My jaw dropped in amazement at the news that independent Maine Sen. Angus King voted against the Equal Pay for Women legislation and has suggested he might join the Republican Caucus.

Far from being in the interest of the average Maine citizen, Mr. King’s action and proposal play into the hands of the rich, who have little concern for the fair treatment of women (or anyone else) and support policies to benefit themselves, including opposition to raising abysmally low minimum wages.

If he identifies with the Republicans, Mr. King will join the ranks of those who want to eviscerate Medicare, changing it to a voucher system; slash food stamps and Medicaid for the needy; cut unemployment insurance benefits; and enact voter ID laws to suppress voting by the poor and minorities, to name only a few examples.

At the same time, we can count on the Republican caucus to support tax breaks for the rich and unstinting spending on needless weapons and foreign wars.

Far better if Mr. King would emulate Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who stands firm against regressive policies and is a champion of the poor and middle class.

Gene Clifford

Mount Desert