At the recent state Republican/tea party convention, Gov. LePage issued a direct challenge: “To all you able-bodied people out there, get off the couch and get yourself a job.” The convention delegates expressed their agreement with a standing ovation.

He was referring to all those recipients of state welfare he claims are contributing to a system that is “cannibalizing the rest of the state government.”

Gov. LePage, along with his fellow party members, have convinced themselves that the majority of the citizens referred to have not been actively seeking employment but are content to subsist on the public dole.

To respond to his directive, I urge all you “able-bodied people” to submit your resumes directly to the governor. In your cover letters, please list the number of resumes you have already submitted to prospective employers without success.

Also be sure to impress upon the governor your frustration at how long you have been unemployed and confirm that you really would like to get back to work if only, in this period of economic recession, you could find a job.

Gov. LePage evidently has personal knowledge of available situations that so far have eluded you and is eager to assist you in finding a suitable position. If he is unable to match any of your resumes to these unfilled job opportunities, he has promised to provide you with adequate training so you will qualify.

Let’s not forget he has already found gainful employment for his daughter. Surely he has proved he is capable of providing the same result for other equally deserving citizens of Maine.

Phyllis Kamin


It is clear that there are members of society who will always be less able to fend for themselves than others, through no fault of their own. It is also clear that there are some who are willing to take advantage of others’ generosity. Should the disadvantaged suffer because of the minority who abuse the system?

I believe one of the jobs of society is to take care of the less fortunate. Should the disadvantaged suffer while others have the ability to make a small sacrifice that would help many? The current excuse for cutting services to the poor, the mentally or physically disabled, the elderly and children is that these are entitlements and in these tight times such must be cut.

Maybe it wouldn’t amount to much, but our governors, standing and otherwise, could send a message by refusing or donating their yearly $27,000 pensions (lifetime for eight years of work!). Compared to the rest of us they all have more than they need. Are those pensions, in fact, not entitlements?

The salary for a U.S. senator is nearly $170,000! These are public servants? This doesn’t count the revolving door of opportunity that job-starved Americans don’t have access to. Is that not an entitlement?

What other working pool decides their own wage and benefits (including health care that, apparently, the rest of the nation can’t afford)? Are they not their own union? But we can’t have unions — they stifle competition!

The rules have been whittled away by those outside of government seeking influence, and by members of government (on both sides of the aisle) until, at worst, public service is nothing more than a corrupt business proposition.

I challenge all our leaders to make those sacrifices. Working people do it every day. Lead — it’s your job.

Kevin Midgley


Snowe and Collins should help pass the Disclose Act

You might imagine that I, as a lifelong Republican, have had something of a love-hate relationship with our senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.

While I understand the unique perspective of being a Republican representing what is one of the most liberal states in the union, I can’t help but get worked up when they side with Democrats on what I think are important issues facing our nation. And so it is with some surprise that I find myself calling on them to do just that in the case of Disclose 2012 legislation.

The Portland Press Herald is right, and I join them in asking Sens. Collins and Snowe to stand up and lead on this issue and fight to get secret money out of politics (Our View, “Congress should pass Disclose Act,” May 27).

Money is already drowning out the voices of Maine citizens, and the millions and millions of dollars from big money, special interests, unions and corporations is threatening to take away our voices for good. If big money is going to be spent, as it surely will in the next five months, we deserve to know where the money is coming from, so that we can make educated choices.

One thing that I know for certain — even when I disagree — my senators always do what they think is right for our country. Senators, tell us you’ll do the right thing again, and lead the fight to enact this legislation, to better enable the people to do the right thing in November.

Andrew Newman


Safe Chemicals Act would fight many threats to health

As a Maine grandmother who is very concerned about the increasing presence of toxic chemicals in today’s world, I was delighted to be a part of the Safe Chemicals Brigade in Washington, D.C. (“Maine activists rally for tougher chemical standards,” May 29).

Moms and other activists from 31 states met with their congressional delegations in Washington to raise awareness about the Safe Chemicals Act, before the U.S. Senate.

Unbelievably, only about 200 of the 80,000 synthetic chemicals found in the products we use daily have ever been tested for safety! Passing the Safe Chemicals Act would ensure that many more chemicals are tested. It would help prevent asthma, cancer, birth defects and neurological disorders, and even help protect wildlife from contaminated lakes and streams.

I was one of 24 moms and activists comprising Maine’s Safe Chemicals Brigade. We met with Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, as well as members of the staff of Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud. We, happily, received favorable responses from all four of our lawmakers. All acknowledged the problem and showed real interest in toxic chemical law reform. I especially appreciated Sen. Snowe’s keen interest in the stories we shared with her.

Untested chemicals are in many of the things that we wear, touch, eat, breathe and drink. They are in packaging. We cannot get away from them. This issue affects us all.

I urge Sens. Snowe and Collins to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act and to work hard to ensure that it passes. Two hundred tested chemicals out of 80,000 is just completely unacceptable.

Helen F. Anderson