Expand Medicaid in Maine

I learned something I didn’t know from the Oct. 12 BDN article about a push for a referendum on Medicaid expansion in Maine. It stated that the cost of Medicaid expansion for 70,000 Mainers would be borne by the federal government 100 percent for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter. I mistakenly believed that the state would be responsible for 100 percent of the cost beginning in year four. But it would pick up only 10 percent of the cost.

We’re often told that state government should be run like a business. What business would not invest in new equipment, products and additional employees if another entity backstopped the business 100 percent for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter? So, why can’t Maine expand Medicaid to 70,000 eligible Mainers who are our friends, neighbors and family? Enhancing health care options for Mainers is good policy, good economics and the right thing to do.

John Contreni


McMullin for president

With a large percentage of the people who cannot abide the thought of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump becoming our next president, independent candidate Evan McMullin is a breath of fresh air and perhaps a lifeline to those so sad about what has been happening this election and fear what will happen if either of the two mainstream party candidates win.

This election isn’t over, and it isn’t just me who is looking for a lifeline but thousands, if they are willing to all be on the same page for the same person who can turn this thing around and we are here to write in the candidate. This is how we the people can decide our fate and not by the two mainstream parties and the major news media.

Annie Cilley


Beebe-Center for House District 93

I write today in support of Democratic Rep. Pinny Beebe-Center’s candidacy for House District 93, Rockland and Owls Head.

Beebe-Center is a community activist whom I have known for many years. Having worked for Outward Bound for 30 years, I recognize leadership when I see it. Beebe-Center stands for — and works hard for — fair housing and the well-being of all our residents, young and old and in-between. She has served us well in her first term in the Maine House, and she has the energy and enthusiasm to deal with the issues we see before us.

Please join me in voting for Beebe-Center on Nov. 8.

Susan St. John

Owls Head

Support for ranked-choice voting

I’m in favor of a “yes” vote for Question 5 — to adopt ranked-choice voting to elect representatives to the Legislature, governor and Congress. It’s a simple way to restore majority rule in Maine elections. If my favorite candidate can’t win, my vote would be instantly counted for my second choice. In five of the last 11 races for governor, candidates were elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.

Ranked-choice voting would put an end to this, as there would be instant runoffs until a candidate successfully gets more than 50 percent of votes cast in a round.

Brad Willauer


Maine’s quality of place

When President Barack Obama designated 87,500 acres east of Baxter State Park as Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, he provided Maine with an incredible opportunity to capitalize on the central recommendation of the 2006 Brookings Institution report, Charting Maine’s Future, which urged that we invest in Maine’s outstanding quality of place and that we brand it.

A few weeks ago, I joined 40 people, who came from all over Maine, to participate in a hike to the summit of Barnard Mountain on the monument land organized by the Natural Resources Council of Maine. The hike took us along the International Appalachian Trail and then up the mountain on a terrific trail created by Elliotsville Plantation Inc. At the summit, we were rewarded with spectacular views of Mount Katahdin, the Turner mountains, Katahdin Lake and the vast, special beauty of Maine’s great North Woods.

It was easy to see why, after his visit to the same area in the mid-1800s, Henry David Thoreau asked, “Why should not we have our national preserves?” The land that constitutes the monument has always been a treasure, and now it is protected for all time and has the recognition it deserves.

I am grateful to Elliotsville Plantation for its extraordinary donation of the land along with a multimillion-dollar endowment to support it. It is an exciting time for the Katahdin region to envision its future, own its quality of place and brand it.

Liz Armstrong


Ward for House District 131

Republican Rep. Karl Ward’s work for House District 131 in this region, is well-known. If there’s a tough problem or someone in need, all anyone needs to do is turn to Ward and its gets done.

That’s why I went to him with a unique problem. All across America, more than 15,000 people play in the American Cribbage Congress. We play for points and tournaments are held across the country, but not in Maine, where it was considered “gambling” and was prohibited. Well, that was until Ward got involved.

Ward found the statute and how we could fix it to allow American Cribbage Congress tournaments in Maine, wrote the bill, reviewed it with me, lined up key co-sponsors and it was assigned to a committee for hearing.

Then he helped coach me through the preparation of my testimony, explained the hearing process and even met me at the door of the State House to take me to the committee room for the hearing. A couple of weeks later, he informed me that the vote was unanimous to approve the bill, and a few weeks later it was signed into law.

This year, we held the first tournament in Maine in more than 10 years in Bangor. Players from all over the U.S. attended, and it was estimated to have brought more than a half million dollars worth of economic activity to Maine.

District 131 is well-served by this man. He listens, then acts. He works very hard for his towns. For these reasons, I urge others to join me and vote for Ward on Nov. 8.

Joe Bowen


Election notice

The BDN will stop accepting letters and OpEds related to the Nov. 8 election on Oct. 28. Not all submissions can be published.