In his letter (March 3), former State Rep. Thomas Shields makes several points about the Maine state budget. Having served on the budget vetting Appropriations Committee, I hope to clarify a few things.

Shields claims confusion about the cause of “shortfalls” in the budget, then goes on to outline several reasonable explanations for shortfalls, including changes in the economy, in needs, or in revenue projections.

No confusion there, just reality.

Shields next charges that past Democrats did not exercise wise management and were irresponsible, selling off the liquor contract. However, he ignores the months of coverage in this paper of the current Republican governor’s recent re-sale of the same state liquor contract to private interests.

Lastly, Shields states his belief that Republicans can manage finances better. He ignores the past three years, full of fiscal mismanagement by the current Republican administration.

The Republican fiscal failures include the shredding scandal at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Healthy Maine Partnership funding evaluations, mismanagement leading to the loss of millions of federal dollars for Riverview Psychiatric Center, to lousy contract awards that do not produce results and leave Maine taxpayers in the lurch.

There is no confusion in most people’s minds that the news has been full of examples of poor management by the current Republican administration in Augusta.

Claims to the contrary are more than confused. They are wrong.

David Webster, Freeport

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