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Letters

LETTER: Democrats use old tax data to wage class-warfare

To the Editor:

Desperate to take back the Maine Legislature, the Democrats have decided the best argument is to make you believe the changes in Augusta this past year would hurt Maine’s poorest and only help the wealthy.

A parade of liberal-spending legislators has gone on radio, in multiple newspapers and the Internet to tell you Maine’s lowest-income earners pay more than 17% of their income in Maine taxes each year, while the wealthiest only pay 10%. Our citizens deserve to fully understand the argument, to have all the facts presented and to then decide for themselves who is telling the truth.

Rep. Seth Berry of Bowdoinham (with echoes from Craven, Rotundo, Bryant and others) seems to be the flag bearer for the argument. When I questioned the numbers, he arrogantly suggested I check with Dr. Michael Allen of the Maine Revenue Service. Unfortunately for him, I did so.

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LETTER: Endorsements from a grass roots activist

To the Editor:

Over the last couple of years, I’ve canvassed the Lewiston-Auburn area several times to promote change. It’s really all I can do to help my community because I don’t have money. I’m a man of average means.

But as hard as it is to go door to door, it is rewarding. I’ve had a chance meet so many wonderful people from all walks of life.  And I’ve found that the vast majority of folks share the same concerns and values.  The citizens of the Twin Cities are sick and tired of the tax-and-spend, welfare mentality that has crippled us.

This year we have a great group of candidates running to change how Augusta operates. If elected, we the people will finally have legislators that will work to expand liberty and promote limited government.

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LETTER: Immigrants need to assimilate

To the Editor:

What is wrong with the citizens of Lewiston for allowing a handful of individuals to attack the integrity of Mayor Bob Macdonald? Where is the democracy that is the foundation of our country?

What has happened so that people cannot express themselves without being afraid to be labeled?

Mr. Macdonald is working extremely hard to address issues such as welfare reform and economic development. He is definitely not a racist, though certain individuals would like him to be identified as such.

People need to stop putting so much energy into micromanaging and complaining about his every move. Instead, they should get to know him. They would realize that he has everyone’s best interest in mind. He is not a racist, but a politician who owes no favors and marches to his own agenda, as promised during his campaign.

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LETTER: Discrimination is unjust and painful

To the Editor:

After listening to, and reading about, Mayor Robert Macdonald’s recent comments regarding the culture of our Somali neighbors, I can’t help but ask, “Haven’t we made it past this yet?”

How many times does the L-A community have to repeat past mistakes? How many times do we need to go through the exercise of having a new group of people move here, be at first scared of them and aggressive toward them, and then realize the value they can give us and finally accept them?

Years ago, French Canadian migrant workers settled in Lewiston. Many native-born Mainers discriminated against the French Canadians. One basis of the discrimination was their language. In 1891, an amendment to Maine’s Constitution was passed that restricted Maine voters from voting in Maine State elections unless you  “were able to read the Constitution in the English language.”

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LETTER: Welfare is not a black-vs.-white issue

To the Editor:

I am sick and tired of the attacks on Lewiston Mayor Bob Macdonald, and I had to stand up and say something about it.

When I met Mayor Macdonald, he was a class act. He really did judge me by “the content of my character and not the color of my skin.” Bob was pleasant and respectful, and I have no doubt about his sincerity and commitment to the people of Lewiston.

This outrageous attack on Mayor Macdonald for being a racist is out of line. Mayor Macdonald wants to cut back on extreme welfare spending. Welfare is not a black-versus-white issue.

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LETTER: For many, welfare offer better benefits than working

To the Editor:

We know the welfare system is faulted, and we each have our own reasons or experiences for knowing it.  Mine began 50 years ago.  I was working weekends digging bloodworms.

A digger I occasionally saw on the mud flats told several of us an unusual story. He and his wife had amicably divorced and his only further obligation to her was the child support he paid for his two children.  He told us about a string of strange coincidences.

