Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Candidates were asked to supply biographical information and to answer questions on their concerns and priorities.
Click on the districts below to read your candidates' responses to our questionnaire.
I am not pleased with the votes and voting pattern of the incumbent. I am concerned about the direction the state has chosen with our present governor.
The loss of good jobs.
This is not the time to attempt to balance the budget by laying off state workers and decreasing support to towns. Those jobs are important to running our economy. Austerity has been shown to worsen the economy; it is a poor choice at this time.
Stop any consideration of public tax dollars being used in any way to fund for-profit schools.
As a woman and a mother, I would never vote in favor of limiting a woman's right to choose, or vote to make a difficult choice more painful as my opponent did in voting for L.D.'s 116, 924 and 1463. Fortunately these measures did not pass. As a small business owner I am very concerned about L.D. 1333(and the failure of L.D. 1179) which have caused our insurance rates in rural Maine to increase and removed oversight from the process. I would attempt to return oversight to insurance rate increases.
Everyone has a responsibility to serve the people. This is my opportunity to continue in the role as the state senator for District 18.
The economy: In the last session we have begun turning the state "ship" in the right direction with regulatory reform, health care reform, tax reform, unemployment reform and workmen's comp reform. More work is still to be done to bring good paying jobs back to the state. I am ready to continue the good work already completed.
1. The need for good paying jobs. 2. Equitable school funding for rural schools 3. Fair and easily understood regulations and rules allow business to get started and grow.
Get out of the way.
I want create a business friendly state while protecting the environment so good paying business want to call Maine home.
I have the experience at both the state and local government level. I understand the district-wide issues. I have the necessary contacts at the local, state and federal levels of government to make things happen.
I am running to continue my work on bringing people together to create real solutions that will move Maineís economy forward and also to be a strong voice for the people of Sagadahoc County and Dresden.
Growing our economy. Maine needs an economy that is not only strong for today but also prepared for the challenges of tomorrow, and that includes creating good-paying jobs that will strengthen the middle class, provide greater opportunities for our children, and making sure that everyone can afford to get the health care they need.
Economic security for Mainers and their families is the biggest issue. Too many people either donít have a job or arenít earning enough to make ends meet. Families are struggling to pay their bills, help their kids through college, save for retirement and pay for health care. We must do more to grow and strengthen our economy and provide more opportunity for hard-working Mainers.
Provide a top-notch, competitive public education system that is focused on preparing our students and workforce for the jobs of today and the skills of tomorrow.
Help grow and rebuild our downtowns because they are a key engine for our small businesses and job growth. Our Main Streets are our community centers and where we go to work and shop. If we continue to support and revive our downtowns, many of our family and friends will see their businesses grow and job opportunities increase, and we will be building stronger communities that we call home.
I have a track record of getting results for our communities. In my experience as a state Senator and select board member in Richmond, Iíve taken the lead on key economic issues that help our downtowns and small businesses. My experience is grounded in finding common ground among different sides of an issue.
I am running for state Senate because I feel that I can bring some common sense approaches to problems that the state of Maine faces, such as high energy costs, high electric bills, increasingly burdensome regulations that stifle business in Maine and entrepreneurship, costing us jobs. There are a number of common sense approaches that we could use to make Maine business friendly, while protecting the environment and our way of life. I feel that these are things that I bring to the table.
Energy. We are a state that 99 percent of the residents and businesses use home heating oil. We need to encourage the development of liquified natural gas pipelines. These will not only provide an affordable heating source for our homes and businesses, but this would also provide good jobs. Electricity rates in Maine are extraordinarily high. We need to encourage the development of in-river generation, (or hydro-kinetic power), as Maine has 37,000 miles of rivers and streams. This source of power can be privately funded without taxpayer's dollars and it help promote fish passage.
Educate our children to be able to come out of high school and enter the workforce with marketable skills. This seems to be an issue facing potential employers that we do not have a skilled workforce coming out of our schools. Reduce stifling regulations.
Reduce the size of government.
I have spent my entire adult life as a builder in Maine. I am a fiscally responsible Mainer that will vote for what is best for the majority of Mainers, not party lines.
