Letter: Columnist smears Pingree with 'guilt by association'

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I’ve taught inductive and deductive reasoning, but four readings do not discover one valid argument in Julie McDonald-Smith’s column “In Pingree’s case, it takes a fat cat to know one.”

McDonald-Smith finds “the hilarity” of the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010” almost unbearable after Rep. Pingree’s praise of an earlier version, which, she observed, “cracks down on tax loopholes that allow hedge fund managers to avoid paying income taxes … and makes sure that multinational corporations don’t avoid paying taxes by shifting their profits to offshore tax havens …” Am I missing something? Or is it hilarious that Pingree would support legislation that might not benefit her hedge fund manager husband? Just how is Pingree’s record of integrity in public service “hilarious”?

McDonald-Smith faults several Democrats for tax evasion and receiving illegal contributions. What has that to do with Pingree? The president of a watchdog against government corruption should not have married a hedge fund manager?

There is something wrong in Pingree and spouse traveling with Rep. Barney Frank and his partner to the Virgin Islands the year after Donald Sussman’s company received over $200 million in federal bailout money, but how is two members of Congress traveling together after Congress benefited an accompanying spouse “monetary corruption”? McDonald-Smith’s partisan spin is “liberals and Democrats” are “using you for their own gain and benefit.”

For McDonald-Smith, Pingree marrying a hedge fund manager is guilt by association, an illogic Sen. Joe McCarthy gave a bad name 60-odd years ago.

William H. Slavick

  • David Craig

    I think it is interesting to note that starting this week, Julie McDonald-Smith’s mini-bio (printed below her opinion column) includes the fact that she “is married to Maine State Board of Education member Ande A. Smith.” This is relevant, given that many of her pieces are about education in Maine. I find some irony in this disclosure immediately after the Pingree “smear” column.