May 27, 2013

Letters to the editor: Bills will greatly advance military justice

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Measures that address the military’s handling of sexual assault charges within its ranks could change victims’ lives for the better, a reader says.

2009 File Photo/The Associated Press

While I cannot speak for my colleagues, the evidence he recites had nothing to do with my reasons for dropping the moratorium from the tar sands bill.

Rather, it was the testimony of the Attorney General's Office that federal, not state, law controlled most issues relating to pipelines that cross state or international borders, which persuaded me that a moratorium would be struck down in the courts, and thus would be an expensive and empty gesture.

The testimony that Mr. Py cites (that oil prices purportedly would spike or that tar sands oil in the pipeline might be mixed with other oil) was never a factor in my deliberations. Nor did I hear any other committee member refer to those reasons.

Rather, most of us are profoundly concerned about the dangers to Maine's environment from a potential spill, particularly since tar sands oil is extremely difficult to clean up and the Montreal-to-South Portland pipeline runs along the shore of Sebago Lake and crosses its main tributary.

The committee's goal is to find a way to counter these and other dangers, either through federal action or some other state restrictions. The study we have asked the Department of Environmental Protection to undertake before the next session will put us in a better position to find a working solution.

Rep. Janice Cooper


Switching parties would backfire on Eliot Cutler

In response to the letter published May 16 titled "Cutler must test himself in primary," I have to disagree with the premise of the writer.

I agree with him concerning Gov. LePage's leadership, and I am definitely one of the 60 percent he mentioned.

Eliot Cutler appears to be a very principled man, a former Democrat and politically experienced, if not in the state of Maine. I believe that he is also a very principled man and knows exactly what he is doing.

If I recall correctly, during the last election for governor, he made it clear that he wanted the freedom to lead devoid of obligation to party tradition and former practices. He knows the odds, probably better than anyone else.

If he were to switch parties now, there would be as many critics accusing him of being politically manipulative.

He's made his choice. He knows the odds. He also has many supporters who will work hard for his election. Personally, I wish him well. Go Independent.

Rachel Schwartz

South Portland


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