The full-page ad in the Oct. 28 paper, “Did your legislator VOTE to support jobs and the economy?” was paid for by the Maine Economic Research Institute, which claims to be a nonpartisan organization formed to “conduct research, analysis and reporting on economic issues.”

However, it appears that the only “research” involved in creating this ad was to find a list of all Maine legislators, put a check mark in front of each Republican and an X in front of each Democrat, and then remove the R or D that usually follows legislators’ names, to make this farce just a tiny bit less obvious.

According to the small print, the “bills used in calculating scores” include “LD 35: An Act Relating To Concealed Firearms Locked In Vehicles,” and “LD 1014: An Act To Create The Children’s Wireless Protection Act,” (how exactly do these relate to jobs and the economy?), as well as “LD 322: An Act To Repeal The Informed Growth Act.”

The Informed Growth Act requires an economic impact study before Walmart or some other big-box chain store can build in your community and start putting local Main Street businesses out of business. It seems the only jobs that would be created by repealing the Informed Growth Act would be the kind of jobs that pay so little that employees qualify for food stamps — in other words, the kind of jobs that leave our communities poorer, and some out-of-state investors richer.

If you look them up online, you’ll find that MERI’s board of directors include the CEO of Bangor Savings Bank, the vice president of TD Banknorth, the vice president for government relations at Hannaford Bros., and others who I’m sure have only our best interests at heart.

Claire Prontnicki


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