I want to continue to help solve Maine's problems.
How to improve the lives of our residents with the resources available to us.
How to improve the lives of the residents of Senate District 20 with the resources available to us.
We need to lower the cost of government, make it more efficient and make it more responsive to the needs of our people.
Lower the cost of health care so we no longer have the highest cost of health care in the world.
My opponent is the most partisan Democrat in the Maine Senate. I am among the least partisan Republicans in the Maine House. My opponent is an impassioned advocate for liberal causes. I am moderate with a long successful record of bipartisan problem solving. My opponent has very limited leadership experience or community involvement. I have very extensive leadership experience and community involvement.
To work for a better opportunity and a better life for Maine people. A lot of people are struggling today, and we need to do a better job fixing people's real problems, as well as planning for the future. Our children and grandchildren are depending on what we do today. It was thinking about that and the grandson that had been born a month earlier that made my mind up to run and fight for that better future.
Definitely jobs. Unemployment is part of what people are struggling with, and underemployment, taking any job you can get even at significantly lower pay, is also a big part of what people are struggling with today. We need to put more money in the pockets of middle class Mainers, and good jobs are an essential part of making that happen.
I think that is still jobs. But there are many issues affecting different people. The ones I have heard most while listening to people at their doors are jobs and the economy, health care costs, wanting a quality education for children and people pursuing careers, and the struggle to pay property taxes as more costs have shifted onto towns through state cuts.
We're in a demand constrained recession. Recovery from this recession depends on the middle class having more money to spend. In the short term, Maine should immediately issue voter-approved bonds and put a few more people to work improving infrastructure. Maine's budget cuts are making things worse, costing us more public sector jobs last year than we gained in the private sector. Tax cuts and loopholes that have benefited millionaires, paid for by those austerity measures, are just plain wrong. It's time we invested in Maine's infrastructure and education again instead.
Beyond tackling the issues I've mentioned to gain better lives and better opportunities for Maine people, there is one other thing. We need to restore trust in government again. That will happen when elected officials avoid big money contributors, avoid partisan bickering, and truly act in the people's interest to the best of their ability. We have to conduct the people's business in a manner that earns their trust.
Making things better for people motivates me. The many concerns and circumstances people have told me while campaigning informed my decisions in the Senate after the Valentine's day election. And I've shared those realities of Maine people while standing up for them and speaking out on the Senate floor. I've been working hard to learn the needs of individuals, towns, schools, shellfish committees, lobstermen, and others, and to make state government more responsive to those needs.
Gov. LePage has pulled me out of retirement. I believe that state government is going in the wrong direction under the governor and his majority in the Legislature. Their recently passed budget will hurt too many Maine people. I worry that the next legislature will be more of the same. I will stand up for working people, retirees, and our students in the Maine Senate.
The future. What will Maine's future be like for our children and grandchildren? We want them to get all the education they can get so they can compete and succeed in the modern world. We want Maine to be the place where they can work and raise their families so they won't have to move away.
The loss of "real income." Wages and pensions for many people are stagnant and in some cases have been reduced. At the same time, the price of gas, heating oil, food, and health care have gone up. We worry, we spend less and that's why business is slow right now.
We need to make sure that the Internet and cellular service is available to the whole state. That would be a boon to small business for online sales in our rural areas. We need to do a better job of promoting economic development and attracting businesses to Maine. We need the governor to be more positive. Having a negative national image does not help.
I want to fight for the workers ad the elderly in our district. I will oppose anti-worker proposals and attacks on the state retirement system. I will also fight attempts to weaken our environmental laws and ideas that would be harmful to the education of our children.
I am willing to oppose the governor's bad ideas while my opponent tends to go along as he did in the recent legislative session. That's one reason I worry that the incoming legislature will be more of the same.
To help manage the state's finances and budgeting processes and to continue collaborative leadership on the Appropriations and Financial Services Committee. I also enjoy helping people within the district and statewide.
