Forever coin frustration

Last Friday, Gov. Janet Mills held an event giving 150 veterans a forever coin. Other of us veterans in Maine had never even heard of this coin, so another state program well implemented!

If the state truly wanted each veteran within our state to have one of these coins, why didn’t they just go to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and get a list of all veterans who have veterans plates — because you need to show a DD214 to get veterans plates — instead of making veterans fill out an application for the coins and send it in with your DD214?

Sounds to me like last Friday’s event with Mills was just another attempt to use veterans for political gain! Veterans had to apply for the coins and sign up to be at the event! I bet people did not hear that from the news, or else it would have been shown, from my perspective, as another sham event using veterans!

Robert Tomlins


Unfair for public retirees

Federal legislation filed in September by Democratic Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, H.R. 4540, could reform the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). Currently, millions of public retirees across the country are being hurt by WEP. This bill, if it becomes law in 2019 or 2020, would provide a $150 per month ($1,800 per year) relief payment to these public retirees. It would also reform the WEP formula to ensure that Social Security payments are fairly paid to future retirees.

Support is growing to get this bill passed in the House and the Senate, and then signed into law by President Donald Trump. National support has to be increased, as too many people do not understand that all U.S. citizens should support this reform. To that end, a true nationwide coalition of retired public employees has just been created. It is called the Public Retirees Alliance. Membership is free and open to all public retiree organizations and unions across the country.

I am asking that all Maine residents, retiree organizations and unions speak up and help support H.R. 4540. It is not fair to have Social Security benefits cut because of being a public employee. People earned benefits from both public service and non-public jobs, which required paying in Social Security. This is such an unjust situation affecting people who were honest and hard-working.

Karen E. Holmes


Facts matter in impeachment debate

People should watch two videos on YouTube from PBS NewsHour. In the first, Republican Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah poses two questions to former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, as to whether she had any information regarding the president of the United States accepting any bribes or being involved in any criminal activity. She responded “no” on both accounts.

In the second video, Stewart addresses Bill Taylor and George Kent concerning the transcript of the phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discern that there is nothing to this impeachment inquiry except abject dislike of Trump driving the narrative. Facts do matter.

Phillip Pitula