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Saturday, May 30, 2015: Civil forfeiture, clean elections initiative, abortion bill

Civil forfeiture

Asset forfeiture or asset seizure is a form of confiscation of assets by the state. It typically applies to the alleged proceeds or instruments of crime. This applies, but is not limited, to terrorist activities, drug-related crimes and other criminal and even civil offenses.

We’ve all seen the pictures of the drugs, money, guns and even cars that have been seized by authorities when a marijuana grower is busted. All kinds of property are seized from petty criminals, but have you ever heard of that happening to a bank or an oil company? How about one of the big coal companies that polluted so much water in West Virginia? If a mortgage company defrauded someone on a loan, why shouldn’t their assets be forfeited? Just wondering.

Judy Judkins

Belfast

Support clean elections

Our democracy was built on the principle of “one person, one vote.” Yet now, an insidious force is undercutting the strong foundation of our democracy. One person, one vote has become “one dollar, one vote.”

For many candidates, the money needed to get their message out comes from donations from wealthy individuals and corporations. These donations come with expectations attached: “Vote in my interests or you won’t get donations from me next time. I might even fund your opposition.” So, our elected officials vote in the interests of their Big Money donors, not in the interests of the people who voted for them.

It is time to shine a light on election funding and get the money out of politics. This November, there will be a referendum on the ballot to strengthen the Clean Election Act. If this passes, it would require the disclosure of big money donors and increase the penalty for violating Clean Election Act. It improves funding for Clean Election candidates, so regular people without corporate connections or wealthy friends can successfully run for public office.

This will be funded by closing an unfair tax loophole that allows corporations to get away with not paying their fair share.

I expect my legislators and governor to run our government in the interests of all Maine residents, not just corporations and the wealthy elite. That’s why I will be voting for the Maine Clean Elections initiative in November.

Laura Donnelly

Searsport

To take a life

LD 83 is a bill in the Legislature to reduce the number of people who can give consent so an underage, expecting girl can have an abortion. A May 19 BDN editorial stated the law isn’t needed because underage girls need options for consent. The thing is, what about the baby?

The BDN called it a fetus. I have never heard a pregnant mother call it a fetus; it’s always, “She’s having a baby.” What about the young girl’s conscience if she’s allowed to kill her baby? No one should be allowed to take a life.

LD 1270 wants to allow doctors to prescribe a prescription to a sick or old person at the end of life so he or she can die quicker. Suicide is the same as murder. We have no right to take our own lives. Anyone who encourages it — a doctor or anyone else — also is guilty.

This once great God-fearing country has changed to a country where the government acts as god.

Thomas Coleman Sr.

Dedham

Women in combat

It is astonishing to me that this military question about whether women successfully can perform combat roles completely misses the issue of relevancy. I think women have enormous physical endurance, as evidenced by the fact of the demands of childbirth.

The question is not, I think, if they can perform to a level that satisfies the expectancy of combat but rather what will happen to them if captured in combat. That is not a pretty picture. Anyone who thinks otherwise has traded a cabbage for a brain.

Phil Tobin

Ellsworth


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