Let’s put McConnell in the minority
Think we have a do-nothing Congress? We in Maine have a chance to do something about that.
Congress has a hard time accomplishing anything because one party has a stranglehold on the legislative process. The majority leader in the Senate decides which bills go on and which stay off its agenda. The best-conceived bill passed with bipartisan support in the House can die on his desk without ever being discussed. Mitch McConnell has proudly used his power to quash bipartisan measures supported by substantial majorities of Americans: protecting access to health care, combating climate change, and common-sense gun control. He prevented a president from exercising his Constitutional power to appoint a Supreme Court justice.
When one party in one house of Congress allows its leader to stymie the lawmaking and appointment processes in defiance of the people’s wishes, it betrays the great system our Founders created. It is time for that party to be in the minority.
As a former independent lately driven into the Democratic Party by slash-and-burn cynics like Mitch McConnell, I think it is vital that we elect Sara Gideon as United States Senator for Maine, on her own merits and in the larger interests of our democracy. Gideon has proven herself an effective legislator able to work with people of diverse political stripes. Let’s make this Senate seat one of the three or four that will flip the Senate and oust McConnell from leadership, then fight for the kinds of reform that will restore a functioning, truly representative government.
—Scott Stevens, Cape Neddick
Harry Truman had a sign on his Oval Office desk: “The Buck Stops Here.” Donald Trump should display a sign reading: “Don’t Blame Me.” He will not take responsibility for his mistakes, including his inability to effectively lead the nation through this pandemic. Some 200,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, many thousands of whom died needlessly.
Lacking true leadership, Trump failed us. Since January, his unwillingness to heed dire warnings from his national security advisors of an impending pandemic; his unwillingness to heed epidemiologists; his refusal to follow, and insist others follow, basic public health measures preventing spread of the virus; his promises that the disease will “just disappear”; his refusal to create an ongoing national strategy — all this produced 200,000 deaths. This, Mr. President, is your record.
But No! Trump insists he has “done a very good job” containing the coronavirus. That 200,000 deaths indicate success. That the death rate in the U.S. is far below Europe’s. No, Mr. President. According to Oxford’s COVID-19 data tracking, the U.S. death rate is 80% higher than Europe’s. Of large nations, only three are among the ten countries with the worst COVID death rates in the world: Brazil, Mexico and the United States.
Again no! Speaking last week, Donald Trump spun a winning formula proving he’s done an outstanding job reducing COVID deaths: “If you take the blue states out, we’re at a [death rate] that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at.” IF YOU TAKE THE BLUE STATES OUT!
How could the President of these United States say such a thing? That’s Maine and New Hampshire and all New England. That’s more than half the country. President Trump’s deadly pandemic record, and his lies about that record, are shameful and deeply disturbing. He must go.
—David Chase, York
Vote for Hymanson
I am supporting Patty Hymanson for her fourth and final term as our House Representative for District 4, which includes York west of I-95, Ogunquit, and parts of Wells and Sanford.
For three terms Patty has worked tirelessly for us and the State of Maine. As chair of the Joint Committee on Health and Human Services, she and her committee have focused on Medicaid, Medicare Part D, public health and disease control, substance abuse, mental health issues, aging and disability issues and many others.
This past session Patty sponsored many bills that have been passed into law. Some relate to protecting the integrity of Maine Care, clarifying the provision for care of infants, and strengthening a law that protects incapacitated and dependent adults from abuse, neglect and exploitation. She sponsored the Maine Death with Dignity Act, which also became law. Other bills related to the Department of Health and Human Services, public records on death and marriage, and one to correct inconsistencies in marijuana laws. Patty has also played a part in the Property Tax Fairness Credit, increased investment in education, protection for people with pre-existing conditions and improving access to low-cost prescription drugs.
Patty and her husband, Alan, have lived in York for 37 years and raised their three children here. She was on the school board for two terms and chaired the board of directors of Families First Community Health Center. Since the pandemic, Patty has served on the COVID-19 Coordinated Response Team and advised the Ogunquit COVID-19 Response Team.
Patty is a passionate, informed woman, a physician. We can depend on her to make informed decisions. She is always willing to listen to our concerns and, most importantly, she takes them into account.
A vote for Patty is a wise vote.
—Jackie Brisebois, York
A dream — or a nightmare — come true
Mitch McConnell is already in lock-step with President Trump following the death of Justice Ginsburg.
That jolly duo is moving forward to give us another conservative justice, reversing McConnell’s apparently not-so-firm belief that the Senate should not confirm a Supreme Court nominee in an election year.
