2016-04-29 / Letters

When did the definition of ‘left’ change?

To the editor:

“What on earth is going on with the South Portland City Council?”

Don Russell poses this question in the April 22nd Sentry and proceeds to decry the “too far left” leanings of four councilors. It seems that the “left” label is applied to anyone who wants to protect the environment and the health of its inhabitants and support thoughtful, fair policies that safeguard our residents.

Mr. Russell favors the electoral process when it goes his way. He supported the campaign to bring tar sands to South Portland (financed with more than $600,000 from the petroleum industry and winning by only 200 votes) but rejects the voters’ choice for the council. Mr. Russell favors a recall effort to dislodge Eben Rose (who won election recently by a wide margin) and Brad Fox. I wonder if oil money would finance that campaign too.

Given the growing public awareness of human-caused climate change and the need to convert to renewable energy, I’d like to believe that Mr. Russell represents a diminishing breed of apologists for backward-looking causes. But I’m afraid that the current Republican presidential primary season and the rise of an oligarchy empowered by Citizens United belie that notion.

William Fritzmeier South Portland

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