Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Judging from the 200 pages of documents the Portland Press Herald obtained concerning Gov. LePage's unspecified role in unemployment benefit proceedings ("Documents: Hearing officer felt pressured by LePage," April 18), any allegations against the governor appear to be "just the tip of the ice cube."
Portland Press Herald coverage of concerns over Gov. LePage’s role in state unemployment appeals hearings is part of a pattern that shows the newspaper’s “palpable and unseemly” disdain for the governor, a reader says.
2013 Kennebec Journal File Photo/Andy Molloy
It's too bad the fragile feelings of hearing officers Wayne Reed and Linda Rogers-Tomer have been hurt.
Beginning with the 2010 gubernatorial campaign -- when Bill Nemitz falsely suggested that LePage would advocate the teaching of creationism in public schools if elected ("Communique to a candidate: Mr. LePage, people are listening," July 30, 2010) -- the Portland Press Herald has been on a relentless crusade to nail LePage.
Although Nemitz seems to have been relegated to writing sob stories, good/bad cops Steve Mistler and Michael Shepherd alternate the beat.
Viewed from a distance, your contempt for Gov. LePage is palpable and unseemly; it does nothing to advance the interests of responsible government, Mainers or your newspaper.
Get a life.
Walter J. Eno
The Villages, Fla., and Scarborough
King, Collins thanked for putting Mainers' health first
During the recent Senate budget debate and deliberations, several amendments were proposed that were a blatant attack on the health of the American people, the climate and on the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate CO2 and other air pollution from the nation's power plants.
Congress shouldn't use the budget to cut important public health protections against air pollution, and Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins both deserve our thanks for opposing these amendments.
Sen. King's votes were clearly in line with his stated concerns about climate change and support for the Clean Air Act.
I thank him for voting against approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline ahead of completion of environmental impact review. This pipeline would provide no lasting benefits to the U.S. and only lead to higher amounts of global warming pollution.
Sen. Collins deserves special recognition because she put Maine's interests ahead of party politics by voting against this attack on the Clean Air Act. She was the only Republican to cross party lines and support these common-sense clean air rules.
Unfortunately, Sen. Collins sided with the oil industry in voting for a nonbinding Senate resolution in support of the Keystone tar sands oil pipeline. I was disappointed to learn about her vote.
We need members of Congress to step up and champion clean air standards instead of looking for ways to undermine these vital clean air protections.
Congress should protect the health and well-being of the people they represent, not the economic bottom line of big polluters. I thank Sens. King and Collins for putting the health of Maine people first.
Maine lawmakers might learn a lesson from Mexico
I lived in Mexico City for more than 30 years. As a journalist, I was interested in governmental legislation. Unions were a major force. Everyone was organized, right down to shoeshine boys.
In 1970, Mexico got its own printing presses and started printing money. By 1976, inflation was out of hand and a devaluation was needed.
A few days prior, a number of sweet deals ensued. A governmental agency could borrow pesos from the treasury, convert 12.50 pesos each to a dollar on Friday and on Tuesday, with a 100 percent devaluation, reconvert the dollars to pesos, pay the government back and pocket the rest.
From 1976 to 1986, inflation ran 100 to 125 percent a year. The government dictated the minimum wage. Forget bonuses for good work. Indexing to the rate of inflation was policy.
For 10 years, unions, government and employers negotiated minimum wages on a monthly basis. The paperwork became overwhelming. Good intentions but counterproductive, you might say.
Today, the minimum wage in Mexico is less than $5 a day. Of course, workers make more, but the economy determines what the market can bear. Might be worth a study by Maine lawmakers.
Mayor thanked for making Lewiston great place to live
Mayor Robert Macdonald of Lewiston deserves a great big thank-you for reviewing the rules and regulations of general assistance to be assured that all the people who are receiving general assistance are fully qualified to receive benefits ("Lewiston kicks 84 people off welfare rolls," March 26).
This is a fantastic exercise for the taxpayers in the city of Lewiston. This could free up tax dollars to assist other programs within the city, i.e.: the school system, children's sports programs, the police department, the fire department, EMTs, senior citizens, disabled veterans, etc.
It would be wonderful if every city mayor and town manager in the state of Maine proceeded to review the same program within their appropriate areas. It seems that by Mayor Macdonald's finding, this is a highly misused and abused program.
Again, Mayor Macdonald, great job. Keep up the good work. I am sure the residents of Lewiston also are very pleased with your efforts at making the city of Lewiston a great place to live.
Armenians thankful for Legislature's resolution
On behalf of the Armenians of Maine and Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan, we would like to thank the Maine Legislature for the Joint Resolution on the Independence of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The people of Nagorno-Karabakh are democratic and peace-loving people and deserve to raise their children in safety, freedom and security.
This may not have meant a lot to most Mainers, but it means the world to Armenians of Maine and Armenians of the world.
Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.