Loosen burden on credit unions

Wall Street started the financial crisis, and Congress was right to enact Dodd-Frank in 2010 to reign in the “too big to fail” banks. Credit unions in Maine, like Maine State Credit Union, where I serve as the CEO, had nothing to do with the Great Recession and continued making loans to our members. Even though credit unions had no part in the financial crisis, lawmakers decided to sweep us in with the national banks when they crafted Dodd-Frank.

This means that we spend more time dealing with regulatory compliance than ever before. This takes away from serving our members in other ways.

As not-for-profit financial cooperatives, credit unions serve a unique role in the financial services sector. A bill going before the Senate, S 2155, would tailor regulations for small community financial institutions like us while also keeping a close eye on the national banks that were the target of Dodd-Frank. Credit union members will benefit directly from this bill’s passage through increased protections from elder abuse for seniors, and a simpler and quicker mortgage process, and better access to affordable housing in our local communities, and I fully support and encourage its passage.

Tucker Cole

President & CEO

Maine State Credit Union


Trump budget shuns poor

The president is again demonstrating that he only cares for the wealthy 1 percent in this country, like himself, and not for the rest of us. Look at his proposed 2019 budget.

Over 60 percent of our tax money would go to the military, to protect big corporations overseas. It does provide some employment, but the same amount of money spent on health care or education would create 50 percent to 100 percent more jobs, so everyone who wanted a job could have one and be trained for it.

The president proposes big cuts or complete elimination of funding for job training, food stamps, fuel assistance, health care and legal aid for those experiencing domestic violence. He wants to cut some Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs, too. There are over 25 percent cuts in health and labor and over 35 percent for housing and environment.

Does he care whether we live or die? I’m not sure.

This budget is from the president for the rich. I hope it never sees the light of day and that Congress passes a budget that cares about the rest of us 99 percent. But it won’t happen unless we scream — loudly — at those in Maine who claim to “represent” us in Congress. All four of them are millionaires, too.

Larry Dansinger


Pass gun control

John Floyd’s Feb. 26 blog post, “Why banning bump stocks in Maine is a fraud,” is so wrong it hurts.

Any society that cannot differentiate between a muzzle-loading rifle and an automatic weapon is fated to destroy itself, regardless of whether it is with “good guy” bullets or “bad guy” bullets. No rational reading of the Second Amendment makes adopting requirements for licensure, prohibitions for “bump stocks” or limits that separate violent or dangerous citizens from access to these weapons illegal.

The same legislature that would prohibit Floyd from driving a bulldozer down Route 1 to work can constitutionally deny him the right to possess any device that would convert a hunting gun into an automatic weapon. Beyond that, we all have to look at the price we, as a society, pay for his extreme view of the Second Amendment.

It is long passed time for us to get out of the free-fire zone created by the NRA. We can do it by adopting laws that treat gun ownership in the same way as car ownership. We are all comfortable with common-sense driving requirements that specify licensure, insurance, inspections and a record of good driving. That reasonable approach must be applied to gun ownership as well.

Michael Grunko

Chebeague Island

God can stop mass murder

How did the deceivers in media and education dare? They have produced the most poorly educated populace in U.S. history. Our beloved children are too gravely ill informed to seek wise solutions to school shootings — shootings that we brought upon ourselves in banning God’s wisdom from our society.

Gun-free zones are not safe, but taking guns from citizens won’t make them safe. Guns would be taken from only the lawful because criminals will always have guns. Weapons in the hands of criminals and governments advance enslavement of nations. Beware. Even now, we exist on mere vapors of forgotten freedoms.

Gun-free zones are the least safe of places. They’re the finest invitations to murder because killers are not met with resistance. Only the use of concealed guns can provide resistance.

But the best prevention of mass murder would be the changing of hearts. Only the God of the Bible can do that. Invite him and his good book back into our schools. From the ratification of our Constitution in 1788 to the 1960s, they were in our schools constitutionally. What happened? Treasonous lies were repeated until taken for truth.

Elizabeth Hutchins


Golden for Congress

Like many Mainers, I am concerned about the gun violence and recurring school massacres in our country, so when I look at the alternatives for representation in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, where I live, my choice is very clear: Jared Golden.

Our current congressman, Bruce Poliquin, is a major recipient of support from the National Rifle Association, and he has consistently demonstrated his willingness to do their bidding in Washington. As Poliquin himself noted in the BDN, “I’m a strong supporter of our Second Amendment rights. I do not support, and never have, the extreme objectives of national gun control groups, such as … expanded background checks.”

In contrast, and like the majority of NRA members themselves, Golden supports effective universal background checks for the purchase of firearms and the closing of the loopholes that currently exist.

Poliquin noted: “I still enjoy my .22-caliber lever-action rifle that I bought at age 14.”

By way of comparison, Golden, the only military veteran in the race for the 2nd District, poses the question: “In our country, do we want or need weapons like the ones I used on the battlefield in Afghanistan?” The answer to me is clear, and that is why I strongly urge a vote for Golden in the June primary and then in November.

Louis Sigel