I am responding to a July 21 editorial regarding my vote related to the DISCLOSE Act (Our View, “Maine senators voted wrong on disclosure”).

I am an ardent, longtime supporter of full disclosure in campaign advertising, having authored the landmark disclosure provision of the McCain-Feingold 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. Regrettably, this measure was later struck down by the Supreme Court in Citizens United, so no one wants to get this current legislation right more than I do.

That is why I was deeply disappointed by the legislation’s unequal treatment of corporations and unions, imposing new donor disclosure requirements that effectively benefit labor unions over businesses. The hallmark of the bipartisan McCain-Feingold Act was its even-handed, balanced treatment of all entities.

Most troubling, the bill wasn’t crafted to include any Republican views, bypassed the committee process, was written behind closed doors by a select few and was rushed to the Senate floor just six days after it was introduced. The majority leader then immediately sought to limit debate.

Given the track record of denying the minority’s ability to offer amendments thus far in this Senate, there were no assurances that individual senators would be allowed to modify the bill.

My role as a senator isn’t to simply rubber-stamp legislation with no opportunity to address concerns through the traditional amendment process.

Indeed, because of the skyrocketing instances of the majority leader moving to end debate the very first day a bill comes to the floor or employing Senate procedure to completely block the minority from even offering amendments, a vote to proceed on the DISCLOSE Act would effectively have been tantamount to supporting the bill with no changes.

Quashing alternative ideas and opinions is not how the Senate should work.

Olympia J. Snowe

Falmouth and Washington, D.C. 

Congress Street striping makes commute frustrating

I am writing regarding the striping project on Congress Street. I live in Stroudwater, so this is an area where I travel daily.

On my way home from work, I take a left off Congress Street onto Waldo Street, utilizing the new left-turn lane. I now have to wait longer because there is one steady stream of cars coming toward me. With two lanes, I was able to turn faster.

I understand that traffic does back up when someone is turning left off Congress Street, but it never took me more than a minute to wait to turn. In the morning, I have to wait longer to take a right onto Congress Street because there is only one lane of traffic to turn into.

Driving westbound on Congress Street, after the light at Stevens Avenue, it goes down to one lane by merging into the right lane. Historically, the right lane leading up to Stevens Avenue is backed up because so many motorists take a right onto Stevens Avenue.

Those of us who are going straight through this light typically stay in the left lane to avoid the backup. However, having to almost immediately merge into the right lane makes for dangerous travel and high frustration.

I strongly urge the state to reconsider this new traffic pattern and change it back.

Heather Gosch

Portland

Left-leaning media bias works in favor of Obama

Many years ago, in 1982, I sent a letter to the editor to this very paper titled “The Unseen Enemy,” in which I decried the left-leaning bias in the media and its effect on elections.

Now, 30 years later, in 2012, just as in 2008, the “mainstream” media is again aiding and abetting the left, simultaneously ignoring the skeletons in Barack Obama’s closet while focusing a microscope on Mitt Romney’s involvement with Bain Capital, in perfect harmony with the Obama propaganda campaign.

In 2008, no one in the mainstream media gave significant attention to stories about Solyndra, Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, ACORN, etc., just as during the 2012 campaign it is almost impossible to find stories about any of that, or the Fast and Furious scandal, or Eric Holder’s perjury before Congress or Colombian hookers for the Secret Service, etc., etc.

Obama has even admitted publicly that his campaign will focus on attacking Romney, while at the same time continuing the fantasy that it is unfair to talk about any of Obama’s skeletons.

The sniveling, cowardly and corrupt media organizations in this country make me want to vomit almost as much as Obama himself does.

Peter Howe

Standish

RSU 23 budget proposal would hurt Saco residents

On Tuesday, the citizens of Saco will be asked to vote on a budget approved by the Regional School Union 23 Board that results in an increase of 18 percent in Saco’s property tax rate.

The voters will decide whether to send the budget back to the school board for reworking or to raise taxes on many of Saco’s fixed-income retiree property owners, and apartment rents on low-income and fixed-income renters, by a significant amount. It is an unprecedented property tax increase for Saco.

Imagine state government increasing the sales tax by 18 percent! Imagine state government hiking the income tax on the lowest wages by 18 percent! Imagine county government hiking the property tax by 18 percent! Imagine any city in Maine hiking the property tax 18 percent! For me, it is unimaginable.

Education has always been important in Saco. In addition to making certain that Saco’s children are well-educated, the Saco members of the RSU 23 Board are also responsible for conserving Saco’s limited resources.

The current superintendent claims that the responsibility for this tax hike lies with the previous superintendent.

It does not lie with any superintendent. Responsibility for the RSU 23 budget lies completely with the RSU 23 board.

It is the board’s budget that is sent to the municipal voters. It is the board’s responsibility to recognize that other needs compete with education for Saco’s limited resources. It is the board’s responsibility to scrutinize the draft budget submitted by the superintendent.  

The citizens of Saco must tell the Saco RSU 23 Board members that they cannot ignore their homework.

Please vote Tuesday. Please vote responsibly and vote “no” on the RSU 23 budget.

Marston Lovell

Saco


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