When President Obama, with nearly a year left in office, nominated Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy left by Justice Scalia, the Republicans were all about principle: If the American people are to have a voice, the nomination must wait for the new president. And they refused even to consider Merrick Garland, let alone bring his nomination to the Senate floor.
Indeed, McConnell told reporters at the time, “One of my proudest moments was when I looked at Barack Obama in the eye and I said, ‘Mr. President, you will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.’”
So where are Mitch McConnell’s principles now? Where are his principles when it really counts to have principles, when they strike at the heart of a man’s integrity? I suspect, as he has already shown, they are rattling around with the spare change in President Trump’s pockets.
So, no this is not a dream come true … not for the cause of balance or integrity in our approach to justice as an exercise in fair play. One more time the jolly duo is monkeying with the rules in a blatant move to fix the game.
—John Forssen, Kennebunk
We can’t afford to reelect Trump
I am constantly amazed when I see a group supporting Trump, whether on TV or locally.
Don’t these people care that they are supporting a man who constantly lies, denies scientific fact, is prejudice against African Americans and has disdain for any woman who speaks her mind? He claims the economy is “great” despite the fact 13 million Americans are unemployed and many have to choose between paying the rent, buying food or obtaining their medications. As a result of his actions, the United States has lost its standing in the world community.
He surrounds himself with advisors whose only advice is to agree with him. Perhaps if he had listened to Gen. Mattis and Dr. Fauci, we would not have lost the respect of the world community and deaths from COVID-19 would not be approaching 200,000. By denying the scientific data of climate change, he has not taken any of the steps that over time would eventually reduce the number of forest fires and hurricanes.
It is interesting to note that Scientific American, a well respected journal, for the first time in its 175-year history has endorsed a presidential candidate: Joe Biden!
We cannot survive another four years of Donald Trump! It is imperative that he is voted out of office and Joe Biden is elected president by an overwhelming margin on Nov. 3.
—Steve Hershfield, York Harbor
Thank you from YCSA
YCSA has had such great support from our community during COVID-19, we just wanted to say “Thank You!”
Although we have kept the Thrift Store closed during this time, we are seeing our YCSA Thrift Shop online store grow each week. I know it’s not the same, but if you are missing shopping with us, please check out our website: www.ycsathriftshop.org
We are planning to open Nov. 2. We have an older group of staff, volunteers and shoppers, and we have wanted to make the best and healthiest choice for everyone that works with us and supports us. We will continue to use the pandemic data to guide us in our decision-making process.
We have been serving our community through all of our other services since the beginning of COVID-19. Our Family Service and the General Assistance Programs and our Food Pantry have been working non-stop to make sure everyone who needs support is getting assistance. Although the Thrift Store hasn’t been open to the public, we are using the Thrift Store to help the families we serve. We’ve helped a few families furnish their new homes to help give them a “Fresh Start.” We have even sent 80 boxes of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing to a homeless shelter in Massachusetts that had totally run out of clothes. We are restocking the store with all new items from the many new donations we are getting. Our Friday and Saturday by-appointment donation days are working really well. The volunteer shopping program for seniors, who needed some assistance, is still up and running and we are delighted to see the new friendships forming.
Special thank you to Diane McGrath and her team of friends and family that organized a very successful food drive for us. So many people in the community participated.
It was fun to say to everyone who came by with donations. Thank you all so much!
We miss being together as a team. We miss seeing the community buzzing around the store. We are really missing not being able to go to the Graystone Builders BonFire this year, but these are some of the losses that we are all experiencing together during this crazy time. As my 15-year-old grandson just said to me, as we elbow-bumped goodbye, “As soon as this is over, I’m going around giving hugs to everyone that I miss hugging!”
If you need support from YCSA, please call us at 207-363-5504. We are here to help our neighbors. Thank you all.
—Michelle Surdoval, YCSA Executive Director
Reasons why Susan Collins must go
Congress has become increasingly dysfunctional and less bipartisan. This Congress has failed to serve the people of our country and has seriously damaged our position as a world leader. Here, in Maine, Susan Collins has lost much of her independence and bipartisan fervor in her support for the “New Republican” party and the current administration.
The U.S. Senate, led by Sen. Mitchell McConnell, has become:
– Hard-right political orientation driven by threats from President Trump to remove moderate Republican senators by promoting and financing opposition candidates in state primary elections.
– McConnell uses his position power to stop or delay bringing hundreds of unwanted legislation, sponsored by Democrats to the floor for debate.
– Leadership refrains from seeking bipartisan House and Senate solutions to enact legislation in a timely manner. Example: Next round of COVID-19 relief funds being negotiated by House speaker and White House. No Senate collaboration.
