Sen. Russell Black, R-Wilton, recently joined seven of his fellow Republicans to vote against helping 850,000 Mainers pay their fuel bills this winter. The bill was an emergency to get $450 checks into our hands immediately. It was overwhelmingly supported by Democrats and Republicans, and the governor. Black’s vote demands an answer from constituents.

On his website the senator extols the need to help Mainers with fuel bills, then turns around and votes against just that. Senator Black is a contradiction in terms.

His website does not mention that his farm received a huge grant this summer from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation. His farm was the only one in Franklin County out of a half dozen applications that got money, which is pandemic leftover funds, no strings attached. These operations were smaller and trying to scale up with grant funding: bakeries, farm stands, processing equipment and the like.

Bias was denied by the commissioner of Agriculture in allocation of grants around the state. Yet questions were raised about conflict of interest given that Sen. Black is the lead Republican on the all-important Agriculture Committee in the Legislature and the only farm to get help in Franklin County.

Nevertheless Black’s good fortune has not been translated into compassion for the citizens of his district that he claims to represent: He voted against helping constituents receiving help with fuel bills as the winter sets in for good.

Demand answers.

Barbara Skapa

Mt. Vernon

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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.