Cain puts Maine first

To the Editor:

Historian Lewis Mumford once said, “About probabilities, I’m a pessimist. About possibilities, I’m an optimist.”

In my view, the people of Maine deserve political leaders who are both optimistic and realistic.

Having served in the Maine House of Representatives with Emily Cain, I came to admire her energetic, can-do approach to legislative service. We had many things in common.

Emily’s collaborative, positive approach earned the respect of her legislative colleagues. They chose her to be the House Minority Leader because of these traits, but more importantly because she was effective. Later, in the Senate, she served as the chair of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. There she became familiar with the intricacies of the state budget and wrestled with the many competing needs that government addresses.

Emily and I were raised in middle-income families that instilled a strong work ethic and encouraged community service. Emily’s career developed at UMO, Maine’s flagship university, while I was on the COA staff for 33 years. Like many of our fellow citizens, we believe that strengthening our education system, pre-K through university, is a key to Maine’s future prosperity.

Term limits ended my legislative service, while Emily gave up her Senate seat to run for Congress in 2014. But we continue to aspire to public service and join others in working to expand health care coverage for our citizens, to create more employment and affordable housing opportunities and to lift the minimum the wage.

Our objective is always to achieve a higher quality of life for people across our state.

One of the things I like most about Emily’s campaign for Congress is that it will be supported largely by modest donations from middle-income families, not from big banks and Wall Street investment firms. In contrast, according to the Kennebec Journal, one of Rep. Poliquin’s “first votes was in support of a bill that would give banks two more years to ensure certain risky securities they’re holding aren’t out of compliance” with the Dodd-Frank Act reform.

While small banks in Maine and elsewhere may need some relief from the Dodd-Frank Act, Poliquin’s vote was characterized by critics as “a gift to a handful of the biggest Wall Street banks.” The freshman Congressman has already raised more than $1 million toward his re-election campaign, the second largest amount raised so far in Congress. He has received, “more than $220,000 from financial services political action committees,” according to the Kennebec Journal.

Meanwhile Emily Cain is building powerful grassroots support across the 2nd District, and the $5 checks continue to flow to her campaign. I hope many Mainers will join my family in helping Emily wage a strong campaign in the year ahead.

Ted Koffman

Bar Harbor

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