Regarding the letter from Kevin Sheasgreen (“Progressive political rally in Portland was a sham”), I want to disabuse him of his notion that the people on stage were “bought-and-paid-for” and “carefully assembled.”

While milling near the stairway before the event, my husband and I were approached by a woman who asked if we would like to be up on stage during the speeches. We were incredulous and honored and we accepted. About 20 more people were selected at random and apparently felt similarly. We were rewarded with a handshake from Bernie Sanders and an inimitable story to tell. Ha! No money changed hands.

The stated purpose of the rally was to address the rift between the Democratic National Committee, represented by Chairman Tom Perez, and progressive Sanders supporters in order to unite against Donald Trump and the Republican Party. It was energizing. If you, Mr. Sheasgreen, were not interested in at least entertaining the notion of unity among the Democrats and Mr. Sanders, why did you attend?

Susan A. Bloomfield

West Kennebunk