Look beyond soundbites and form an educated opinion.

I believe Paul LePage is by far the best candidate for governor. The problem is, you need to hear him speak in person, at length and not in soundbites and time limits as in the debates.

I dare any of you who are criticizing him to research his proposal for getting people off welfare. It is brilliant, doable and enables people to maintain their dignity and work for results.

It will greatly alleviate the burden we all share funding out welfare system. No other candidate has come up with such a concrete, compassionate plan.

Libby Mitchell will continue to bankrupt our grandchildren even worse than they are now. She is more of the same. The status quo is not working.

As a recovering Democrat, I urge all people who are open minded and undecided to research in depth Paul LePage. electing Mr. LePage, our state will return to fiscal conservatism, lower our tax burden and debt. Common sense in Augusta will be a good thing.

Mr LePage will turn Maine around and we will be freer and happier.

Evangeline Wollmar

Never in my memory has Maine been faced with a clearer choice for governor. For the one-third whose anger at government has become personal, Paul LePage is the candidate of choice.

For the one-third that is satisfied with current leadership and seeks a seasoned leader who can step into the corner office and govern from day one, Libby Mitchell is the obvious choice.

For the remaining one-third who, like me, believes that government has become buried under a mountain of conflicting policies and laws, Eliot Cutler is the best choice.

As a former legislator, I came to believe that there is little appetite in Augusta for restructuring state government to make it more responsive to its sponsor, the people.

The right wants to slash costs, paralyze government and fill their own pockets. They call that freedom; some dare call it anarchy. The left wants to spend all your money while promising the moon. They call that liberty; some dare call it socialism.

Eliot Cutler comes to us with deep Maine roots and a long history of government service while standing up to power brokers on both the right and the left.

He has no political cronies lusting for power. That makes him the most accessible political candidate of the major three running for governor.

He listens; he doesn’t talk over anyone’s head; he believes in the ability of Maine people to climb out of this structural malaise into which we seem to have sunken.

Some dare call that leadership.

The Rev. Stan Moody

Selecting a governor is in many ways like selecting a spouse or partner. If someone is angry, deceitful, and makes excuses at the beginning of a relationship, it’s a good indication that it will only get worse over time.

Paul LePage has a terrible temper, blames others for his own shortcomings and is dishonest about his family’s tax filings. Caveat emptor — buyer beware.

I am a former Illinois resident who has seen four governors indicted, three sentenced to jail, and one (Rod Blagojevich) whose future is still undecided. Crooked officials take a moral, emotional and financial toll on the entire state. Maine deserves a a governor who will bring no baggage, dishonesty or shame to the Blaine House. Childish behavior, implausible excuses and outright lies can only lead to a dark future.

I’m voting for Libby Mitchell because I want my vote to stand for honesty, integrity, and common sense.

Diane Denk

In the past few weeks Mainers have been exposed to politics at its worst and the obvious media bias against two of the independent candidates running for governor. I am referring to Shawn Moody and Keven Scott.

I have known Shawn Moody for several years. I find him to be a compassionate, caring, honest, intelligent, straight forward, family man. He is also a very savvy, successful, self made business man that owns multiple businesses, owning his first auto body shop at the age of 17.

Some 95 percent of his employees own their own homes. They are very dedicated to him as he is to them. This is extraordinary in these economic times and a real tribute to this man.

Shawn has put up his own money in order to run for governor because he has great concern for the direction in which our great state is headed. He truly believes that he can make a difference in Augusta, and is willing to turn over the reigns of his multiple businesses to his trusted employees in order to do so. I am convinced that he truly cares about Maine and all its residents.

He knows that if Maine is ever to be prosperous again, he will need to work with the next Legislature to reduce unemployment by supporting our present small businesses and attracting new businesses, reforming our welfare system, creating more competition in health care insurance, and making changes to our education system.

Maine needs these reforms to move forward. Shawn will provide that necessary change.

His website (www.moodygov.com) will provide you with the information you need to know about this man.

I am convinced that Shawn Moody is the best candidate for the governor of Maine. I will be voting for him in November.

Brenda Theriault

Bill Nemitz recently wrote a column regarding the Republican candidate for governor, Paul LePage. He focused on the public dialogue Mr. LePage has had regarding taxes in Maine and Florida as well as his interaction with reporters. It apparently struck a nerve with some who felt it should be on the editorial page rather than anywhere else in the paper.

If only it were that simple.

