Ron Paul’s supporters helped cause the Republicans’ 2012 Election Day drubbing. During the Maine Republican Convention in Augusta in May, they took control of the convention agenda and assumed responsibility for Maine’s Republican Party for the 2012 election.

What did they do with this power? Did they transcend factions and earn the respect of the rest of our diverse party? Absolutely not! Instead, they demonized dissent.

These members of a tiny but well-organized minority-of-a-minority served their faction’s narrow interests. That is all, nothing else. Their political narcissism made them resist every non-Ron Paul Republican initiative in 2012.

Not one Republican candidate for office in either Washington or Augusta was given speaking time at the convention. After May, no serious effort was made by the Paulist leadership to coordinate party resources for victory in either the U.S. Congress or Maine Legislature.

Instead, they made a spectacle of themselves, focusing all of their energy on their successful efforts to overturn the results of February’s Republican caucuses. They loudly agitated for their faction to take exclusive control over all of Maine’s seats at the Republican National Convention. Their great achievement was minor discord on the floor of the RNC.

Worst of all, the Paulist leadership withheld endorsement of Mitt Romney, expressing continuing opposition to his policies. In doing so, they gave material support to the Obama campaign.

Whether motivated by anti-Mormon bigotry, Paulist factionalism or some other factor, fewer Republicans voted for Romney than voted for John McCain. Nationally, this may have been the key to President Obama’s victory. In Maine, the Ron Paul faction simultaneously led Maine’s Republican Party and sabotaged Maine’s Republican candidates.

The Ron Paul leadership has earned a firm rebuke from every non-Paulist Republican. The disastrous effects of their selfish words and actions demand nothing less.

Ralph K. Ginorio


Webster’s remarks insult both town, party officials

Charlie Webster needs to broaden and deepen his apology for his “‘comments … made without proof of wrongdoing'” (“Webster apologizes for comments made about black voters,” Nov. 16).

His reference to “perceived voting irregularities” casts aspersions on our town clerks who require proof of ID — driver’s license, passport, Social Security card — and then evidence of residency — a utility bill to you at your local address, copy of deed or lease, auto insurance policy showing local address, UPS/FedEx package to you at local address, etc., before the person is allowed to approach the ballot area with a form to add to the check-in lists.

Then he casts aspersions on the local people from different political party affiliations who give 12 hours-plus of their time to setting up and breaking down the polls, manning the ballot area and then carefully summarizing the results together.

That they would give a ballot to one person, much less dozens, not eligible to vote is an insult to their integrity. Aspersions also go to any political party poll watchers who stood by and let the fraudulent votes happen.

Does Mr. Webster “perceive” that all of these many good people are somehow in collusion to allow fraudulent votes to be cast? Aspersions go to his ability to reason.

So, “without proof of wrongdoing” and only “perceived … irregularities” that show his ignorance or lack of regard for the process and the people, he singles out “dozens of black people” as fraudulent voters. Should his remarks incite a revival of the Ku Klux Klan in Maine, he should be charged with a hate crime.

Kathryn Leffler


Maine crew helped bring New Yorker back to light

Although Sandy left my neighborhood without power for 13 days, I would like to wholeheartedly thank the two crews of workers who restored that power. The tree crew was from Maine, and the electrical crew was from Michigan.

I place no blame on you for the Long Island Power Authority’s shortcomings and mishandling of this disaster and the follow-up nor’easter. I hope you are able to return to Long Island in the near future and take in all of its beauty.

Christine Gietschier

Westbury, N.Y.

‘Slanted View’ of Geffen overlooks his philanthropy

I’m writing in response to John Spritz’s view of David Geffen’s yacht (“A Slanted View,” Nov. 17). I think it’s important that the readers of the Press Herald be aware that Mr. Geffen is not the money-grubbing, baby seal-beating anti-Christ that Mr. Spritz’s Nov. 17 illustration implies.

Mr. Geffen is actually a very prominent philanthropist. He is a large contributor to the fight against AIDS. He gave a $200 million endowment to the UCLA School of Medicine. He has also employed thousands of people.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. As of 2002, he has given all of his earnings to charity.

What have you done, Mr. Spritz?

Tim Duchaine


Corporation not the only player in Hostess’ failure

I’m not sure which is worse: the quote from Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant regarding the closure of the Hostess bakery (“The grinch has come back in the form of a corporation”) or the outsized pullout the editorial staff at the Press Herald decided to give to this quote (“Bankruptcy judge approves quick closing of Hostess,” Nov. 21).

The failure of Hostess stems from a series of poor decisions made by people. Executives, managers, employees and their union representatives all contributed to the demise of this business.

Soon, the brands and equipment will be purchased by a new corporation that will likely revive many of the lost jobs.

Will the Press Herald run a front-page story with a giant pullout quote from Casavant thanking the new corporation that buys the assets of Hostess? Or will Biddeford’s mayor and the editors at the Press Herald learn that someone other than Santa Claus provides jobs?

Robert Chatfield

Cape Elizabeth

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