I have great sympathy for what restaurateurs are going through. I don’t want to see Willows fail after 31 years, nor Becky’s, The Great Lost Bear, Jonesy’s or any other of my personal favorites.

As to the newer establishments, it’s any guess how many would have survived the first critical five-year period if the virus had not come. My daughter and son-in-law own a long-beloved restaurant in Vermont. I hear weekly of their struggles to economically survive. It is painful indeed.

But to hear Ray Richardson (a radio host who led the drive for four restaurants to sue Gov. Mills) call Gov. Mills a “dictator” struck me as the height of hypocrisy and moral failure. He was a staunch ally of Gov. Paul LePage and continues to stand with President Trump, the most appallingly dysfunctional president in our history. Richardson is a highly intelligent man, but seems not to be able to identify the traits of autocracy and dictatorship when coming from his side of the aisle, as the Republican Party has slipped dangerously down the slope of domination.

Thank God LePage was not governor when coronavirus struck (and still strikes), for he left 70,000 Mainers without health care in spite of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion passing the Maine Legislature numerous times. Actuaries can easily assess how many Mainers sickened and died before the virus because of lack of health care for the duration of LePage’s autocratic regime. If Richardson wants to critique “dictators,” he ought to begin with his own favorites.

Anna Wrobel


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