– Tax relief bill was pushed through Senate all-night session with no input from Democratic senators, resulting in trillions of dollars added to the deficit and increased pressure on Social Security and Medicare.
– Continued Republican attacks on the Affordable Care Act with no alternative health care solutions.
– Senate Republicans continue to confirm extremely conservative judges throughout the judicial system, including the Supreme Court.
– Republican senators have confirmed appointments of unqualified people to government positions.
Susan Collins has been considered a “Bipartisan” and “Centrist” senator for many ears, and deservedly so. She has survived in this environment thanks to Mitch McConnell. He has permitted her to espouse bipartisan positions and keep President Trump’s “Primary sword” in check. But Susan Collin’s actions have demonstrated her support for the Trump agenda in health care, judicial appointments and the tax bill.
Clearly, she is now an enabler for this administration.
—Thomas A. Rose, York
Why you should back Lisa Savage
Not having national “Medicare for All”-type health care is fiscally irresponsible. Dozens of good studies have shown that a single payer health care system would save our economy billions of dollars.
Not having universal health care coverage is morally reprehensible. Common sense should tell us that.
By far, the leading cause of individual bankruptcy in this country are medical bills. Quality of life suffers and tens of thousands die prematurely every year due to lack of affordable health care.
The U.S. health care system is beautifully designed to profit the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. We do worse on nearly every objective health care metric when compared to countries that provide universal coverage. A single-payer system would give doctors and nurses more control of treatment, ultimately benefiting patients. Small businesses would benefit by not having to cover the expenses of health insurance for their employees. The big losers would be industry executives.
Lisa Savage is the only candidate in Maine’s Senate race who supports a single-payer system. Both Susan Collins and Sara Gideon are heavily bankrolled by corporate PACs, money that influence their positions and policies. That’s the problem with our campaign finance system and why very little gets done in Washington.
In any other state, voting for a candidate because she supports your values might lead to a “wasted vote” and increase the chances that your least desirable candidate wins.
With Ranked Choice Voting, you can vote your values then rank your second choice next. If your valued candidate doesn’t have the necessary support, your vote goes to who you rank second.
We’re fortunate that in Maine we are no longer forced to vote for one major party candidate simply to ensure that the other major party candidate doesn’t win.
—Joshua Gear, MD, York
Collins should lose her seat
Susan Collins has failed in her most basic, sacred duty as a senator. She has failed to protect and defend the Constitution, and we need to vote her out.
Donald Trump asked Ukranian leaders to gather dirt on his political opponent, and he threatened to withdraw U.S. military support if they refused. Put another way, Trump tried to coerce a foreign country to interfere in an American election. That’s a serious threat to American democracy. As a result of his actions, Trump was impeached for abusing his power as president.
Susan Collins, having vowed to protect and defend the Constitution, should have voted to remove Trump from office. But she didn’t. Instead, she said that what Trump had done wasn’t so bad that he couldn’t remain in office. She said he had learned “a pretty big lesson” from being impeached. Unfortunately, the lesson Collins helped Trump learn is that he can do what he wants and never face consequences.
Since the impeachment, Trump has continued to violate the Constitution — using the presidency to make money for himself, and holding campaign rallies at the White House standing behind the presidential seal. And Susan Collins is silent. She just watches the renegade president ignore the Constitution. She says she’s focused on her reelection campaign.
Maine deserves better. We deserve a senator who will protect and defend the Constitution. Susan Collins has shown repeatedly that she won’t do that. We need to vote her out.
—Julie Weiss, Eliot
Vote with Medicare in mind
This election season, as an older Mainer, I want to urge fellow Maine voters to consider candidates with clear plans to protect and strengthen Medicare, which provides health care for more than 52 million Americans 65+, half of whom live on incomes below $23,500 per year.
Medicare is a crucial safety net for hardworking Mainers who pay into the program their entire working lives, but this 2020 election could determine whether there are changes to the country’s health care system, including to Medicare. Medicare enrollments in the U.S are expected to grow rapidly in the next decade, so we need to ensure that our elected officials offer plans to ensure that there are no cuts to Medicare and the program is protected for current and future generations.
Particularly in Maine, the oldest state in the country, Medicare supports older Mainers regardless of their incomes or health status. So, many Mainers depend on Medicare coverage, and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting access to health care for older folks like me feels especially critical.
So, please, as you consider candidates prior to the 2020 election, urge them to prioritize guaranteeing Medicare coverage in their platforms for the millions of older Americans like me that rely on the program. Before you decide who to vote for, ask candidates to state their plans for protecting Medicare for those of us who need it now and others in the future.
—Ruby Parker, Scarborough
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