I cannot be the only person sickened by the current fever pitch of political partisanship in this country and this state. Instead of working for their respective electorates, from the top down, politicians seem intent only to uncover the tiniest hint of perceived improprieties about their opponents upon which to gin up faux outrage and demand witch hunts to uncover the possibly salacious, or probably innocuous, facts.

Locally, the current exemplar is the Ryan Tipping situation, where, as House chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation, he deemed it appropriate to accept direct remuneration from a political action committee seeking to change tax policy in Maine through a referendum on last November’s ballot. To me, this is the definition of the job of a lobbyist, not an elected representative.

Being ignorant of the facts, I dug around. Opinion aside, Tipping’s situation was preapproved by the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. This commission meeting presumably had agenda items and minutes. Show me those, and the favorable ruling, and we are done here!

Gov. LePage adds nothing to the discourse with bombastic catcalls. If actual outrage exists on the public’s part – here or also recently around travel reimbursements on the Maine Senate side – then look to change the rules on what is or is not ethically acceptable. A place to start might be the commission itself and the Maine Clean Election Act, which also seems to allow for this potentially conflict-riddled practice.

We need to get our locally elected officials acting collegially, professionally and ethically with each other and the public if we have any hope of engendering the same in higher levels of government. We must also act with equanimity to restrain the cudgel of majority numbers from blindly suppressing prudent calls for reviews of professionally and societally questionable behaviors of elected officials.

Mike Del Tergo