November 20, 2013

Letters to the editor: Why a gay rights activist picks Cutler

A political action committee run by Betsy Smith will spend on behalf of Eliot Cutler’s run for governor.

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.

Two letter writers explain their reasons for backing different candidates for the next governor.

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:

■ Increase job-killing regulations.

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

■ Expand the size and cost of state government.

■ Pass the largest tax increase in Maine history.

■ 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.

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