October 11, 2013

Letters to the editor: Maine delegation weak on ending shutdown

Letter writers question how various people are handling the stalemate.

After reading both Bill Nemitz’s opinion of Sen. Susan Collins (“Sen. Collins hardly a profile in courage during shutdown stalemate,” Oct. 2) and her office’s reply that she has a long history of bipartisanship (“Collins aide: Nemitz column insults senator’s record of bipartisanship,” Oct. 4), I could only think of one response: What have you done for me lately, Senator?

click image to enlarge

Tourists point out landmarks visible from the gate to Zion National Park in Utah, which is closed because of the federal shutdown.

The Associated Press

I appreciate the senator’s history of bipartisanship, her support of the Ledbetter Act, etc., but Mr. Nemitz was right to criticize her for not taking more action to end the shutdown. In business, as in politics, you’re only as good as your latest accomplishment.

But let’s not stop with Collins. Let’s take aim at the whole Maine delegation – Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, and Sen. Angus King – for their failure to move beyond this congressional hissy-fit and make a deal. What have they done to end the shutdown? Like the rest of Congress, they’ve done nothing.

King has been in the news calling right-wing Republicans murderers. Even if he’s correct that less health care results in more deaths, his comments hardly count as a courageous move toward bipartisan compromise and action. And Pingree and Michaud, it seems, do nothing.

Meanwhile, U.S. markets fall. The exchanges aren’t up and running. Federal workers go without pay, and taxpayers without services.

The Maine delegation’s decision to go without pay “in solidarity” with other workers is a weak attempt to mollify public anger. Unlike other federal workers, they don’t live paycheck to paycheck. Unlike other federal workers, they have the power to stop the shutdown, but they don’t.

Collins, Pingree, Michaud and King, here is some free advice. Stop talking to your adversaries through news reporters. Pick up the phone. Call your allies. Call your opponents. Then, make a deal. If you don’t, prepare to be unseated next election. If this is the best you can do, then someone else deserves a turn.

Laura Shortill


Park closed, signs say stop, blame yourself for summons

After reading the story in the Tuesday edition of the Press Herald on the park rangers issuing summonses to trespassers at Acadia National Park (“Some pay price for entering closed Acadia”), I was both amused and bothered by the comments from the woman quoted in the story.

Perhaps she didn’t fully understand the signs indicating the park was closed and not to enter, or maybe she didn’t feel they referred to her. If her comment about believing she was going to jail was not dramatic enough, she topped it off by saying she thought she was in a foreign country.

If she truly felt receiving a ticket for trespassing was the most embarrassing or intimidating thing ever in her life, she should consider herself lucky, as she has lived a charmed life.

The rangers did not shut down the park, but are left dealing with the folks who choose to ignore the signs. Put the blame where it belongs.

Steven Edmondson


Obama, Senate leader Reid are childish obstructionists

Regarding Don Federman’s letter Tuesday in the Portland Press Herald (“Supporters of the tea party deserve place of their own”): Mr. Federman, it takes two to tango.

Senate President Harry Reid and President Obama are obstructionist to the nth degree, acting like small children on a playground. We are becoming a socialist country and a welfare state.

Marjorie Raleigh


Boycott civic center over Portland Pirates travesty

What a tragic loss to the city of Portland in the situation with the Portland Pirates. This is typical of the arrogant and moronic mismanagement of the Cumberland County Civic Center. This had already been agreed upon in April. Why should it change?

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