A few days ago I went to hear Eliot Cutler speak about promoting the creative economy in Maine and came away inspired. He addressed directly a big issue on the minds of many: If we vote for him are we making it more likely that Paul LePage will win the election?

I don’t think so anymore. I think we make it more likely that Cutler actually becomes governor. He has surged in the polls. The Bangor Daily news came out for him in an editorial as did the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. People are finally paying attention to the campaign and that is helping him.

But more than that, what inspired us was his impressive intelligence, grasp of the issues, sensible and creative solutions and vision for the state. He clearly loves the state and understands why so many people do. He talked at length about how to harness Maine’s competitive advantage to help promote the economy and further develop the Maine brand for new opportunities.

It now seems possible that he can win and that he should win. Why shouldn’t we vote for the best candidate in the field and be proud of where the state is heading? the way, he and others at the meeting pointed out that the campaigns of Libby Mitchell and Paul LePage are now focused on him (a further indication of his momentum) and spending big bucks to persuade you that a vote for Cutler is a vote for the other candidate.

Malcolm P. Rogers


Eliot Cutler’s slogan, “Independent. Just Like Maine,” may resonate well with voters. But the reality is closer to “Independently Wealthy. Not Like Maine.” I begrudge no one their prosperity, but when it comes at the cost of the people Cutler seeks to represent, that is where I find offense.

Cutler’s checkbook and lavish estate are the result of spearheading the outsourcing of American jobs, navigating loopholes to environmental regulations, and the shepherding of Thornburg Mortgage into the ninth largest bankruptcy in American history, an association that benefited him even after the company’s insolvency.

The media has given him a free pass. Please don’t do so on election day.

Greg Brown


I strongly disagree with claims made in recent Democratic congressional campaign ads regarding Dean Scontras’ position on taxes. Rep. Chellie Pingree’s people want to give the impression that her opponent’s proposal for a 23 percent fair tax would be the equivalent of imposing an onerous sales tax on top of all the taxes — income, excise, business, etc. — we already pay.

This is just not true at all. For each of us a fair tax replaces all, or most, other taxes. Simply put, persons no longer would have income tax withholding taken from their paychecks or, if they were self-employed, would no longer have to file quarterly payments.

The extra money in hand would cover the fair tax on goods and services purchased. Everyone would pay it in proportion to what they consumed, which would roughly correspond to their income, making it fair.

As well, it would be simple and broad-based. This is compared to the present system that is complex, unbalanced and inefficiently administered. Being broad-based, it would enhance economic growth, actually augment government revenue and ultimately contain and reduce the national debt.

I hope that voters understand that Dean Scontras’ fair tax idea and his sound conservative economic philosophy in general is best for the nation as well as for individual taxpayers.

Charles F. Thurber, M.D.


It seems like cutting social services is the only thing Paul LePage talks about. This is some of the worst hypocrisy I have heard in Maine politics.

These services help people when they need help the most. In this economy, more and more of us understand what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet. He behaves as though cutting social services will solve the state’s problems when that’s just not true.

The real problem is managers like LePage who abuse the system. He doesn’t pay his workers a decent wage or provide affordable health insurance, so they have to turn to the social services he complains about.

LePage talks about one Marden’s worker he calls his “poster child.” She is paid $10 and hour, is a single parent, has two kids and depends on food stamps and heat assistance.

You can be sure she is not alone. Another 188 Marden’s workers are on MaineCare!

I don’t have a problem with these workers on MaineCare, because I bet they are hardworking people.

I do have a problem with LePage talking tough about cutting spending on social services when he is the biggest beneficiary of them.

We all know it’s his company that saves money by not paying a decent wage, by not providing benefits, and by leaving his workers in the cold. Can’t he see that the problem would be solved if he did the right thing? I don’t want that kind of governor.

Harlon Boyington


Maine state government currently spends about $3 billion a year. It’s grown so much that the projected budget shortfall this year is far bigger than the whole annual budget in 1974 when Libby Mitchell first came to the Maine House of Representatives — $500 million short this year versus a total budget of $350 million back then.

Serving in and working as a leader in the House and Senate the whole time, Libby Mitchell had a lot to do with this incredible growth. How much and how fast should the government grow before we decide it’s enough? We each need to decide for ourselves, but I think we’re there already.

It seems that more of her style of government isn’t the solution. Her style of government is the problem. Please don’t vote for Libby Mitchell.

David Marshall


On Oct. 5, columnist Ron Bancroft graded three candidates for governor, basically giving Eliot Cutler A’s and a B for how he will handle various issues.

Eliot Cutler is a Democrat who turned independent to gain an edge over the Democrat candidate, so Cutler’s approach will simply be business as usual. Libby Mitchell should have been given the same grades as Cutler, since they are really no different in their left wing ideology.