The need to develop a widely-recognized environment of hope for our people and our businesses by creating an investment climate where businesses become excited about investing in Maine. This will generate jobs, revenue growth, and economic stability.
I believe that they wish to see additional state funding for K-12 education to help stabilize the local taxes. I have not polled residents recently but this appears to be a continuous valid concern.
Take visible concrete actions, where appropriate, to reduce government barriers to good, safe business expansion or introduction.
Help our most disadvantaged citizens with additional funding to remove them from waiting lists for vital services under what's called the Section 21 and Section 29 waivers. We had some success last session, but I am hopeful of doing more here.
Probably my recent service as the House of Representatives co-chairman of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee in the last session, and serving four years prior to that as a House member of this committee.
I am running to represent Waldo County in the Senate because I believe Maine is moving in the wrong direction. We are a great state, but instead of rolling up our sleeves and working together to overcome our challenges we are playing petty politics that divides us. I know that all of the opportunities Iíve had in my life were made possible because of the sacrifices made by my parents' and grandparentsí generations. I want to make sure my daughterís generation can grow up strong and healthy and have the opportunity to make a good life right here in Waldo County.
Maine's biggest single issue is the decreasing ability of working families to earn enough to meet their basic needs. For decades our ability to bring home enough to pay the bills has been whittled away by stagnant wages the loss of benefits. Families in Maine have coped by cutting expenses, working more hours, and very often working more than one job. But these are not enough. Too many families are slipping further and further into debt and poverty.
The availability of jobs that can sustain families is District 23's most significant issue. We need to build on the strengths of our small businesses. We need to support fledgling businesses and assist those seeking to grow. At the same time we need to strengthen education for children and adults to make sure we have the skills necessary for the jobs that are created.
The most important thing we can do to improve the economy is to increase access to affordable health care for small businesses and individuals. Rural areas like ours rely on small businesses and the high cost of health insurance put them at a significant disadvantage to larger companies. One has to wonder how many businesses never started because the entrepreneur just didn't want to risk the health of his or her family.
Increase supports to small businesses seeking to grow.
My opponent is a longtime legislator and is seeking a leadership role within his party. I am not interested in playing traditional partisan politics; it is divisive, destructive, a huge waste of time. Maine deserves and requires better from its elected officials. My focus is on improving the lives of working families in Waldo County. I will work with anyone who is serious about doing that.
I am seeking re-election to the state Senate for Waldo County in order to continue bringing the voice of its citizens to our state capitol. My goal is to improve economic opportunities for all Maine families through responsible government that encourages private sector investment and job growth.
In Augusta, my primary focus has been, and will continue to be, reducing the unnecessary burdens on Maineís small businesses and removing obstacles to starting new businesses. The small business sector is the economic engine of our state. Because of L.D. 732, which I alone sponsored last session, Maineís small businesses no longer have their deposits held in perpetuity by T&D companies such as Central Maine Power. This has the effect of freeing up capital for them to make investments and both grow and create jobs.
The biggest issue for voters in Waldo County, as well as the rest of the state, is job creation.
One of the key components to improving Maine's economy is ensuring that Maine companies compete on a level playing field. By reducing our energy costs through the continued build-out of natural gas pipelines, Maine businesses will be able to re-allocate funds to other capital projects, which will increase employment and economic opportunities for Maine families.
Private sector job growth and creation.
I have been a small business owner in Waldo County for over 30 years and know what it is like to sign both sides of a paycheck. I recognize the need to improve and expand economic opportunities for the people of Waldo County and have the experience to do it.
I want to help make Maine as great a place to earn a living as it is to live. By setting priorities, living within our means, and making Maine more job friendly, we can help attract the kind of capital investment we need to create, maintain and expand employment for our kids and grandkids. I am proud of my work in my first term in cleaning up the mess at the Maine Turnpike Authority, helping author sensible welfare reform, and working with both parties to get things done. I would welcome an opportunity to continue that work.
In an increasingly national and global economy, our biggest challenge is to create an environment where businesses will want to come and existing ones will prosper and expand. Our education infrastructure, tax policies, and government spending decisions should all have this in mind: will this make it easier or harder for us to attract the kind of good-paying jobs we want? At the same time, we must be vigilant about protecting the natural beauty that makes Maine so special.
