Keep foreign money out of our democracy

The answer to Sam Patten’s question in his recent column, “Should Canadian meddling get a pass?” is a resounding "No."

We have a system of government in this country that is supposed to be free from any foreign influence, no matter from which country it hails, so that the rights of Americans to democratic self-governance are protected. As Patten points out, the federal government is struggling in this area, so states need to put in place legislation to protect themselves. Here in Maine we have seen foreign interests pour millions of dollars into our ballot measure campaigns, including very recently, and this is not how democracy is supposed to work.

We need to join other states now in taking actions to tighten the restrictions on foreign campaign spending and stop secret, unlimited political contributions, which can hide illegal foreign money. Two bills before the Maine Legislature, including LD 479, of which I am a cosponsor, will plug these loopholes and create full transparency.

Foreign spending has no place in Maine’s democracy, but you can bet that if these gaps in our state laws are left unaddressed, foreign interests will continue to exploit them.

Vicki Doudera

Camden

Editor's note: Democrat Vicki Doudera represents House District 94, including Camden, Islesboro and Rockport.

Likes diversity of letters

The policy of the Journal with respect to how Letters to the Editor are handled deserves a compliment for its evenhandedness and respect for the various points of view in our somewhat contentious culture. To do otherwise would require censorship on your part: you would have to determine who is telling the truth or telling a lie. That decision is best left to your readers.

The opportunity to express one’s opinion is a wonderful freedom that we have in this country and were it denied, the result could lead to some very serious consequences. To suppress those who hold beliefs at odds with ours can build resentment to dangerous levels.

The advantage of a free press and your willingness to allow a broad range of discussion gives each of us an opportunity to understand differing points of view and to engage in civil discourse to find compromise or to challenge others to defend their stand with reason and verifiable data.

Thank you for printing lies, truths and every shade in between! Freedom of speech is a blessing.

Phil Carthage

Belfast

Wentworth had solid character

Thank you for honoring Lloyd Wentworth in last week's Republican Journal. Lloyd's character was like a solid rock wall you find in the woods. You know it took effort and know-how to build it in previous generations when farmers cleared fields for their crops.

Lloyd was a man of quiet action and most often when I saw him he was in constant motion, whether bent over working in his garden or walking around Belfast.

My favorite memory of him was on one of his visits to the CASS Elementary School to visit with his granddaughter, Kayla, during recess. He was probably 80 by then, but watching him play tag and darting around, he moved more like one of the children. I thought, I want to be like that when I grow up.

He was quiet and comfortable with doing something well and had little interest in talking about it. I guess you have to be really good or really bad to get on the front page of the newspaper. Good job, Lloyd!

Dave Hurley

Swanville

Ann Frenning Kossuth for selectman

Please join me in voting for Ann Frenning Kossuth for Northport selectman April 14. Her leadership of the Northport Broadband Internet Committee, on which we serve together, has been tireless, informed, inspiring and effective. Ann's longstanding concern for education drives her work, as we can see from the effort she is putting into making affordable broadband available to everyone in Northport. Early on as chair, she set up an aggressive meeting schedule to respond to the dramatically increased need. She has been proactive about assigning tasks appropriate to each member, understanding how to maximize their effectiveness. Her energy, enthusiasm and ability to put plans into action would make her an ideal selectman.

Julian Sheffield

Northport

Bebb will work hard to fix problems

Breanna Pinkham Bebb is running for the position of selectman for the town of Northport. I have previously worked with Breanna at the Belfast Chamber of Commerce, where I was the office manager and she served on the board of directors. While on the board, she championed small businesses and strongly promoted economic development.

Breanna, however, is not a one-note, one-cause type of person. She is passionately committed to our community and to improving the quality of life for all of us. Breanna not only listens to the problems and concerns of others, but has shown her willingness to actually do the hard work needed to fix the problems. From stacking wood at the community woodshed to serving on the Northport Planning Board, Breanna is always willing to give back to the town and state that she loves.

I can attest that Breanna Pinkham Bebb will be a wonderful asset as a selectman for the town of Northport.

Kathleen Coleman

Northport

Kossuth dedicated to town

I am writing with sincerity in my support for Ann Frenning Kossuth in her campaign for selectman for the town of Northport. I feel confident that Ann would be a strong addition to the board, bring valuable input to town matters and play a role of dedicated unification.

I have known Ann since April 2020, though the generosity and warmth she exudes gives the comfort of a longtime friend. She and her husband, James, stopped by our home impromptu one afternoon and welcomed us to the neighborhood when they permanently relocated to her family's home on Beech Hill Road.

In the time that I have known Ann, I have learned that she was very active in her previous city. She was the founder for the ongoing nonprofit Medford Educational Foundation, supporting fundraising for the school district to encourage teacher innovation. She grew Friends of Fells Forest Camp from a two-week pilot program of only 35 children to a fully accredited nine-week summer camp of almost 300 children. Here in Northport, she has stepped up to chair the new Broadband Internet Committee.

Since Ann permanently returned to Northport last March, she has helped start a town Facebook page, helped organize a neighborhood-wide "heart sign" movement promoting neighborly love and unity, and started working for Islesboro Central School.

Next to her community organizing and activism, Ann is a caring, supportive and encouraging neighbor. She and her family enjoy new experiences and because of this adventurous spirit, they were an asset to my family and our business last year. They happily opened their family property to our flock of Suffolk sheep when our own pastures were suffering from drought, and not only enjoyed the picturesque views of grazing livestock every sunrise, but took genuine interest in observing our flock, livestock guardian dog — and didn't once complain of all the loud bleating, barking, lambs on the lam and general chaos that went along with it.

I wholeheartedly endorse Ann in her campaign for Northport selectman, and I feel confident that she will always make the best decisions for the benefit of the town.

Kathryn Piper

Northport