To no one’s surprise, Lincoln County’s legislative candidates at our first candidates forum far outclassed the presidential candidates in their second debate.
In addition to class, we saw a lot of agreement from the candidates.
The phrase we heard the most throughout the evening was “three-legged stool” in reference to the need to combat opioid addiction with a combination of enforcement, prevention, and treatment.
Democratic and Republican candidates, as well as the one independent in the room, repeated the phrase throughout the discussion of addiction.
The candidates have different ideas about how harshly we should punish drug traffickers, how we should provide treatment, and other specifics, but there was a great deal of common ground on the need to use all three tools.
The candidates were civil to each other thoughout the evening.
There might have been some head-shaking or grumbling under the breath when one candidate was making a point another disagreed with, but there were no personal attacks or questioning of motives or character, not that we expected any.
Lincoln County is fortunate to have the caliber of candidates it has to choose from, and we wish them all luck.
If we have one complaint about the forum, it’s that we wish we could convince more people to attend.
The modest audience at the Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission was largely a collection of candidates’ spouses and supporters, members of the media, and a few party diehards.
While more people will see the forum on Lincoln County Television and read about it in The Lincoln County News and elsewhere, it is disappointing to see so few people take an interest in local politics.
Everybody has an opinion about Clinton and Trump. But if you have a problem, chances are it’s Hawke or Wolf you’re going to call.
We hope more of you will join us for our second and final candidates forum at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13.
Finally, we feel it necessary, after rejecting several anti-Trump letters and one anti-Hillary letter this week, to assure readers that our policy against attack letters does indeed extend to Trump, and to all candidates.
Make a positive argument. Focus on the candidate you support.
It is generally acceptable in the context of a letter in favor of a candidate to address what you see as the shortcomings of the other candidate, but to write a letter about the shortcomings of one candidate and tack on “I guess the other candidate might be OK” at the end does not meet our standard.
We will accept political letters to the editor for two more weeks. The final week before the election, we will not publish any political letters to the editor with substantive claims about a candidate or issue – anything an opponent might wish to respond to.
Our national political discourse might be in the gutter, but we are not going to willingly sink down with it.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the survivors of the fire in Boothbay the morning of Sunday, Oct. 9, and to the family and friends of the two men who tragically lost their lives. We can only imagine the pain of such a sudden and devastating loss, and we extend our deepest sympathies to all affected.