With gas at over $4 a gallon, the overwhelming everyday reality of making ends meet is what is most real to people. Is their job in jeopardy? Will they be able to pay for health care? Will they be able to afford retirement? Will their kids have a future here? In sum, the economy dwarfs all other issues this year.
State government cannot (and should not) create jobs. What we can do is reform our tax code, our educational infrastructure and our overall economic development policy to create an environment attractive to the kind of private capital investment that creates jobs. We need to be constantly asking how we can make Maine not a good place but the best place in the country to do business, while at the same time protecting our amazing natural resources.
I will continue to do anything I can to help bring affordable natural gas to central Maine. It has the potential to be a huge game-changer for our region.
I do not know much about my opponent or her views on the issues.
As a working middle class candidate supporting the values, principles and economics for middle class families in District 24, I understand the challenges of fixed income living while costs for health care, food, insurance, home ownership, and education sky rocket while paychecks or retirement incomes remain fixed or decrease. I believe the Republican-led Legislature and my opponent got it wrong last session when they/he gave rate hike opportunities to insurance companies at the expense of Mainers. Individual policyholders in Maine now have 54 percent higher premiums with 91 percent of these being folks 55 to 59 years old. Mainers older than 60 now have a 100 percent premium increase. That's just plain wrong! I got in this race to right wrongs for elders, children, veterans and disabled veterans, and disabled folks.
Maine is the oldest state in the nation; we rank 50th in personal financial growth and was again, reported by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, to be the only New England state that continued shrinking in 2011. We (the incoming Legislature) must repeal the generous tax cuts given to wealthy Mainer's and reinvest these tax dollars in our infrastructure, our universities and colleges, do meaningful on-job-training with, for example, Jackson Lab, Hannaford, Shaws, Idexx, Garrand, and other top-rated businesses.
Sustainable property tax relief.
Reduce tax burden on the middle class, reinvest in infrastructure and provide every Maine child with a free post-secondary, two-year educational foundation.
Middle class tax relief.
We both want a better Maine yet our approaches are considerably different. I believe in restoring value to our middle class and giving a pathway for low income folks to get to the middles class where they can afford to purchase a home, afford health care, insurance, have a nest egg, educate their children or themselves without fear of losing their resources should they become ill or experience some setback. We need to shore up each other and stop catering to the wealthiest among Mainer's.
I'm running because in my work I see the impact the economy is having on children and working families every single day. But worse than that, our current legislature seems to think this struggle is acceptable. Families are falling out of the middle class, and when they do, they're told the reason they did is because they didn't work hard enough. Meanwhile, millions of dollars in tax breaks are given to the wealthiest Mainers. One voter told me, "Sometimes we just need to hurt people." Is that who we are? I believe we aren't, and that's why I ran.
The biggest issue is jobs, and I'm sure most candidates will say the same thing. We were promised a government that would put "people before politics" and instead all we've gotten is infighting and posturing. People desperately need jobs to survive. But until then, they need help and since they're already ashamed to ask for it, they certainly won't lobby the legislature to keep it. Being out of work when unemployment is this high isn't because people are lazy, it's because there aren't enough jobs. I've met many hardworking Mainers who value work and would like to have some.
I feel one major issue is that people don't feel heard. We were the country that worked together to accomplish big things -- like going to the moon. People want to know why politicians don't hear them when they say that that's what they want us to be doing. They don't want people who spend all their time micro-managing budgets and tinkering around the margins, arguing about nothing at all. They want a government that dreams again. It matters locally because America's success is the district's success. We all want to share in the pride of doing big things.
Maine is one of the few states whose economy is lagging behind during the economic recovery. The voters have passed bond packages that the governor will not issue. In this circumstance, it certainly seems to me that government efforts to improve Maine's economy have failed. We have to fully fund education to attract more businesses. Businesses don't care about tax credits, they care if there are workers available who can do the job. We need to invest in retraining our skilled workers in fields where there is job growth. They're renowned for their work ethic, so let's help them work.
