Cynical ploy against Clean Elections

Most readers will be familiar with the Maine Clean Elections law. It has been in place since 1996, when it was passed by referendum vote of the people of Maine. It has been successful and become a regular part of the electoral landscape. There are over a hundred candidates using this system for fundraising currently. Very importantly, it ensures a way that our legislators can devote their time to working for the people of their district, not raising money and pandering to outside interests.

It is distressing, however, to now find that this well established process is under attack by the governor and a small group of Republican members in the state House of Representatives. This group includes Jeff Pierce of Dresden (a district that also includes Woolwich, Arrowsic, Georgetown, and Phippsburg). He is running as a “traditionally funded” candidate. Meanwhile, his opponent Allison Hepler has diligently solicited five dollar donations from around the district to enable her to run as a Clean Election candidate. This situation is being repeated across the state.

These legislators are hamstringing the system by refusing to correct a simple and unintended clerical error in the budget bill, which has prevented the state from releasing all the funds to those candidates who have qualified for them. Due to the action of these Republican legislators, clean election candidates have only received about 23 percent of the funds they are entitled to. Obviously, this has consequences for campaigns which have planned on this funding.

This is cynical. It takes away the effect of literally hundreds of donors who have in good faith contributed to their favored candidate. It also stifles the campaign message of the candidate. Unless this group of Republican legislators comes to its senses, they are quashing the ability of their opponents to mount effective campaigns. I find this situation distressing, to say the least. It may come to pass that the only remedy is to vote out those who are trying to disable clean elections, and vote for the candidates using it.

Charles Durfee,

Woolwich

Troubled by King

I’m hoping very much for a Senate candidate who is outspokenly in support of global non-violence and justice.

Can Angus King become that candidate?

I am deeply worried by his recent co-sponsorship of S720 which makes it a crime to boycott Israel. Wow, that is a stunner.

I’m also very much troubled by the attention he gives to the whole RussiaGate distraction. We need to be discussing the much more vital issues of rebuilding our democracy and leading the world from policies based on cooperation and compassion.

This is a time of major transition in our understanding of our place in the world. We find ourselves blindly obedient to institutions and policies based on the old Newtonian physics which stresses competition and hierarchy when a newer physics shines light on a crucial shift toward quantum thinking which speaks to our relationships with each other and the natural world.

I hope Angus can be a leader of that shift and not be left behind.

Thank you for thinking about this with me.

Rosalie Paul,

Brunswick

Bravo, Harpswell band

I recently attended the Thursday night bandstand concert series, and was thrilled, pleased and awestruck by the Harpswell Concert Band’s professional, quality performance. They are one of the best bands I’ve heard. Their dedication and commitment to providing a variety of music for our enjoyment was evident. Their rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” brought tears to my eyes and made me proud of them, and to be an American, living in Harpswell. What fun to tap our feet to the rhythm of lively marches, reminisce during the children’s tunes, sing along with the band members on “Hold That Tiger” and sway to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and be inspired by “When you Wish Upon A Star.” Looking around, I saw smiles on so many faces. Bravo! Do yourself a favor and get on over to the bandstand at Mitchell Field, or the Harpswell Coastal Academy if it rains, every Thursday night from 6- 8pm to hear the many different groups.You’ll be glad you did. I sure am! Thanks, All for the opportunity to experience such a fun, scenic, pleasant community treasure!

Deb Levensailor,

Harpswell