October 2, 2013

Letters to the editor: Public funding key to well-run elections

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?

The decision to cut public gubernatorial campaign funding from the state budget was “short-sighted nonsense,” a reader says.


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


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


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.

(Continued on page 2)

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