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LISBON/LISBON FALLS, MAINE USA
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Monday, November 2, 2009
We Asked Rep. Dale Crafts For A Comment For The Community
Dear Rep. Crafts:
Would you care to make a statement for the readers about how this
occurred? See attached referencing Portland Press Herald October
21,2009 page B4.
Here is his response
I would like to respond to the reason for the apology. As I watch in
this country and state, the attack on free market capitalism, I get
very upset and angry. My first year in the Maine State Legislature and
it still amazes me that we continue to drive business into over
regulation. Into such excessive regulation, that businesses are forced
out of state, overseas, or even worse, out of business.
is an on going debate over water extraction in the state of Maine and I
have been bombarded with email from an extremist group. Their message
to me has been "save our water and stop Nestle Corp., the owner of
Poland Spring. It became very tiresome to say the least. When I
received an email invitation from Jamilla
EL-Shafei to come and listen to Terri Swier talk about her 8 year
battle with Nestle Corporation in her home state of Michigan, I became
very angry feeling again toward anti-capitalism. Here’s a quote from
am coming to Maine to tell my story because I do not want your
community to have to experience what folks in Michigan have had to
endure during the eight years of battle with the Nestle Corporation. It
is better to say No to Nestleand not let them in,"
I responded with out putting much thought into my email back to Jamilla
EL-Shafei except the thought that Maine did not need anyone coming to
speak that had any anti-capitalist sentiment whatsoever. Several weeks
later, I received an email demanding an apology. Ms. El-Shafei was
very upset that I would suggest that she should go back to where she
came from. The email from her also went on to say that I had assumed
she was from the Middle East based on her name. As I thought back to
my initial email, I saw how she may have misconstrued my message in
that way. I did not have any idea where she was from and was simply
frustrated with the policies of the group that she was representing. I
never meant to insult her ethnicity in any way.
response was another matter. I owed Jamilla El-Shafei and Terri Swier
an apology simply because they do have a right to speak about and fight
for what they feel is right just as I still have a right to disagree.
That is still one of the freedoms that we as Americans hold dear that
has made this great country what it is.