The Department of Health and Human Services is broken and needs to be fixed. During the past two years, we slashed programs that provided great benefit to the state and saved us significant amounts of money long-term. At the same time, we boosted funding for programs that don't have any evidence backing them up. This is a ticking time-bomb that has been lobbed at future legislatures that will need to fix the damage. We need to stop playing political games with DHHS that are designed to make politicians look good; instead, we need to actually fix the problem. We must act based on evidence, not ideology.
Voters of the district have overwhelmingly expressed one concern to me during both the primary and general election campaigns. That concern is a lack of response to phone calls, e-mails, and other correspondence to Sen. Martin. The responsibility of a state senator is to represent all the people of the district, even those who disagree with them, and certainly would include returning phone calls. Even if it is a call to inform someone that I disagree with their view and tell them why, if they took the time to call me, I feel it's my duty to reply.
I want to continue the progress we made toward making Maine a better place to live. In a short period of time, we have enacted welfare, tax, pension, spending, health insurance, unemployment, workers compensation, and regulatory reforms that will give relief to struggling taxpayers and create jobs. We invested an additional $65 million in education and created small business tax incentives that will create jobs going forward. I want to return to the Senate to ensure we don't go backward.
Creating more jobs and career opportunities so our young people don't have to leave Maine and are able to earn enough to make a better life for their families and support our aging population. Eighty percent of all new jobs are created by small business. The answer is not for government to take more money from fewer workers to redistribute it. The answer is to support an environment where small businesses are able to employ more people and generate more revenues from more people paying less taxes.
The lack of jobs, and less money to pay for record high gas and food prices. There is also a sense that for the first time in history, our children may not be better off than we are if things don't change. The issue is: do we continue in the direction of prosperity and opportunity, or do we go back to the way we were doing things before the last two years?
Get its own fiscal house in order and stop impeding job creation. The Legislature took an important step forward in passing L.D. 1, regulatory reform and fairness legislation. It begins an ongoing effort to assist small businesses by reviewing and streamlining regulations. It had virtually unanimous support from both parties. I believe over time, it will change the culture of state government to be more supportive of job creation. We have also uncovered and addressed fraud and wasteful spending at the Maine Turnpike and State Housing Authority. This helps to restore taxpayer confidence.
Continue the bipartisan, problem-solving approach that the Maine Legislature applies to the difficult decisions that have to be made.
I have a record of service in the Maine Senate that I am able to run for re-election on. In addition to passing reforms that will improve the economy and create jobs, I have supported other legislation that makes people safer. I am proud of legislative efforts to reduce school bullying, protect student athletes from concussions, and support victims of domestic abuse. I am working hard every day to earn the trust of District 25 voters for another two-year term. There is more that we can accomplish working together.
I am running for office with the hope that I can help to implement a bill to create jobs for Mainers.
The lack of full-time jobs providing benefits.
Change or re-work out-dated laws to attract new business to Maine.
To get my bill passed.
I am pro-union and pro-labor.
I'm running to give the people in Senate District 27 a voice, someone who will listen to them and will put them first.
Building a stronger economy through job creation for a liveable wage; fighting for a fair tax structure; investing in pubic education; health care cost for our seniors; east-west highway; getting our money back from the state for Millinocket for our education and town; try to have the Legislature work together on both ends.
East-west highway; health care; liveable wage, jobs; education funding, we want the same education as the students in southern Maine.
Work with small business help guide them but stay out of their way; road and bridge work; upgrade our rail, our schools; look at our tax system.
Have the voter have trust in government again.
I think I'm closer to the public. I listen to them. I can work with both sides of the aisle. I treat people with respect like I like to be treated.
To make Maine a better place to live.
Jobs and the economy.
Jobs and the economy.
Reduce electric rates, reduce taxes, eliminate unnecessary regulations, improve roads.
Make it easier to hire new employees.
In Augusta small town concerns get lost in the shuffle. As an educator and social worker, I have witnessed the economic and social burdens Maine families shoulder. I have seen how party politics seem to get in the way of real progress for our citizens. I hope to be a legislator who will work effectively for Maine's rural areas in these challenging times.
