The silence of Sen. Collins

Sen. Collins pronounced that she would not vote for someone hostile to Roe v. Wade. Then we learned that Kavanaugh has publicly opined that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and that also he criticized a young woman for wanting “abortion on demand.”

Senator Collins said that if Kavanaugh were to lie that that would be sufficient for her to vote against his nomination to the Supreme Court. Then we watched him proceed to lie through his confirmation hearing, lies both large and small.

Senator Collins said that she seriously considers judicial temperament in order to confirm a Supreme Court Justice. Last week Kavanaugh subjected us to an angry, arrogant, disrespectful, entitled, partisan rant that was unprecedented and appalling. Can you imagine if a woman or a man of color or a woman of color, for that matter,  had behaved in that manner in a Congressional hearing, insulting United States Senators?

I have not heard Senator Collins speak to her constituents about these particular issues, and I wish she would either stop making hypocritical statements and save us the bother or stand up for the convictions that she expresses.

Mark Mahnke,

Supporting pre-K in Brunswick

It was encouraging to read in a recent article that Brunswick schools are considering adding pre-kindergarten classes in 2020. I am a firm believer in quality early learning programs like pre-K. They can help put kids on a solid path, giving them a better chance at success in all stages and areas of life. Our country depends on the future success of our youth for many reasons. With my military background, I know firsthand that includes the strength of our nation’s armed forces.

The facts about our youth’s readiness to serve in the military are bleak. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, we face a shortage of young men and women eligible to serve for a variety of reasons including lack of education, poor physical fitness and obesity, as well as a history of drug use or crime. 68 percent of Maine youth are not eligible to serve due to these factors.

We can help turn those numbers around with programs like pre-K, in which many kids gain key developmental skills that prepare them for more formal school, giving them a better shot at learning, staying out of trouble, keeping physically fit, and graduating ready for what is next. For some, that can be military service.

I strongly believe communities across Maine and the U.S. must prioritize investing in early learning programs like pre-K as one way to help address the shortage of youth eligible to serve and protect our country. To be blunt, it is a matter of national security.

Francis Dillon,
Brigadier General, United State Air Force (retired),

Vote Vitelli

On Nov. 6, or before that by absentee ballot, there is an opportunity to reelect Eloise Vitelli to the State Senate. Eloise has had a nearly 40 year career in economic development and in Augusta effectively and efficiently works with colleagues across the aisle to improve the lives and environment of Mainers. Eloise is a tireless champion for small businesses, women, families and our workforce.

Eloise earned a 100% rating from the Maine Education Foundation. She presented a bill to the legislature to develop a student loan “Bill of Rights” to protect borrowers from predatory lending, a bill vetoed by Governor Le Page in May. She successfully sponsored a bill to allow judges to increase penalties for sexual predators.  She continues to work with colleagues on ways to stimulate Maine’s economy by supporting Maine’s workforce.

She voted to increase reimbursement rates for direct care workers for seniors.

Eloise made the 2017-2018 Honor Roll from the Maine Conservation voters of Maine for her support of Maine’s environment including policies that protect public health and adoption of clean renewable energy which leads to good paying jobs while promoting cleaner air and water.

Her bill to improve transparency in pricing prescription medicines was passed unanimously in the Senate in April. I urge you to vote for Eloise, an experienced, selfless and tireless advocate for Maine and its people.

Patricia M Hendrickson,