Today, the Maine in which I am raising my children looks very different from the Maine in which I was raised. Legislation that Maine Sen. Ned Claxton voted in stripping parents of their rights will forever alter the independent, free-thinking Maine landscape.

While I respect Sen. Claxton’s office, I am sorely disappointed in his vote against exemptions on vaccinations. He had the opportunity to show that he is the moderate he promised during his campaign and squandered it.

Did an overwhelming majority of his constituents ask him to vote for LD 798? Did he read the 781 testimonies that were shared in the hearing for LD 798 and truly believe this was the best for all? Did he do due diligence before voting on that vaccination bill? Does he have a complete picture of how much money will be lost from the schools in his district when children are removed from school? Did he take a hard look at the science and keep his personal feelings minimized?

I do not believe that to be the case. I believe that he voted out of fear of repercussions from his caucus; fear of reprisals from a biased media; and fear of an outbreak that hasn’t occurred and is unlikely.

Sen. Claxton was not elected to vote out of fear. He is held to a higher standard. Thus I am disappointed in his vote and how he has represented his constituents.

He betrayed a trust that will not be easily won back.

Laurel Libby, Auburn