The issues are jobs and economic development. I believe we must use innovative approaches to challenge present solutions which are not working. We should combine both business and government resources to solve these problems. There needs to be an environment that aggressively works within our state and to attract out-of-state businesses to create quality jobs.
That would be creating jobs that pay enough money so that our citizens do not have to work two and three jobs to provide for their families. I would support not just a minimum wage but a living wage so that our families can actually have a quality life.
This would be a cooperative effort in which business and government explore how to maximize our state's economic resources. New businesses should be given a four-year tax holiday. Streamling all regulations and eliminating those which hinder progress should be done; this should be done so that a non-adversarial relationship happens.
I want to see the start of an east-west highway interstate to parallel U.S. Route 2 and not to continue the privately financed east-west corridor currently proposed.
We have a different approach to the relationship of government to its citizens. I believe in a government that represents the interests of all of its people. I feel that government can help by being creative in its approach to our states challenges. I want the government to stay out of social questions. My opponent seems to see government as the enemy of the people; he sees corporations as superior. He feels that government should place no restrictions on business even when it protects our citizens. He sees that governments role is to stay out of the way except when narrow social concerns need to be dealt with.
To try and make the state a better place to live and work.
Employment and health insurance.
Let small businesses create jobs by getting out of the way and try to lower energy costs.
Lower energy costs and be business friendly.
I think I have more business experience and more experience in government. I went to Augusta to try and help small businesses have the opportunity to create jobs; they are the only ones who can grow the economy. Government can't give anything to anyone that it hasn't taken from someone.
I was born and raised in this area, then left to go to college. When I got back, even though I was working more then 40 hour a week, I was still having to pick what bills to pay. In conversations with others, I realized that was happening far too often. I want to go to Augusta to make sure there are no people in my hometown area who are picking between gas, food or heat ó things that should not be luxury items.
The biggest issue facing the state as a whole is that we have a legislature that passes laws and policies without talking to real Mainers about how it is going to affect them. A prime example of this is the east-west highway corridor. If they had talked to more Mainers, especially the ones living in the proposed area, it never should have passed ó even if it was only a feasibility study.
The biggest issue facing the district is that we have to travel outside the area for all our needs. We need a state representative who is going to work with towns to attract businesses and develop local businesses. Once the businesses are here they will give the area jobs, money and opportunities to improve our area.
The most important thing the government can do to improve the economy is be the biggest cheerleader for their area that they can be. This means go out and talk to businesses to see what they need or how they are succeeding. If political leaders spend more time talking to them, then they will know what they need.
Putting rural Maine back on the map.
What differentiates me from my opponent is that I know what it's like to struggle, to have to pick what bills to pay every month. While I know my opponent is a hard working, nice and an all-around good guy, I think he has become too complacent with just voting how his party tells him. I know this because of conversations I've had with people in the district who hear it from him; he waits until others vote to cast his vote on bills. I would have no problem going against my party if it meant helping my district.
My grandson, Jonathan, served two tours in Afghanistan. That and other men and women giving of themselves made me realize that if they could do that, I can give back by representing the voters of District 29.
We need more jobs that pay better than welfare, after taxes. Low-paying jobs cause people to make survival decisions that may not be best for them or the state economy.
Voters report their concern with the increases in costs of gas and heating oil and groceries, which is far outpacing the increase in their pay checks.
Continue to reduce taxes and state government size and expenditures.
Make a real contribution in helping to make Maine a better place to live.
I can only say that I have lived in this district for 35 years and volunteered in organizations focused on improving the business climate and quality of life for the people. I have a good rapport with the voters in District 29.
Throughout most of my working life in Maine, jobs were plentiful and many ladders were readily available in the form of education and training that assisted me with my climb into the middle class. So my decision to run for the state Legislature was based on the fact that I want the hard-working people of Maine to have those same opportunities once again. If elected I will fight tirelessly to make Maine a more business friendly environment that will attract quality businesses that will bring good quality to the people of Maine. In addition, I know from experience how important it is to have education and training available for the workers needed to fill the jobs of today. I will fight endlessly to make sure that education and training are readily available to assist the workforce of Maine.
