Corporations are not people

Americans are fed up with pay-to-play cronyism in government. They really did want to “drain the swamp” in 2016, and they still do. Trump, it seems, never genuinely intended to root out corruption in Washington, but that has only made us hungrier to get money out of politics.

The good news is that we could actually do it. Many Americans, from conservatives to liberals, favor passing a 28th amendment to the Constitution to establish that corporations and other artificial entities aren’t people, and that the government has a right to place limits on campaign donations.

To propose an amendment to the Constitution takes two-thirds of the state legislatures or two-thirds of both houses of Congress. Then three-fourths of the states must ratify it. And we are on our way. After New Hampshire’s recent vote, we have 20 out of the 38 state legislatures needed. The US Congress has further to go, but many federal legislators — both Republicans and Democrats — have already voiced support.

With 2020 around the corner, we the people have multiple opportunities to ask candidates to take a stand on this issue. And then we will be able to see — and vote for — those candidates who actually do want to drain the swamp.

Hillary Shende


Quick action to resolve maple issue

This session, the Maine Farm Bureau worked closely with Rep. MaryAnne Kinney on my behalf to pass LD 86, “An Act To Provide That Persons Who Produce Maple Syrup and Honey Commercially Are Eligible for the Sales Tax Refund and Exemption for Commercial Agricultural Production.”

This bill was a direct result of my farm, Strawberry Hill Farms, being denied the Agricultural Production Sales Tax Exemption because the Maine Revenue Services stopped interpreting maple syrup or honey as agricultural products.

Maine is third in the country for maple syrup production behind Vermont and New York. This last season, our state produced over 500,000 gallons of syrup. As you can see, maple syrup production is an important part of the agricultural economy in Maine, so I am glad that the House of Representatives and Senate saw the urgency and passed this emergency legislation unanimously.

This bill was a shining example of the Maine Legislature at its best. They were presented with a problem and acted swiftly to correct it.

Thank you to Governor Mills, Representative MaryAnne Kinney and the Maine Farm Bureau for the support.

Jeremy Steeves

Strawberry Hill Farms


Representing Maine’s independent spirit

With the passage of a bill to expand insurance coverage for abortion, and in many other ways as well, Mainers are bucking a national trend of systematic repression of women. Just take a look at the bills that were passed or considered in this past state legislative session, and one recognizes the independent spirit of Maine’s local politicians and citizens.

At the national level, Senator Susan Collins doesn’t appear to be working as an independent Senator for Maine. Her complicity with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s obstruction and with the Trump administration’s agenda do not reflect Maine’s independent spirit anymore.

Isn’t it time we elect a Senator who reflects Maine’s independent values? Strong opponents are lining up to take on Collins, like Sara Gideon and Betsy Sweet. In the meantime, we are left to consider the Senator’s record during the Trump years. Does it represent the state’s independent spirit and voters in the Maine of 2020?

Terry Dubois