I don’t buy it.

Over the years, I’ve developed a personal theory regarding situations as depicted in the piece written by eight Maine Republican state senators and published in the Press Herald other newspapers. When family members air their dirty laundry in public, claiming their only interest is the common good, it’s usually quite the opposite — their own self-interest.

We know these eight met privately with Gov. LePage and expressed their concerns to him. A strong discussion was held which was honest and totally called for. However, when they took those same concerns and carried them beyond that face-to-face meeting, to be published in the state’s major newspapers, in my humble opinion they moved into the “CYA” realm.

If the governor fails, they can say to their constituents “See? We tried to help him but it just didn’t work.” If the governor succeeds, they still win. They can say “We surely helped him see the error of his ways.” Ingenious.

My guess, however, is that those who elected these senators may see through this public ploy, and perhaps they might be sent looking for new jobs in just a few years. Only 90 days into his administration, as far as these eight — and all the many LePage bashers go — I return to Shakespeare: “Methinks thy doth protest too much!”

They are protesting all right — early and often — accompanied by overzealous hand-wringing and fanfare. I’ll tell you what offends my sensibilities, and it’s not murals, gruff words and turned-down breakfast invitations. It’s watching the Maine I love turned into a state which our children are forced to leave, just to make a decent living. Now, that’s offensive!

All I can say is “Go governor, go!”

You senators had better scramble to keep up!

Carolyn Baltes

People need to back efforts to end uncontrolled spending 

If the state is to recover from the damage being done by uncontrolled spending and rising debt, the trends must be stopped.

We must support Gov. LePage in getting his budget passed; it will go a long way in helping Maine get back on a solid financial foundation. Only this type of budgeting, also being done by other governors in New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin, will make us financially strong again.

It is also important that we support the federal budget legislation being put forward by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.

The federal government has to stop spending more than it takes in. Canada was doing the same before it decided continuation would ruin the country. So it took action by cutting spending and now has it under control.

I am sure if I paid for a cup of coffee with American dollars, I would no longer receive money back.

Contact your legislators in Augusta and Washington and let them know it is time to put our financial houses in order.

Tony Belliveau

Teachers too important to be under siege 

All the experts say that in the next decade, we will have a teacher shortage. That’s because so many baby boomers will hit retirement age. And given the climate that teachers are encountering here and in many states, who would blame them if they choose to get out when they can.

How are we going to attract new, qualified, dedicated people to the profession if all they can expect is lower pay, fewer benefits and larger class sizes? How are we going to compete in the global economy if we don’t give our kids the best of the best education?

What the Republicans are doing is so wrong on so many levels. Not just because it’s unfair to current teachers, but because, in the long run, it will cost more.

Follow the logic. Teachers need to have a college educations. Having a college education gives you more opportunities in the job market. There will be fewer and fewer experienced teachers remaining in the profession and fewer going into the profession. Who needs the headaches?

Without collective bargaining each potential teacher will be able to negotiate his or her own employment contract. Given a shortage in the employment pool, school districts will have to pay or have empty class rooms. Somehow, empty class rooms seems like a bad outcome.

Good schools translate directly to property values. Who wants to live in a bad school district? If the Republicans keep going down this path, we may not pay today, but we sure will pay tomorrow.

Maureen Turgeon
Orr’s Island 

Return to labor’s dark past would hurt kids and adults 

Is there any safe place for laws that have made the United States a more enlightened society?

Labor laws, which have given working people a voice in workplace conditions, are being decimated! I am outraged to hear about L.D. 516 and L.D. 1346, two proposed laws that would peel back needed labor protections for working teens.

Are we going back to the days of Dickens, dismantling child labor laws? Will we close the schools next, so businesses can have all the cheap labor they want? So adult job-seekers have fewer opportunities to find work?

As a recently retired teacher, I have been weathering all the attacks on teacher successes, or supposed lack of same, from those who have never taught. How will children’s accomplishments in school fare when the child labor laws are loosened? Students will be able to work 24 hours during a school week, at the diminished rate of $5.25 an hour rather than $7.50.

I am helping a high school student who is juggling school work and outside work. She is, fortunately, a smart and conscientious student. However, activities after school are sometimes not possible. Her working life is shaping a lot of her experiences and dominate her conversations — at the expense of athletic or club/committee participation.

I hope voters will look back at their own child and adult work experiences, and challenge the abrupt changes being pursued legislatively to turn back the clock to the historic, bad, old days.

Dauna Binder

Maybe Rep. Pingree could return mural 

If the Department of Labor wants $60,000 back for the mural that was on display, why doesn’t the governor just send it back to them and tell them to keep it. Call their bluff and see what happens.

To save on freight charges, maybe Rep. Chellie Pingree could put it on her friend’s airplane and fly it back to D.C. since she has stated her concern for the work that supposedly means so much to us Mainers.

Like we don’t have enough problems with taxes, health and welfare. Now we have to worry about struggling artists. Some of the other “art” around the state should never have been purchased with taxpayer money. Knock the petty complaining and get back to work.

Charlie Simons


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