BAR HARBOR — Jill Goldthwait and Fred Benson will speak and lead a discussion on current issues in state and federal government Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Jesup Memorial Library.
“Both the United States Congress and the Maine State Legislature have recently sworn in new members,” event organizers said. “So what does this mean for the upcoming year?” Goldthwait and Benson will discuss how the midterm elections have shaped both political bodies and will focus on some of the big issues in both the legislature and in Congress. They will also endeavor to answer the question of whether partisanship during this term will get better or worse.
Goldthwait served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for nine years, serving as chair for eight. She was elected to four terms as an Independent in the Maine Senate from 1994 to 2002. In 2005, she was named by Gov. John Baldacci to the state’s Creative Economy Council.
She was Director of Government Relations at The Jackson Laboratory for nine years, retiring in 2012. Currently she is an award-winning political columnist for the Ellsworth American and the Mount Desert Islander.
Benson has been engaged in national and international government affairs activities in the White House and the Pentagon for many years. He also served in the United States Army with responsibilities including senior positions in the offices of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Army, as well as aviation and ground command assignments in Korea, Vietnam and Alaska.
He retired as a full colonel having served two combat tours during which he was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Bronze Star Medal for Valor. He was selected as a White House Fellow and subsequently served as a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
In 2007, Queen Elizabeth appointed him a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (NZOM) in recognition of his contribution to enhancing the political and business relationships between The US and New Zealand. He publishes Capitol Commentary, a political newsletter.
The event is free and open to the public. Contact the Jesup at 288-4245.