I believe the biggest issue facing the state is its inability to attract quality business to invest in Maine and in some cases our inability to keep the ones that we all ready have here. I know from my experience around the country that the Maine worker has a fantastic reputation and is highly sought after, so the workforce is not the problem. Therefore, I believe the blame is placed solely on our government and it is high time that the necessary adjustments are made.
The subject that has come up most often in my discussions with the voters in District 29 is dysfunctional political atmosphere that exists currently in Augusta. The voters believe that until that changes the issue of job creation, education and alternative energy will remain unchanged.
To improve the economy in Maine our state government must compromise whenever necessary to make Maine a more attractive place for big business to invest in. In addition, changes need to be made to make it easier for the people who want to start a small business. We need to do whatever is necessary to assist the 50,000 Mainers who are still looking for work.
Increase the size of our middle class.
There are numerous things that differentiate me from my opponent, but the one thing that looms as the largest is my work life experiences. I have more than 30 years of experience in the art of negotiations, which includes the successful negotiations of around two dozen labor contracts, being a hearing officer for around 600 grievances, the performance of numerous disciplinary investigations, being involved in numerous problem solving efforts, experienced as an arbitration advocate, and working with federal mediators in dispute resolutions efforts. These experiences, I believe, will assist me and my constituents greatly if I am elected to the Maine State Legislature.
I'm running for office because I don't think the citizens of District 45 are being properly served and that they don't have a representative voice in Augusta. These are hard working people who have been left behind by the 125th Legislature.
We haven't created a net job in the last two years. We've seen our incomes fall, and our unemployment increase. But the lack of jobs and falling income is only a symptom of the deeper problems of Maine.
Residents tell me their biggest issue is the transfer of the cost of schools and roads from the state income tax to the local property tax. Hard working people and their retired neighbors on fixed incomes are watching their incomes remain stagnant or fall while the taxes on their homes rise.
We need to find creative ways to allow meaningful participation for all Mainers in a robust, sustainable, and resilient Maine-driven economy. Building such an economy requires investment in infrastructure and human resources, and access to capital.
Restore funding to public education to the 55 percent level that the citizens, at referendum, mandated that the government do. Please recall that 73 percent of our citizens supported that initiative and yet we're only at 43 percent now.
I believe in progressive taxation and a government that's responsive to the will of the people. I'm not interested in pulling model legislation from the files of a think tank or special interest group or making fiscal decisions based on theoretical economic models that don't work. I'm interested in writing legislation that serves the state and the people of District 45. We have big problems to solve, and I'll work hard to find practical solutions across the aisle.
I believe that the working families of House District 50 and the state of Maine need representation that understands the challenges that they face. I believe very strongly in our system of government and I want to try to make it work better for all people.
The current state of our economy. There is a lack of decent jobs that pay a livable wage with good benefits.
How their tax dollars are spent and an overall lack of faith in the state government as a whole.
Foster business innovation and new ideas. Ensure that those who wish to start new small businesses are helped along the road to success, not hindered with unreasonable regulations.
I want to restore faith in our state government by thoughtfully examining issues and applying common sense solutions.
I don't know my opponent personally. Therefore I can only speak to what I believe will make me a good representative. I believe accessibility and accountability to my constituents is the only way I can be an effective representative. If I don't know the wants and needs of the people I represent, then I can't effectively represent them.
The time is now. I want to be a voice for all of the people in my district.
Jobs and the economy.
Jobs and the economy.
Make it easier for the private sector to create jobs and less regulations.
Fund education at 55 percent.
I am an independent small business owner.
Augusta needs to put distractions aside and refocus on jobs, the economy, and a positive future for Maine, not divisive partisan agendas. Too much time has been spent on policies that erode the security of middle class families. As representative, I will work across the aisle on issues that concern our small communities: job development, small business growth, quality schools, affordable health care, and property taxes.
