Friday, September 21, 2018

Letters to the Editor

To the citizens of House District 67,

Leaders of political parties at one time had the best interest of the people in mind/
Thomas Jefferson (Democrat) reminded us the "a properly functioning democracy depends on a well-informed electorate". While Abraham Lincoln (Republican) implored us several years later to work so the "government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth".
It appears that we have lost those ideals and replaced them with partisan political gain - enough!

As a former six term representative, it is troubling to sit and watch this highly charged partisanship in our State House. Over the past few legislative sessions, I have observed legislators more focused on the party line than on public policy.

When elected representatives, OF THE PEOPLE, opt to cast their votes constantly along party lines, when they give into what their leadership dictates - we all suffer.

I am a lifelong Democrat (a third generation Democrat) - this election cycle my vote will be cast for Independent candidate ANNE GASS. Anne has the credentials to serve, the background to make a difference, and the proven ability to bring diverse groups together for the greater public good.

I believe Anne will provide us representation of our needs and not follow partisan dictates issued from the corner seats in the House (where 'leadership' have their seats) Join me in November for positive change, elect Anne Gass to HD 67.

Donnell Carroll, Gray

Dear Editor,

Having retired to Raymond from out of state, I have only known Jess Fay for a little over a year now. Friends and neighbors told me about a meeting to be held in May of 2017 at the Raymond Public Safety building and that Jess would be one of the speakers. The topic would be how we as a group could work together to make Raymond a more livable community for people of all ages.

Jess spoke to us about the need for services such as transportation, community and health services, social inclusion, especially for our seniors, and in general, being there as neighbors to help one another. Her enthusiasm has inspired all of us to realize we can really achieve these goals and make our town a special place for all of us to live and age in place. We all agreed to title ourselves, “Age Friendly Raymond.”

Just knowing Jess this past year and seeing her dedication to our town has assured me she is an asset and has earned a second term as our State Representative.   

Kathleen Carpenter

Dear Editor,

As we edge ever closer to Election Day, we hear more and more from older Mainers expressing deep concern about health care costs and retirement security.  In a recent AARP Maine survey of voters 50+, respondents expressed reservation about having enough money saved for retirement. 72 percent describe their personal financial situation as “staying where you are” or “struggling to keep up.” That’s not good enough for the nation’s oldest state.

While AARP continues its series of voter engagement community conversations around the state (, many participants voice concern about issues such as future health care premium hikes, the rising cost of prescription drugs, long-term care and potential changes to Medicare.  All of these issues can have an impact on a person’s entire family and we hope Mainers will continue to make their voices heard.

Of paramount concern is the future of Medicare.  While we recognize that Medicare needs to be strengthened for future generations, potentially shifting costs to seniors and workers who have paid into the system their entire working lives would be the wrong approach. We can put Medicare on stable ground with common sense solutions, such as clamping down on drug companies' high prices, improving coordination of care and use of technology, and cutting out waste and fraud.  In the same Maine voter survey, 95% of those who responded think that Medicare is very important for people’s health in retirement.

Mainers over the age of 50 consistently show up more often to vote compared to younger voters. With the influence this voting bloc will likely have, I am eager to hear from the candidates where they stand on issues such as health care costs and Medicare, both of which affect one’s security in retirement.

Pat Wehner
AARP Maine Advocacy Volunteer

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