Unlike statements in his ads, Cutler does care whether or not you are Republican, Democrat or independent, since his ideas stem from the days of working for Jimmy Carter and Ed Muskie. Cutler is more of a hard-core Democrat.

Speaking of Libby Mitchell, did anyone see the “imperitive” letter sent to supporters by Will Mitchell on his mother’s behalf in which he touts his college and graduate school stints? I could not find this word in the dictionary, so I guess Libby’s education bragging does not include having taught her son how to spell “imperative.”

I guess the college and graduate schools Will attended did not have professors who edited for spelling, either!

Paul LePage is the only real candidate we have to lead Maine in the right direction.

He has a proven record as a businessman and leader.

Sharon I. Rideout


It’s not too late for Eliot Cutler to avoid going down in the Maine history books as our very own “Ralph Nader circa 2000.” Here’s hoping that he comes to terms — soon — with the fact that his effort has a zero percent chance of succeeding, according to Nate Silver’s well-respected FiveThirtyEight election coverage at The New York Times website.

I respect Eliot Cutler in a number of ways, and his views are in sync with mine for the most part. But this is not his year, and surely he has to see that, for Maine’s sake, a Gov. Libby Mitchell would be far preferable to a Gov. Paul LePage.

Steve McKelvey


It’s the season of political ads, nasty and untruthful, but those of Libby Mitchell are laughably absurd. Nuclear power plants on a wooded stream? Paul LePage’s family lives in Maine, enjoying the outdoor and good clean drinking water. How absurd that he would want to destroy that.

Ads condemn LePage for wanting creationism to be taught with the other religions and their histories. Isn’t this what schools are supposed to do — teach all the facts so the student can make an informed decision. Is this the plan of Libby Mitchell to teach only part of the history. If anyone knows the value of an education it’s Mr. LePage.

Democrats will not stand on the issues facing the state because of their failures, so they destroy those who oppose their agenda.

Democrats’ long leadership has made Maine a welfare state. This needs to change. Mr. LePage has proven in Waterville that positive change can be made without undue sacrifice. We should entrust him to accomplish the same changes on the state level, resulting in Maine being the best place to live, work and bring up a family.

Ellen Cleaves
East Andover


Rep. Chellie Pingree is the best choice for voters in Maine’s 1st District.

Unless we all have political amnesia, we should remember that the Democrats inherited the financial mess they’ve been trying to correct for the last two years. That mess included funding two wars and allowing Wall Street and big business to go largely unregulated.

We should also recall that every benefit for working people, including Social Security, child labor laws, the minimum wage, and unemployment insurance was brought about by Democrats over strenuous opposition by business and the GOP.

Dean Scontras is opposed to health care reform except on terms favorable to insurance companies, is opposed to raising the minimum wage (apparently he thinks you can feed a family on $7.25 an hour) and doesn’t think that we humans play a role in global warming, despite overwhelming scientific data to the contrary.

Mainers should vote their own best interests and send Chellie Pingree back to Congress. Her advocacy on our behalf has helped many small business owners and average citizens, and her record shows that she will continue to be our best representative in the future.

Don Loprieno


There are three ways to put Paul LePage in office this November. You can vote for him, you can vote for Eliot Cutler, or you can just stay home.

I’m voting for Libby Mitchell because I know she can pull Maine through the fix that the banks have put this country in. She’s balanced our budget, despite a tough economy, and she’s brought new jobs to Maine. She’s also proven she can work across the aisle.

Maine doesn’t need more anger. Maine needs Mitchell’s wisdom, fairness, and experience. Don’t put Paul LePage in office by staying home Nov. 2, or by voting for an untried candidate will little chance of winning.

Scott Gould
Cape Elizabeth


Before you put out your “Don’t Tread on Me” flag and start hammering those LePage signs into your lawn, you might want to consider what is behind all the hype.

A true grass roots movement it isn’t. The tax day tea party events were sponsored by FreedomWorks, an organization set up by the GOP on the MoveOn model. Unlike MoveOn, which really is a grass roots organization, FreedomWorks, is run by Dick Armey, who was a corporate lobbyist for DLA Piper. DLA Piper represents many companies in the pharmaceutical industry, which included Bristol Myers Squibb.

Seeing as the tea party folks were actively protesting against the health care bill and folks at Bristol Myers opposed the comparative effectiveness research in the health reform plan — well it just not hard to connect the dots. Which makes this movement as grass roots as a Pepsi commercial.

Tea party darlings running for office and the corporate sponsors of the tea party movement do not have your best interests at heart.

I am sure they are excited that they have a political group of growing numbers just waiting to vote in favor of their bottom line and against their own best interest, but I for one am tired of seeing the American public fooled yet again. Please do your research and vote for what is best for you and your fellow Mainers this election season.

