s was a “success” having cut the poverty rate in half.

To make this claim he had to select (cherry pick) statistics from 1963 to 1973, 20 percent of the available census data while ignoring the other 80 percent (40 years) of relevant data.

He ignored that the data actually shows that poverty levels were improving at a faster rate before the antipoverty programs existed than afterwards, that within two years of the implementation of these programs we ceased to have any real improvement in poverty rates.

And that now, 45 years later, after increasing antipoverty spending far in excess of the population growth rate, we still have no improvement.

When you perpetually spend more on a program and get nothing in return most people call that a “failure” not a success.

The numbers show clearly that our many antipoverty programs have mostly failed to reduce poverty rates, yet Mr. Kesich’s claims success and carves out a small slice of the total data to support his claim.

In doing so he promotes wasteful and ineffective programs that do nothing to advance the public interest or the interest of those living in poverty.

Dennis T. Caron

Cumberland Center

Noisy restaurants are in bad taste, a diner says

What is this with the loud restaurants? I mean over-the-top loud so you cannot enjoy a conversation with your fellow diners.

My wife and I have decided to leave any eating establishment that is over-the-top loud.

Respectfully quiet,

Bern Cook

Portland