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This week’s edition!

Candidate questions, ballot questions and General Assistance costs

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

In a recent Second District Congressional race debate, Pat Callaghan, TV news anchor and debate inquisitor, asked U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin if he supported Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. Poliquin correctly refused to answer.

His opponent, perennial Democratic Congressional candidate Emily Cain, her voice rising to a “gotcha” euphoria usually heard from children, triumphantly shouted out that Poliquin was avoiding the question. Callahan tried to get Poliquin to answer before finally going on to another question.

The debate was held so that voters would hear candidates discuss the issues affecting the district—not to create a secondary debate about presidential candidates. Maine Senator Susan Collins was asked if she supported Donald Trump. Her answer, on slow news days, repeatedly becomes a lead story.

This is a Catch-22 question. No matter how it is answered, it will jump to the forefront taking time away from the serious questions plaguing our district. But if the Maine media insists that support of the party’s presidential candidate is a headline story, it’s time to start posing questions to Cain.

How does Cain feel about Clinton’s staff characterizations of Catholics and evangelicals? Wall Street cash? After all, Clinton is the Pied Piper of Wall Street cash.

Cain also made a statement that confused me. She thinks the federal government should legalize marijuana. I thought Cain was truly concerned about people’s health. Smoking is harmful, drinking alcohol is harmful, obesity is a rising health crisis—yet Cain thinks marijuana is okay. Apparently, unlike other drugs, this one is okay. Question: is she really concerned about health or politically pandering?

If you ever wonder how the State of Maine ends up with so many questionable legislators, the answer is simple. Far too many qualified individuals from both political parties shun political office to avoid having their reputations sullied by people who have no reputation to lose.

This week two nasty Democratic senators, trust-funder Justin Alfond and John Patrick of Rumford, found themselves with egg on their face. They brought an ethics complaint against Republican Senator Ron Collins, accusing him of misusing state money for lodging. Alfond and Patrick decided to roll this out several days before the upcoming election. Then Collins was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Senator Alfond is thankfully termed out. Hopefully, Rumford voters will term Senator Patrick out.

This week the Lewiston City Council is being asked to appropriate $87,134 to hire two badly needed additional staff positions at our General Assistance Office. Upon a recent visit, it became crystal clear that the influx of asylum seekers, which the federal government refuses to address, was stressing out the staff. This overwhelming workload is slowing down to a crawl our state reimbursements.

Some people think this additional revenue will benefit the asylum seekers. Wrong! This money will be spent whether we hire or not. These hirings will offset the costs of $50 per hour for interpreters and $1.19 per minute for calls on the language line. These expenses are costs the city has to absorb.

You may hear elected Democrats telling you (especially those who voted for the bill) that the law calls for a 70% reimbursement to cities and towns. This is somewhat correct. Cities and towns do not get reimbursed for translation expenses. That is borne by the locally strapped taxpayer. Come to think of it, why did the Maine State Legislature feel it was okay to force unnecessary expenses on state taxpayers?

In order to refresh Lewiston voters’ memories, Senators Nate Libby and Michel Lajoie voted against the bill. Representatives Peggy Rotundo, Heidi Brooks and Jared Golden cast votes for it.

On Election Day on Question 1, you must decide if you really want to keep children safe or expose them to great peril by approving marijuana use. On Question 2, would you really be happy if you were singled out to pay a 10.15% income tax just because you were successful?

On Question 3, tell liberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his elitist friends to get their houses in order before telling us how we should run ours. On Question 4, please listen to Governor LePage; his horse in this race is the prosperity of all Mainers.

Lastly, if the day comes that ranked choice voting passes, our citizens will lose their freedom to out-of-state wealthy elitists.

Last November, the voters of Lewiston sent a mayoral candidate heavily favored and supported by big, out-of-state liberal money elitists to take a hike. Now it’s your turn.

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