Lori Morse


Here we are again with another political campaign season. The candidates, having nothing of their own to stand on, stand on their opponents. No integrity. No statesmanship. No leadership. The self-righteous indignation of the ill-conceived negative attack ads and junk mailings as well as the unsolicited phone calls are overbearing.

The word sour doesn’t begin to describe my attitude toward this election.

In the 42 years I have been voting, no election seems more of a waste of breath and money than the current election. It doesn’t matter who wins, I lose. We all lose. I find no candidate worthy of my vote this year.

Divisiveness has rendered our two-party system broken and dysfunctional. I am sick to death of the mess the Democrats have made of this state and our nation, but one only has to look a short way back to realize that returning the Republicans to power to make everything better is ludicrous. Both are owned by the same big money and special interests. And despite the rhetoric, neither party truly shows any real desire to put the interests of the American people first.

This election I am going to take the gambling theme to heart and take a quarter and a six-sided die to the voting booth. I will flip the coin for the yes or no ballot questions and roll the die for the multiple answer issues.

Then again, maybe I will do something I have wanted to do for years while being stuck having to choose the least among evils on the ballot. I will exercise my own personal “People’s Veto” and reject all of it by writing in and voting for “none of the above.”

David Wallace


Is it a coincidence that the group, which produced an anti-LePage ad, has the same address and phone number as the Maine Education Association?

What’s good for the MEA is not always good for the classroom teacher, the students, or the public that has to fund the schools through taxes at every (federal, state, local) level.

The MEA, the National Education Association and the Department of Education have become tools for advancement of liberal policies in government. Just check their websites.

My dad, who was a career teacher, complained about these organizations for years. He was not indoctrinated by liberal professors at his college. Perhaps that’s because he spent nine years in the Navy before becoming a teacher?

His perspective came from the school of hard knocks. He knew that if Maine did not change the track it’s been on for nearly 40years, we were headed for an irreparable train-wreck.

Paul LePage has a better plan for Maine. Like my dad, he knows what needs to change to improve many aspects of our state, not only in education but business climate, energy issues and welfare abuse.

He knows because he has hands-on experience in every one of these categories. Don’t believe the lies LePage’s opponents are paying big bucks to air to take you off track. Throw the switch on Nov. 2 and change direction. Vote LePage.

Dena Worster


If I had an unlimited budget to improve the health of the people of Maine, I know exactly what I would do. I would invest in improving dental health for infants, children, young adults and others in need. Poor teeth carry a lifetime of health, social and economic problems.

With bad teeth, you try not to smile, you interview for a new job poorly, you will not be hired to be a receptionist, a hostess, a cashier — but relegated to a position out of the public eye. You cannot chew meat, eat fresh fruit or vegetables, so you eat a soft diet of high calorie foods that lead to obesity. Then you are susceptible to inactivity, premature heart disease, diabetes, joint disease and depression, among others.

Even if we could provide all Mainers with dental insurance tomorrow, the problem would not be solved. We don’t have enough dentists. And 40 percent of current dentists will retire in the next decade. And we could use many more dental hygienists. And we need many more dental clinics where the uninsured can begin a new life.

The current system of using the most expensive site to deal with dental emergencies — the hospital emergency room — does nothing to prevent future problems. Mainers deserve better.

Question 2 on the November ballot starts the cure. Maine voters are asked to invest $5 million to build those clinics and increase dental care. The Universirty of New England is committed to building Maine’s first dental school. Those trained in Maine are more likely to stay in Maine, especially if we all are investing in the infrastructure to make good dental health a birthright of all our citizens.

Please join me in voting in favor of Question 2. It is a wise investment for today that will pay great dividends now and in the future.

Robert E. McAfee, M.D.
former president, AMA


Dean Scontras opposes laws meant to protect people from illegal discrimination. In a recent debate with Chellie Pingree he stated that if an employer discriminates against an otherwise qualified person due to race or sex, then it is the employer’s loss because the applicant would be hired elsewhere. He said government had no role to play to protect that individual. I thought we fought wars to stop this type of discrimination. Mr. Scontras is too extreme for me.

Jack Comart


I’m a Vietnam-era veteran and retired Navy chief. I’m really fed up with Chellie Pingree’s never ending barrages of political ads. I feel some portray veterans as whiney old geezers willing to sell our votes to any politician for the crumbs that fall from their table of social programs.

Making it easy for vets to access benefits is important, but I’m more concerned about the young men and women who have stepped up and taken my place on the front lines of defending our country. It is common knowledge that Chellie Pingree is no friend of the active duty military when it comes to appropriating their needed funds.

If it comes to a choice of having a nearby VA clinic or body armor to protect a soldier, I’ll walk to the clinic in Togus if I have to. In short, I would not vote for Pingree even if she promised to fly me to a VA clinic in her boyfriend’s corporate jet.

Ted Sirois