The woman he was seeing (living with) was also divorced, she also had two small children and by the strangest coincidence of all, her former husband was the new man in his ex-wife’s life. Both women were receiving Aid for Dependent Children (AFDC).

The two divorces changed the lives of the two families in the following ways: The women had unintentionally swapped mates; the two men, also unintentionally, had swapped families; they were all pleased with the new arrangements; and the standard of living for both families had increased by the exact amount of the AFDC checks. The two men, amicable toward each other, met periodically over coffee to pass each other child-support receipts, but no money.

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LETTER: Gas hits $4 a gallon—where is the media?

To the Editor:

When gasoline went to $2.25, I can remember exactly where I was: coaching my son’s football team. I remember because my fellow coaches and the parents of other players were extremely concerned about the outrageous run-up in prices.

Now, most people don’t have that seared-in-my-mind moment for something as mundane as a high gasoline price. But, since I’m the face of the retail gasoline marketers, it was a big deal at the time. I was further deluged with media calls and requests for interviews and, ultimately, the TV crews came directly to my house.

As long as they did not show the front of the house, I was fine with that. I expected the questions; the high prices were deserving of an answer. There were good reasons for the run-up, and the people should know why. So I was happy to tell them—as long as they did not know where I lived.

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Op/Ed: Mainers know who are unwilling to help themselves

By Timothy J. Lajoie

This past May I attended the Republican Convention as the chairman of the Lewiston Republican delegation. I heard Governor Paul LePage give a speech where he reiterated his commitment to Maine’s elderly, disabled, and children—the most vulnerable among us. It was heartening to hear that, since my grandmother is 92 and my mother is 67.

Surely, after working their entire lives to raise families, they have earned the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they will be cared for in their sunset years. I cannot think of anything more cruel than to abandon them—after a lifetime of contributing to society—when they need us most.

The next day, however, imagine my shock when the local media outlets accused the governor of telling those who receive state assistance that they need to “get off the couch and get a job.” To be fair to the media, he did say that. He just never directed the statement at folks like my mother or my grandmother or the disabled or children. He directed it at those able to make a contribution, as my mother and grandmother have, but who have chosen not to.

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LETTER: The value of welcoming our New Mainers

This is a letter to Lewiston Mayor Bob Macdonald:

Mr. Mayor,

I read your column several times, and was most struck by the wonderful acknowledgements you made to the New Mainers living within your community. (“Enough is Enough: Extremist liberals widen the divide with Somalis,” TCT, Sept. 6, 2012)

I, too, have had this positive experience when meeting people from within the largest immigrant/refugee population (since the French-Canadians, of course).

Your words ring so true: “Since becoming mayor, I have met with groups of Somalis on several occasions. I have found the overwhelming majority to be kind and very hospitable. The majority express their appreciation for having been afforded the chance to live in a place that is safe and offers unlimited opportunities in which to better themselves.”

Like many of our own forefathers, who were immigrants themselves, all the way back to Columbus, people from the New Mainer population are so very relieved to be in a safe, beautiful place and eager to learn how to contribute to our wonderful country.

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LETTER: Cut welfare before creating jobs?

To the Editor:

I agree with Robert A. Reed’s Letter to the Editor, titled “Why Maine needs welfare reform,”(TCT, page 3, September 6, 2012).

However, there are reasons as to why we are in this welfare crisis, as is most of the nation today. As a retired Mainer, I have seen the decline of the middle class over the years. As an example, a few years ago, there were many factories in Maine that produced a variety of goods that went out of business due to the global economy.

The greedy, who control the working class in order to acquire more wealth—not that they needed more, but some people are driven by it—sent the jobs overseas for cheap labor, leaving high unemployment, not only here in Maine, but throughout the country. Why not allow people who do not want higher education or perhaps are not able to succeed in these areas of learning to work with their hands to be able to support a family and earn a decent living and not need public assistance?

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