The TV is loaded with them these days, political ads warning us not to vote for Sen.Susan Collins. It tells of her voting for tax increases favoring the rich who, in turn, have piled multimillions into her campaigns. Fair enough. I’m convinced there are reasons to vote against her.

But what I’m searching for is someone I can vote for. So I began to think what kind of candidate would get my vote here in Maine, not just for Senate but any elective office. The ideal choice would be:

Someone who’s concerned more with feeding, housing and educating Maine’s poor and near poor population than going to war against plastic bags and becoming cheerleaders for marijuana legalization.

Someone who is concerned more with affordable housing than adding to the already existing crush of high-end hotels and towering condos that are pricing middle-class folks out of our cities.

Someone who is more concerned with the livelihoods of our lobstermen and fishermen and less with welcoming the giant cruise ships befouling our harbors.

Someone who is less concerned with the seemingly endless expansion of the jetport, used by relatively few, and more concerned with the poor condition of many of our roads and bridges, used by just about all of us.

Someone who will protect us from the depredations of the communications and social media giants, not to speak of CMP, turn down their campaign dollars and boot their lobbyists out the door.

Someone who will champion decent wages and working conditions for the many in Maine who labor in low-end jobs, such as the fast-food joints, summer recreation spots and at the farms and orchards.

Someone who understands that even in the beauty that is Maine, we must be aware of the need to act to save the dying planet. Someone with the guts to say it is not just the plastic bags but even more so the SUVs and the giant trucks and the snowmobiles and the motorcycles and the riding mowers and the giant jets – and that we all share the blame.

Someone who will fight the high costs of medical care and drugs while questioning skyrocketing hospital expansion.

Someone who will work to rein in burgeoning college costs that bankrupt families and sink young grads in enormous debt.

Someone who will fight for fairness, justice and equal opportunity for all – and who understands that the downtrodden need more attention than the privileged.

Someone who agrees with Emerson that if we “do the act” we will “have the power” to bring about needed change.

I’ll have no truck with candidates who are good at talking the talk, spouting blather during a campaign and, once elected, hoping we forget their promises. John F. Kennedy once said, “Our privileges can be no greater than our obligations.” We need men and women who understand it is a privilege to be elected, and that their obligation is to serve their constituents by working to improve the lot of all of us – especially those with the least.

If any of you announced or potential candidates are ready, in great measure, to make an honest effort to meet those requirements, you’ve got my vote.


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