I write in defense of Emily Cain, who is the target of an attack ad regarding her sponsorship of legislation that enacted childhood obesity prevention programs in Maine schools.

As a physician, I feel Cain (no relation) should be applauded for supporting efforts to reduce the high rate of obesity among Maine children, not vilified. The school-based, educational program that this legislation created has been recommended by various medical organizations and was passed with bipartisan support. It provided funds for nutrition programs and health screenings for Maine students.

It is misleading to represent this effort as primarily one that would weigh female students and record that in Augusta. Children are weighed as part of their health screening in school and that data is used to compare obesity rates from one year to another. The data is anonymous at the state level.

That legislation is a good example of how both political parties worked together to try to improve the health of Mainers by intervening before obesity becomes a lifelong problem.

The type of negative campaigning exemplified by these attack ads would be curtailed if people support referendum Question 5 and establish ranked choice voting. Candidates would then have to worry about being a second or third choice and would think twice about disparaging their opponents and distorting facts.

Paul Cain, Oxford,

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