In this time of extreme partisanship and zero compromise, it’s nice to see someone like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., show a willingness to step back and speak about the “foreign money” coming into Mitt Romney’s coffers.

Not that anyone on the Republican side will listen. In fact, they will probably slam him for his comments when he suggests that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson’s $10 million contribution to a Romney super PAC is just a conduit to use profits from Adelson’s properties in Macau to shape American elections.

And that is a key phrase: “to shape American elections.” That is what these super PACs are all about: corporations taking control of our country.

And how nice it is to hear McCain criticize the Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to make such unlimited donations.

The Republican Party, the party that brought us Citizens United, is counting on these rich corporations to invest in their own best interest: low taxes and little regulation, at the expense of the rest of us.

When Romney says that “corporations are people, my friend,” one has to wonder whose interests he really has in mind.

Peyton Higgison


Tie student achievement to educators’ salaries

Ron Bancroft asks why we have poor educational achievement in Maine, in spite of various programs designed to address the problem (“Reasons for lack of progress in educational performance hard to pinpoint,” June 14).

One example he points to is the fact that in 2011, just 32 percent of fourth-graders were reading at grade level or above. However, we can safely assume that the educators and administrators responsible for this dismal result were paid 100 percent of their normal salaries.

Therein, I suggest, lies at least part of the problem.

Require that those two numbers, whatever they may be, equal each other, and we’d see scores (and salaries) quickly rising toward 100 percent.

Leave things as they are, and we can safely expect to see these poor results persisting into the distant future.

William Vaughan Jr.

Chebeague Island

State and High streets safer with one-way traffic

The city of Portland is considering making High and State streets two-way streets.

This, in my opinion, is a big mistake. The increased traffic will foster more accidents and not really help pedestrians.

As a resident near Park Street, which used to be two ways when I was growing up, I can remember many accidents and even a fatality.

Ed Reagan


Democrat Dill would add to U.S. deficit problems

Cynthia Dill is now the Democratic candidate to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe. Given the mess we already have in Washington, I just don’t get it.

I first noticed Cynthia Dill when she was questioned about PAC payments made to her for blogging on the Web (basically paying herself to write about herself and her interests).

Around the same time, she also used Clean Election funds (taxpayer money) to buy herself a new computer. Dill was already “working the system” to put extra cash in her pocket while ignoring the fact that “not illegal” does not equal “appropriate.”

This was the first time I could see that Dill doesn’t get it.

Our government has been rendered ineffective by partisan politics, and clearly people with open minds are needed, but Dill runs around promoting her extreme ideology and blames all that is bad on one party (Republicans). Her wacky attitude and ideas may get her in the news, but they will do nothing to solve the problems we face. Thus again, Dill just does not get it.

While Europe is hammered by excessive government spending and the U.S. accumulates massive deficits, Dill openly advocates for more government spending and even bigger deficits.

The absolute last thing we need is one more representative in Washington who is willing to push our country over the deficit cliff.

So, once again, Dill clearly does not get it.

If Maine voters want solutions to at least some of our problems, then when you cast your vote I would suggest that you consider that Dill doesn’t get it.

Dennis Caron


Rate-hike bill aids insurers and hurts small businesses

As an employee of a small nonprofit, one of the greatest challenges facing our agency is the rising cost of health care. At a recent meeting, our executive director expressed sincere gratitude that our Anthem coverage increased only 6 percent this year, compared to last year’s 14 percent increase.

I wrote last year to my state representative, Wayne Parry, R-Arundel, voicing concerns that the rate hike bill (PL 90) was not health care reform but a massive deregulation of health insurance in Maine.

My letter was returned with his rebuttal that health care needed to be “FIXED” in Maine. Rep. Parry subsequently voted for this legislation, claiming, like other conservatives in the state, that this would bring costs down.

Not at our agency. Not with other health care professionals insured by Aetna either, who also say premiums increased and coverage was reduced.

PL 90 had just the opposite effect, offering the insurance companies in Maine the deregulation they lobbied for to raise the cost of insurance premiums and offer less insurance at a greater price.

At the same time, companies such as Anthem and Aetna continue to make tremendous profits, while fighting off any attempt for meaningful reform.

Small businesses and nonprofits are critical to the success of Maine’s economy, and the increasing costs of the recent insurance deregulation offered by PL 90 are crippling business growth.

Rep. Parry and other conservative legislators have certainly FIXED the insurance industry in Maine, and small business is on the wrong side of the “fix.” We need better from our Maine legislators.

Steven Kelley