October 19, 2013

Letters to the editor: Columnists give Cutler too little credit

Greg Kesich, in his Oct. 9 op-ed on Eliot Cutler’s gubernatorial candidacy (“Cutler’s book doesn’t answer the biggest question: Can he win?”), presented what might be called a content-free discussion of the politics of a three-way gubernatorial race.

click image to enlarge

Eliot Cutler “has the combination of toughness and political savvy” needed to carry out his ideas for running the state, a reader says.

2013 File Photo/Shawn Patrick Ouellette

No mention was made of who might be the better candidate between Cutler, an independent; and Mike Michaud, the Democrat; although Kesich was clear that Paul LePage, the Republican incumbent, would not be a favorable choice.

This column was soon followed by more of the same from Alan Caron (“Anti-LePage voters need to push for Michaud-Cutler agreement,” Oct. 10), with Caron going so far as to assert that whichever of LePage’s two opponents was leading in the polls in October 2014, that candidate should get the endorsement of the other challenger.

I can agree with both Kesich and Caron on only one point – LePage must be beaten.

I do not think this will be difficult. I rest my argument on two simple points.

First, Paul LePage’s high-water mark was the 38 percent (to Cutler’s 37) that he received in 2010.

LePage will be lucky to get 30 percent in 2014 after the series of blunders that have marked his term so far.

Second, it will become clear as the campaign unfolds that Eliot Cutler will be a stronger and more effective governor than Mike Michaud.

Cutler has used the time since the last election to initiate constructive dialogue on the issues facing Maine.

Cutler has sound, practical ideas for what needs to be done. Moreover, he has the combination of toughness and political savvy to make it happen.

This election is not about splitting the Democratic vote.

It is about Republicans, Democrats and independents voting for the candidate they believe can best lead Maine.

A significant proportion of each of these groups will go for Cutler – in much the same way they went for Angus King.

Ronald M. Bancroft

Cumberland

Expediting of ‘Closed’ signs raises issue about shutdown

Does anyone besides me wonder how they got all those “Closed” signs printed, distributed and posted far and wide in the USA only hours after the government shut down?

I worked in the government for 25 years in Washington, D.C. As the director of administration for a federal agency during that time, I became quite familiar with requisitions, bidding, awarding contracts, etc.

The procurement process is a time-consuming process with a variety of bureaucrats involved with every step of the way.

The simplest procurement takes weeks from request for a product to delivery of that product. It cannot happen in hours or days.

Yet, within less than eight hours of the shutdown, professionally printed 3- by 4-foot signs appeared all over the country, saying, “This park, facility, etc. (with custom logo) is closed due to government shutdown.”

There has not been a government shutdown for many years. So, these signs were designed, specifications were determined, signs were then requisitioned, bids were posted and vetted and government contracts were awarded. The signage materials were then ordered and the signs were manufactured and then distributed to thousands of locations. This all happened in less than eight hours.

You may agree with me that this shutdown was orchestrated and planned well in advance many months ago.

Millions of tax dollars were spent by the administration in this process.

If you ask for it, you will find a paper trail leading directly to the White House.

(Continued on page 2)

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