Reading Sen. Roger Katz’s op-ed about the Democrats singing a Groucho Marx song (“Commentary: Democrats take cue from Groucho Marx, assistant GOP leader says,” April 7), one word kept coming to mind: Chutzpah! For those unfamiliar with this Yiddish term, it means “unmitigated gall or brazenness beyond imagination.”

In contrast to Sen. Katz’s assertions about Democrats, Gov. LePage and his legislative enablers appear to epitomize Groucho Marx’s description of politics: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

Sen. Katz’s own voting record contradicts his claims about the supposedly good ideas coming from our chief executive.

I would remind him that the biennial budget that Gov. LePage submitted was so horrendous and so filled with bad ideas that even legislative Republicans declined to support it.

The Legislature had to do the work that Gov. LePage and finance Commissioner Sawin Millett were incapable of doing, and the new budget had to be approved with the Legislature, including Sen. Katz, overriding the governor’s veto.

Discussion of reforms of our grossly mismanaged Department of Health and Human Services should begin with a discussion of the incompetence of Mary Mayhew, the lobbyist-commissioner LePage continually defends.

At the sessions of the Health and Human Services Committee that Sen. Katz mentions and that he did not attend, I found it was the Republicans on that committee who were unreasonable and unwilling to discuss realistic solutions.

In particular, when Rep. Ann Dorney noted that the electronic benefits card abuse in purchasing items not permitted by legislation involved both the EBT card-holder and a vendor – and that any sanctions should affect both parties – Reps. Deb Sanderson and Richard Malaby quickly moved to change the subject.

Louis T. Sigel

Democratic candidate for Maine Senate, District 14

Gardiner