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It Occurs to Me

We Fight Issues; They Fight Personalities
By Michelle Anderson
Jun 4, 2006 - 5:56:00 PM

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It is said that when a politician cannot counter a question of the issues, he will resort to personal attacks. Nowhere is that more true than in Millinocket, Maine.

For some time now, citizens of Millinocket have had serious questions about what is going on in this town.

These are all questions about the issues. It is our right to know the answers. It is our right to have local representatives who actually do represent us and our interests.

  • The issue of the Millinocket Area Growth & Investment Council (MAGIC) and their use of taxpayer money;
  • The issue of Councilor Matt Polstein, owner of Hammond Ridge, and his conflicts of interest;
  • The issue of documented illegal meetings between Matt Polstein and his cronies;
  • The issue of why Matt Polstein would vote one way in a town council session, yet privately lobby state legislators the opposite way;
  • The issue of whose interests are being served by members of the council, past and present, including Matt Polstein, Gail Fanjoy, Avern Danforth, and now Bruce McLean.

But those questions go unanswered.

We say, "Councilor McLean, we have given you more than a million dollars for MAGIC and you have given us back nothing. Where has this money gone? Can you give us a list of your successes?"

Bruce McLean uses his official governmental seat to make a statement which purports to be about the GOP nomination of my husband and myself as ballot clerks. He says, "I have no faith in those two individuals." No explanation. Just a chance to sling some obscure mud.

We say, "Councilor Polstein, helping to write a TIF for GNP while you were in negotiations to buy your land from them is a conflict of interest."

Matt Polstein refuses to answer requests for clarification at town council meetings with the phrase "I'm not interested in responding to anything that Michelle Anderson has to ask," and then sitting silent, no answer is forthcoming. (Story)

We say, "Councilor Polstein, you have participated in illegal meetings. Why do you continue to do so?"

Matt Polstein pretends that someone in this town sent him hate mail and that the state Attorney General "is handling" the matter, and by giving the story to the local weekly rag, without disclosing that the mail had been sent at various times, all more than a year previous, and that the Attorney General declined to further investigate it because they had determined that no crime had actually been committed. He encourages a cohort who hands out falsified documents saying, "This is what the Andersons are doing," when there was absolutely nothing to indicate that we had anything whatsoever to do with it. (Story)

We say, "Councilor Polstein, you have voted one way on the Katahdin Land Swap, yet lobbied in Augusta the opposite way."

He counters by officially declaring Magic City Morning Star is a threat to the community and discussing ways to shut it down because people should not be able to publicly say what they think. (Story)

We say, "Councilors McLean and Polstein, we don't want the Wilderness Society or their ilk in Millinocket."

They send email to the Bangor news stations pointing out that I am a recovering alcoholic and addict with nearly two decades of sober living. (Story)

We say, "Councilor Polstein, why are the 'stakeholders' you protect such a small circle of your friends? Why do Lisa Pelkey and Guilds Hollowell get gifts of public money while other Millinocket residents are ignored as they go out of business?"

Matt Polstein and Gail Fanjoy declare filming council meetings "camera harrassment" and move selected journalists (Magic City Morning Star and Channel 5) to the back of the chamber, where there was no electricity available and still is no sound. He makes this declaration, and convinces other councilors to believe him, despite our offer to let him -- and them -- to view any film of any meeting to see that what Matt Polstein is saying is an out-and-out lie. (Story)

Does Matt Polstein realize that if he does the responsible thing by representing the interests of Millinocket and letting the citizens know the truth, that he would have no reason to make his frequent attempts to infringe upon the 1st Amendment rights of so many people in this town?

Will we ever get answers? Or will we only get more slander and mudslinging?


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