Mr. Nemitz focused on various comments made in public during the campaign that indicate a rather fluid approach to the facts by Mr. LePage. Beyond the who-said-what-when-where with the media, there is the professed ignorance of his wife’s legal residency, whether it be in Maine or Florida.

These are facts, not the musings of a journalist. If Mr. LePage simply admitted gaming the system rather than professing ignorance, I think he would get quite a bit of sympathy from the public.

Such candor would cost politically as well. Also politically costly is the idea that someone who would guide this state cannot keep his own house in order. From the semantics of the editorials it is obvious that the truth hurts.

Joe Delaney

I recently watched with astonishment the Libby Mitchell TV ads framing oil drilling as resulting in a Louisiana-style platform explosion and fire. The same ad contained a steaming nuclear plant. Does oil drilling, as this ad presents, always lead to disaster? Are nuclear power plants always to be feared?

Is the message from Libby Mitchell that she is afraid of certain types of energy for our state? Might these types of energy, lead to increased revenue for the state, jobs for Mainers, decreased energy costs and a reduction in our dependence on foreign oil?

Or is Ms. Mitchell simply out to scare us, something some people call fear-mongering?

If so, it is working. I’m afraid to vote for someone who would say things like she presents in these ads. And then to think that, if she succeeds in becoming the next governor, we would have more of these types of questionable actions by a so-called leader.

Really, Ms. Mitchell, I believe this is beneath you as a candidate. Wouldn’t it be better to stick to the issues of the campaign instead of fabricating disaster scenarios about your opponent?

Char Majeski
North Yarmouth 

Please pardon me for my confusion, but I would like to know if character counts or not.

If President Bill Clinton has an affair, it is the whole country’s business. If Paul LePage and his wife don’t do their civic duty, follow the law and pay their taxes, it’s not anyone’s business but their own, because focusing on it keeps the voters from thoughtfully examining his stance on issues?

If Bill Clinton lies under oath because he’s having an affair, it’s a reason to impeach him. If Paul LePage lies and it is reported upon, it’s just some kind of smokescreen to keeps Mainers from learning more about his views on the problems facing the state?

It’s really too bad that Bill Clinton could not have followed Paul LePage’s example and left press conferences in a huff when he did not wish to truthfully answer questions.

Of course, such behavior is not presidential, but is it OK for a man who would be governor of Maine to behave in such a way?

Kimberly Crook

Recent reports and editorial comments swirling around an untruth voiced by the GOP candidate for governor are humorous and way off the mark. Imagine, a politician telling a “lie,” raising questions about his trustworthiness to serve as governor.

No one should condone lying. Before you conclude this is a big deal (over the Florida tax debacle), let’s put this into better perspective.

As a result of years by the Democrat gubernatorial candidate pushing a liberal, progressive political agenda, private sector business growth has come to a screeching halt; an alarming 30 percent of Mainers are receiving public assistance; energy costs are wicked high; an attempt at single-payer health care via the Dirigo Health Program is a total failure; and an expensive, yet dismal performing education system has been created.

Making matters worse, unrealistic pressure is placed on Maine residents (whose median household income is the lowest in New England) to pay for these costly, yet failed liberal public policies and progressive political ideology.

The Democrat candidate makes no apology for these outcomes. Senate President Libby Mitchell and her party have perpetrated gigantic lies and misrepresentations in efforts to cover-up these public policy failures.

Mainers are falsely led to believe that this is “The Way Life Should Be.” Just shuffle the chairs in Augusta’s state bureaucracy, beg for more federal aid, raise taxes and fees, and increase bond financing — and everything will be just fine.

So, you be the judge. Which candidate’s lies are having the most impact on the state’s economy, social well-being and personal freedom? Who is more deserving of the public’s trust?

Bill Underwood

That was a wonderful story of Libby Mitchell’s early life in the Sept. 12 Maine Sunday Telegram.

Rarely do we have a gubernatorial candidate with such extensive government experience at all levels.

Her active political participation began in high school as student body president and continued in college.

Since coming to Maine in 1971, she has served in the town government of Vassalboro, 12 terms in the state Legislature since 1975, as director of the Maine State Housing Authority, and chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, giving her both legislative and executive experience.

She was elected by her colleagues to speaker of the House of Representatives, and after two terms in the Senate was elected Senate president.

She also earned a law degree from the University of Maine and graduated from the Muskie School of Public Policy, while raising four children.

I ask you — where could we find another candidate so well prepared to be our next chief executive? She has devoted her life to public service. We are so lucky that she and her husband Jim, probate judge of Kennebec County, chose to settle in Maine rather than another New England state.

Mary Najarian