Ding! I guess I really hit a nerve with Maine Equal Justice Partners guest column (April 15), "Fixation on fraud the wrong response." This time I wasn’t attacked by the help, but by Charles Dingman, president of Maine Equal Justice Partners’ board of directors.
Perhaps they are upset because our news conference at Lewiston City Hall changed welfare fraud from something that was deemed anecdotal by the Legislature to the reality that welfare fraud is out of control.
Simply put, we changed the legislative atmosphere from focusing on deceptive welfare recipients as societal victims to what they really are — criminals.
Welfare is a necessary part of society, used to temporarily assist our neighbors over a bump in the road of life. It is not meant to be generational, and it sure isn’t meant to be used as a retirement system for layabouts.
Meeting and listening to the working poor, I find that their concerns about drugs, crime, fraud and the distressed conditions of their neighborhoods (brought on by non-productive lay-abouts) mirrors mine.
The bottom line is Maine Equal Justice Partners does not have a clue about how to break societal poverty. The average eighth-grade student is able to conclude what those degree-rich social engineers can’t — enabling doesn’t work.
Unlike Maine Equal Justice Partners, my beliefs and policies are based on reality, not ideology.
Cry all they want, the investigations will continue and anyone committing fraud will be prosecuted.
Robert E. Macdonald, mayor, City of Lewiston