Ezy Reading:
A Letter To Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe
Evan Kanarakis

Dear Senators Collins and Snowe,

As a resident of Maine I wanted to express my disappointment and, dare I say it, disgust in your recent decision on Thursday December 16th to block the 9/11 'Zadroga Bill' that would provide money for medical aid to ailing World Trade Center workers until the Bush tax breaks are extended for millionaires and billionaires.

This is the first time I have written to one of my state's Senators and I have often cynically wondered if such direct contact ever even yields the attention of those in charge. That said, I was so deeply taken aback and infuriated by your actions that I felt compelled to write.

I try and measure my words and express myself thoughtfully and respectfully in a situation such as this, and I am not someone who is prone to exaggeration, so I hope you will value my words when I tell you that your actions on the 16th -and those of your fellow GOP senators- were one of the most shameful things I have ever seen in recent American political history -and we both know that some miserable episodes have taken place on our political landscape in the last decade.

To hold such a vital and, indeed, hard-to-argue-as-a-moral-imperative bill hostage until the richest people in this nation get their tax cut and unflinching Republicans can claim their partisan victory in extending the Bush era tax cuts is nothing short of reprehensible. You can argue all you want about the (debatable) spill-down benefits of tax breaks on the rich but this should never have had anything to do with the 9/11 bill.

You could have chosen to keep these issues separate but instead I now hope that you will one day be able to explain to your fellow Mainers how it is that you felt the richest people in America merited more direct attention than those individuals ailing as a result of their service to this country.

I understand that your jobs are far from easy, that in politics issues are never black and white, and I understand the importance of leverage and compromise in getting things done in Washington. But there are limits to 'the harsh realities of the political process', and this December you wholly crossed that line well beyond anything that your electorate could have ever hoped for from you as two of our chosen representatives.

Your actions shall remain a stained expression of your servitude to the priorities of America's richest people and the principles of your party, and for that you have forever lost my vote.


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