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Pass LD 194

Sen. Rick Bennett’s bill, LD 194, designed to prohibit businesses owned by foreign governments from lobbying, should pass without a second thought.

The reason is that, although Hydro-Quebec brought the Maine legal loophole to our attention, allowing foreign intervention by a foreign government in a Maine referendum places Mainers in a defensive position against a well-funded entity. While testimony on the bill centered on the issue of the current New England Clean Energy Connect powerline, the issue is much bigger and I thank Quebec for bringing it to our attention.

Not passing this bill sets precedent for any country in a similar position to lobby for their cause. Please note that this bill only affects businesses owned by a government and does not affect so many of the good investments private businesses headquartered in other countries have made in Maine.

In review of the current world situation, are there countries that people would not like to see using this same loophole? Yes, there is a laundry list of them — and by not fixing this loophole now, we will be giving them all a green light to abuse the referendum process.

Unintended consequences need review in many lights. Imagine the thoughts of the veterans that we honored over Memorial Day weekend if they knew that the Maine Legislature openly supported foreign governments competing with Mainers for the direction of Maine issues. People should contact their legislators today and let them know they respect our democratic process and the price our veterans have paid for it.

Bob Haynes


Our COVID-19 story

Regarding COVID-19: My family can personally attest to the fact that the vaccinations are good but do not offer 100 percent protection. This is what we all were told, which makes sense. Please, everyone, don’t let your guard down by relaxing on the safety measures we all know are helping to slow down the spread of this virus.

Our family of three has been very careful throughout the pandemic. My husband and I got a Johnson & Johnson vaccination the first week of April, and our daughter received her first Moderna shot in mid May. Guess what? Two of us got COVID!

We initially were shocked, but we realize our symptoms and the duration of our illness so far have been greatly diminished. We have the vaccination to thank for that. Still, we had our share of sickness and were down for the count for a week and a half.

To all unvaccinated folks out there: I beg you, please don’t play with your health and that of others, please get vaccinated!

Janet Bouchard

South Thomaston

A just cause

John M. Crisp’s June 8 column in the BDN “Time for a better national motto” raises the question of the source and intent of the American motto “In God we trust.” He says “it’s presumptuous to make such an assertion of trust on behalf of an entire nation.”

I think the motto might have originated in the final verse of our national anthem ” The Star-Spangled Banner,” written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key as the War of 1812 neared its end. Probably most Americans are unaware that the anthem has four verses, as only the first is sung publicly. Here is the fourth and last verse:

“O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand between their loved homes and the war’s desolation. Blessed with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, and this be our motto: In God is our trust. And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Key was thanking God for rescuing and preserving the United States in two wars with Great Britain. But he seems to imply that to have confidence that we will prevail with divine aid in an armed conflict, we must have a just cause.

Karl K. Norton