Thank you for your article on the ranked-choice voting system that will be used for Portland’s first mayoral election (“Ranked-choice balloting wild card in mayor’s race,” May 19). RCV does present an opportunity to improve how our political campaigns and elections are conducted.

Voter education on RCV is important so that voters can best use this tool to elect the officials they think will best serve their community.

The League of Young Voters and Portland Tomorrow, a group referenced in the article, are committed to educating the public on ranked-choice voting.

These organizations will be holding a mock election to raise understanding of the RCV system as part of a larger community forum, held this coming Thursday at Deering High School.

“Citizen Portland: Planning Our Future” is a forum for all interested residents to come together to discuss the issues they feel are important and to begin to develop a shared vision of what direction we want our city headed in the years ahead.

City Clerk Kathy Jones will be assisting in the mock RCV balloting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. May 26.

The forum will follow at 6 p.m. Light fare and rich discussion will be served!

Markos Miller


I read the letters to the editor which support ranked-choice voting, also known as instant runoff voting, in gubernatorial elections (“Ranked-choice voting would be more democratic,” May 17). It is ironic that Maine may be considering the use of RCV at this time.

Adopting RCV would be a huge mistake. First of all, RCV supporters continue to say that RCV elections reduce negative campaigning and that they result in majority winners. RCV does no such thing.

I recommend the people of Maine look very carefully at what has occurred in locations using RCV. Many, such as Aspen, Colo., Burlington, Vt., Cary, N.C., and Pierce County in Washington have repealed RCV, and most recently Fort Collins, Colo., and England have voted down RCV. Hawaii recently tabled the matter.

RCV has many deficiencies and should not be used in any type of election process.

Anthony B. Santos

San Leandro, Calif.  

Would GOP share blame if bin Laden mission failed? 

If you thought the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and the good feelings that followed would cause most Republicans to deviate even slightly from their script regarding President Obama, you were sadly mistaken.

First and foremost, credit for the raid’s success goes to the military and intelligence personnel who executed a nearly flawless mission under difficult circumstances.

However, some Republicans just couldn’t help themselves from using this as just another grandstanding moment. Ignoring the Obama administration, accolades were instead showered on former President Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and virtually anyone else who ever punched a clock during the Bush administration more than two years ago.

My response to that snubbing is to ask if those same GOP voices would be so anxious to share in the blame if the mission had failed as they are to spread around the credit.

Imagine if the SEAL team had run into bad weather, Pakistani interference, or unexpected resistance at the compound.

Imagine a nightmare scenario of American casualties followed by international embarrassment as bin Laden slinked away with yet another propaganda victory.

Actually, we don’t have to do much imagining. Just recall how President Jimmy Carter was crucified as a bumbling weakling following the failure of the Iran hostage rescue mission 30 years ago.

If the bin Laden mission had failed similarly, President Obama’s treatment at the hands of the Fox News/tea party/talk radio crowd would have made President Carter’s mauling seem gentle in comparison.

President Obama gambled a second term and probably his presidential legacy to help bring some closure and a measure of long-awaited justice to this nation.

While he doesn’t deserve all the credit, as commander in chief he should be recognized for making the tough decision.

He certainly would not have escaped recognition if the mission had ended badly.

Jeremy Smith

Old Orchard Beach 

A few words missing from story about logging law  

A recent story appearing in your newspaper regarding the governor’s position on L.D. 1383, “An Act to Improve the Process by Which Logging Contractors Hire Legal Foreign Workers,” needs clarification (“Loggers: Bill will allow Canadians to take U.S. work,” May 7).

The article stated that the LePage administration supported the bill because it cuts “bureaucracy and red tape that restrain businesses and make them less competitive.”

That is true. However, given the highly charged nature of this issue with Maine loggers, I feel it important to share with your readers the full sentence of my testimony:

“The administration has pledged its commitment to reducing bureaucracy and red tape; that said, nothing will stand in the way of seeing that Maine people are put back to work as soon as possible and that they are given preference for all available jobs in this — or any other — industry.”

The real issue here is getting unemployed Maine loggers connected with available jobs while not penalizing businesses that clearly want to hire them. We are dedicated to doing just that.

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify the news report.

Linwood M. Higgins

assistant to the commissioner

Maine Department of Labor