Why is it that Maine seems to be the only state that’s “too good” to accept jobs when they are right in front of our eyes? I’m talking about the proposed racinos for Biddeford and Washington County. The residents of both areas overwhelmingly support the projects, yet they must now put their hopes in the rest of us in a statewide referendum on Nov. 8.

Maybe it’s because my wife and I have raised and raced horses in Maine for the past three decades, but a “yes” vote on this referendum question should be a no-brainer.

We already have gambling in Maine. We have it at Hollywood Slots in Bangor, with harness racing and off-track betting, scratch tickets and a state-endorsed lottery that generates millions of dollars in revenue every year. Then there is the new casino going up in Oxford. Why would we allow all of those things but say “no” to the harness racetracks?

The hypocrisy amazes me. My family has visited other states where they have racinos, and we’ve seen how much they benefit the harnessmen and the economy in general.

Those facilities have helped create jobs, support local hay farmers, grain and feed stores, blacksmiths, vets, and the list goes on. Please join us in voting “yes” on Question 2.

Richard and Helen Belisle


Now that the slimmest of majorities of Mainers, in their infinite stupidity, have decided to open the door in Maine to legalized gambling in Bangor and Oxford, once again we have upcoming November two ballot initiatives to expand this scourge on the working man in Lewiston, Biddeford and Washington County.

After all the years spent fighting to keep gambling out of Maine and deny the crime lords of Lost Wages, Nev., the financial keys to our beautiful state, the means to success has finally struck me.

Rather than waste any more time voting “no” on gambling, the good citizens of Maine need to vote “yes” on each and every gambling ballot initiative statewide forevermore.

We need to approve gambling in every single town across the state and clog the market up with so many dens of fast women, vice, dice, smoke and dope that none of them can make any money and all go belly up as a result of too much competition.

That should do the trick of driving a stake into the vampire’s heart once and for all. How perverse can life be, and who woulda thunk it?

Bruce Sanford


Maine voters were right to approve racinos back in 2003, and we should reaffirm that decision by voting “yes” on Question 2 on Nov. 8.

If we’ve learned anything in the past eight years, it’s that we can’t continue to turn away good jobs and economic development. We can’t do nothing, as working class families leave Maine because they can’t make a living here. Approval of Question 2 will bring modern harness racetracks, combined with slots parlors, to Biddeford and Washington County.

It will create jobs immediately and will deliver millions of dollars to the state’s general fund.

The Biddeford Downs project alone will create 800 construction jobs and 500 jobs at the facility when it’s done, with an average salary of $35,000. And don’t forget all the other jobs at stake here, from hay farmers to feed dealers and equipment dealers who cater to Maine’s horse owners.

I’ve raised standardbred horses for the past 10 years and I’ve gotten to know many of the people involved in the industry.

They are a hard-working, tight-knit community that supports our state’s working farms, open spaces and rural heritage, and they’re depending on your vote.

We meant “yes” to racinos in 2003. I urge you to do the same on Nov. 8.

Cyndie Bowie

Isle of Joy Farm


Criticism of Rep. Pingree continues to find new lows

It seems GOP politics in Maine have hit a new low. Unable to defeat Rep. Chellie Pingree in free and fair elections, her opponents on the opinion pages have reduced themselves to shrill and often incoherent attacks on her family and person.

Letter after letter has been written to the Press Herald where conservatives complain about “class warfare” and the demonizing of the wealthy in the name of income redistribution.

Yet, when the wealthy person in question is a Democrat, in this case Pingree’s husband, Donald Sussman, they have no qualms about attacking his wealth or how he chooses to spend it. To call it contradictory would be an understatement.

Another letter writer recently brought overt sexism into his attacks, refusing for most of the letter to refer to the congresswoman even as an elected office holder. Instead the letter writer not-so-cleverly implied that Mr. Sussman himself was the representative from Maine’s 1st District.

Does the letter writer have doubts that an accomplished, intelligent and educated woman like Pingree can hold high office without her husband wielding power behind the scenes?

The better question would be, why would the Press Herald print something so crude?

Finally, did any of these letter writers express concerns over the use of family money and connections in past political races when Republicans Linda Bean and Peter Cianchette ran for high office using their own families’ substantial fortunes as backing (L.L. Bean and Cianbro, respectively)?

No, of course not.

Instead of wasting your time attacking Pingree personally, my Republican friends should take some suggestions: Field better candidates. Bring new ideas and new voters to the campaigns, and most importantly offer solutions not just attacks and tired excuses.

You may not win but, unlike now, you’ll have some dignity in defeat.

Jeremy Smith

Old Orchard Beach

MTA spending on magnets shows little common sense

We in Maine have and will continue to have a major shortage of funds for education, repair of infrastructure and support for heating fuel funds for the poor in the upcoming winter.

The list of needs and cut-off funds for those needs goes on and on. We are no different than many states in this time of major economic distress and unemployment.

What has set us apart is that in this state of extreme poverty, the Maine Turnpike Authority found $16,950 to hand out 15,000 souvenir Maine magnets to departing tourists, at a cost of $1.13 each.

Has common sense, and accompanying fiscal responsibility, escaped our esteemed officials — one of whom was foisted on 61 percent of us because Maine does not have runoff elections?

Linda Cornish Rioux

Old Orchard Beach


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