Welcome to Maine.

If you and your spouse make a really good income, we’ll tax you an additional 3 percent for education funding. We desperately need new businesses, so if you will bring your business, you will eventually pay your minimum-wage employees 60 percent more than the federal minimum. If you smoke or eat marijuana, welcome, we are going to legalize it. You can be buzzed all the time. If you want to run for office, we’ll help you get elected if you get more second- and third-place votes than the winner. Losers can become winners in elections here.

That’s what Maine may look like after this election. In addition to all this, we’ll even throw in a governor for the next two years that is an embarrassment to the entire nation. What’s not to like? Come on down.

If they have their way, the social engineers and class envy warriors will succeed in making Maine as we knew it, unrecognizable — a new model of progressive liberalism.

Question 1 — Legalization of marijuana

This is an addictive drug whose legalization in a few other states has produced increased emergency room hospitalizations, arrests and soaring use by youth. Medical studies have linked the drug to mental illness and reduced IQ. At a moment in Maine history when the drug epidemic is reaching critical mass, we are being asked to legalize marijuana, a gateway drug often leading to ruined lives, sometimes eventual death by graduation to harder drugs. Do we want a wasted generation of young people? Maine’s police chiefs are opposed.

Medical marijuana, yes. Recreational marijuana, no.

Question 2 — Tax increase to fund education

This referendum, in which wages over $200,000 would be taxed an additional 3 percent, is an example of the theory of redistribution of wealth and penalization for success. People fortunate enough to be in this income category are mostly small-business owners who undoubtedly already pay more than their fair share in taxes. It smacks of class warfare affecting a small group, already among the most active and strongest supporters of our school systems. Mainers have always supported education through taxation, and will continue to do so. However, a total state sales tax over 10 percent on a particular income category would be discriminatory and the highest in the country.

Vote no.

Question 3 — Background checks for all gun sales

Additional scrutiny is proposed by calling for virtually all gun sales to require a background check of the buyer conducted by a licensed gun dealer. The minor inconvenience involved for some transfers among family members or temporary loans of weapons is worth it to close a loophole in Maine law. Many rural Maine sheriffs, seeking re-election, have weighed in late opposition to this referendum. Closing the background-check loophole makes sense and deserves a positive vote — unless you really believe this is a move to confiscate all our firearms. I don’t.

Vote yes.

Question 4 — Raise minimum wage in stages from $7.50 to $12 an hour

This could cause loss of thousands of jobs because of the inability of many businesses to absorb an unreasonably large increase. The governor, and many Republicans and businesses have embraced an increase to $10 — not good enough for the Democrats.

Large increases in the minimum wage will reduce employment, especially among low-skilled workers. Higher costs will be passed on to consumers, and large hikes in the minimum wage essentially do nothing to reduce poverty while eliminating many part-time jobs, especially for teenagers. Re-group and go for a reasonable increase.

Vote no.

Question 5 — Ranked-choice voting

How would you like to win an election and be declared the loser because an opponent received more second- and third-place votes? This confusing, zany plan has been used elsewhere to promote the election of minority block candidates.

An argument presented is that ranked-choice will take the negativity out of campaigns. In fact, candidates will be more anxious to destroy each other, since a second- or third-place finish might be enough to knock off the favorite. Only 11.5 percent of independents and non-major party voters participate where this type of election has been tried, according to the Center for Voting and Democracy.

Maine’s secretary of state has estimated the cost would be $1.5 million to create this nightmare.

No candidate is perfect but we must make the choice. Always vote your first choice, the winner.

Vote no.

As you can see, most of these referenda proposals do not reflect “Maine, the way life should be,” and they should be voted down.

Don Roberts is a veteran broadcaster, writer and political consultant. He has served Augusta as a city councilor at-large, charter commission vice chairman and utilities district treasurer.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: