Friday, September 12, 2014

Vote Responsibly

To the Editor, The Star Herald
From Alice Bolstridge
Subject: Political Attack Ads

If you think advertising doesn’t influence you because you don’t pay attention to it, think again.  An ad pops up on my Facebook page with a picture of my state representative and the message, “Saucier Means More Taxes, [from] Your State Rep, BOB SAUCIER, voted to increase taxes and fees on cars, snowmobiles & ATV's.”   I don’t want to pay more taxes; I want my taxes reduced.  If I am a snowmobiler or an ATVer, and if I am not paying attention, and if I don’t know Bob Saucier, all I see flashing before me is that guy who wants to make my outdoor life more expensive than it already is, and I will vote for the other candidate. 

I’m not a snowmobiler, nor an ATVer, and I know and support Bob Saucier as my representative, so I paid attention. Even though I don’t use outdoor sports vehicles, people I love do.  So I want safe, well-groomed, and well maintained trails.  The clubs responsible for maintaining the trails are having trouble finding the resources to do an adequate job and some have closed because of it.  This affects the Aroostook economy; outdoor sports is an important job creator here.  One of the bills Bob voted for would have raised registration fees $5.00 a year.  Designed to help maintain trails, it was supported by both snowmobilers and snowmobile dealers.  The Maine Sportsmen’s Alliance has endorsed Bob.  These are reasons why I support Bob’s votes on this issue.

I researched to see if Bob’s Republican opponent, Larry Fox, might have a better plan for solving these problems. I couldn’t find any information in the media or on his Facebook page about his position on this issue.  I wanted to call and ask him but couldn’t find any contact information. 
About Fox’s views on any of the issues he would likely face in the legislature, I could only find vague generalizations. A professional educator, he says he “will focus on education reforms that match students young and old with good careers.”  

But Bob has the endorsement from the Maine Education Association and a 100% voting record on educational issues. He also has endorsements from various labor organizations concerned with good jobs for Mainers.  I couldn’t find any specific information about what positions Larry Fox has on the important issues I care about.  Bob is easy to contact, and lots of information about his views is readily available. Just google “Maine Representative Robert Saucier,” or go directly to,

You won’t find that kind of good information in political attack ads.  Pure attack ads, either from the right or the left, are socially irresponsible, misleading, and sometimes outright lies.   Sponsors pour millions into advertising to keep us consumers and voters ignorant and to manipulate us.  They do it because it works to their advantage, not to ours.  Pay attention, so you won’t be an ignorant manipulated voter. 


Democratic Candidates at the Acadian Festival Parade, left to right: Mike Carpenter for State Senate; Danny Martin for State House; Emily Cain for US House; Mike Michaud for Maine Governor, Troy Haines for Maine House; Ken Theriault for State Senate; Bob Saucier for Maine House; Janet Mills, current Maine Attorney General; John Martin for Maine House. 

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