In this February 2011 file photo, traffic approaches Maine Turnpike toll booths in Gardiner. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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I support the creation of standards for vanity license plates. Based upon my research of every state’s motor vehicle registry, Maine is the only state in the nation that had no minimal standards for vanity plates. Further, there is ample case precedent, including  Perry v. McDonald, that vanity plates do not represent a “public forum” where the personal thoughts of an individual could not be proscribed. The former secretary of state had only a passing verbal conversation with the Maine ACLU and then-Attorney General Janet Mills and failed to research, beyond Montenegro v. New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles in 2014, the case law up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court that allows the government to screen language on it’s property that qualifies as a non-public forum.

The good gentleman from Blue Hill suffering from ALS might consider an alternative vanity plate of BEAT ALS or CURE ALS, which was my goal participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Losing a good friend in the Ellsworth Rotary Club to ALS, I am outraged that there is not more research into ALS. I care about his plight but I also care about the reputation of our great state of Maine when people from away see such vulgarity here and nowhere else.

Doug Jones


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