The sluggish state of the economy (particularly in rural areas) and the lack of visible progress in creating new jobs.
The impact that state policies have on local property taxes: steadily declining support for K-12 education, cuts in revenue sharing to towns, cuts in property tax relief programs, capped or declining road subsidies, and cuts in general assistance to towns.
Put more money in the pockets of the bottom 90 percent of taxpayers who spend it to purchase goods and services that drive our local economies and small businesses. Government can do this through targeted tax cuts for middle and modest income earners or reducing health insurance costs (a major contributor to middle income stagnation) by a variety of means.
Help put Maine on a steady track toward returning to pre-recession employment levels.
My opponent is part of a political movement that believes that bloated government is the main reason for our current economic woes and is the primary restraint on business development. I believe that government does indeed need to be right-sized but we need to remember that government helps maintain the infrastructure upon which business and corporations depend: education and training systems, roads, bridges, utilities, research and development.
It has been an honor to serve Maine and the people of my district in the 125th Legislature. It was also a task that I did not take lightly. Two years ago, many folks throughout the district shared their concerns about the lack of jobs, high taxes and over regulation that hampered business growth. We addressed several of those concerns in the 125th and some of the changes are already making a difference. I would sincerely appreciate the opportunity to continue the work.
Jobs that can sustain Maine families are the No. 1 priority.
Other than the economy and jobs, the biggest issue for the towns within my district is the cost of education and the resulting impact on their property taxes. In 2005 the people of Maine voted to fund education at 55 percent; however, due to chronic budgetary shortfalls, we have yet to meet that mark. Greater effort to reach and maintain that goal is vital in order to offer relief to property owners. Though we were able to increase funding to education by $68 million in the last session, it barely kept pace with rising costs. We must do better to help small communities.
Many of the initiatives passed in the last legislative session are already starting to show signs of results. With regulatory and tax reform, some businesses have started to expand their workforce.
I would like to continue working on welfare reform by implementing a tiered system to help folks transition off public assistance.
My opponent and I both have voting records for the citizens of our district to compare. Two years ago, I promised to reduce regulations, reduce taxes, improve the business climate, enact welfare reform and support greater government accountability to you, the taxpayer. I supported regulatory reform to enhance business and job growth while opposing those that would have a negative environmental impact. I lowered taxes for low and middle income Maine families. I set priorities, ensuring that our seniors, children and people with disabilities have the services they need. In the 125th Legislature, I kept my promise to you.
It is all about public service, and giving back. If you live here you ought to contribute somehow. I have volunteered my time, teaching driver's education, with the 92 Moose Morning Show, coaching three sports in the Gardiner school system. Before I was a trooper, I worked on the staff in the House of Representatives for five years as the document clerk. I know the process and can contribute on day one.
It all starts with the economy. No one is going to complain when they have a good job and money in their pockets. Welfare should be only for those who truly need it. People should not need to worry about having enough money to retire on.
Schools in Wiscasset and Dresden are a big concern. In Wiscasset, its membership in the school district and enrollments are way down. In Dresden, it is the long bus ride to Hall-dale. I have been to more than 1,500 homes in Pittston, Alna, Dresden and Wiscasset. I have heard concerns about taxes and the conditions of roads. Local budgets are very tight, the feds are pushing more down upon the state and the state is pushing it down on the towns.
Encourage doing business locally. I read that the average distance our food travels to our tables is 1,500 miles. Look at the lobster industry this summer; government needs to encourage processing plants here in Maine. The same goes for the wood industry -- why are we trucking logs to Canada where they saw them and then sell the same wood back to us as lumber? I have been impressed with all the backyard chicken-raising that is going on here; it seems like every fifth house has chickens behind it. If you are going to buy something, buy it with your neighbor in mind. That goes for government, too.
Offer a middle-of-the-road approach and use some common sense. Whatever is best for my district.
I do not know my opponent's positions other than his party and I am not going to be negative. I would look at our credentials and the personal contact I hope to make with as many voters as possible. I am knocking on doors every day of the week. I even got bitten by a dog in Alna.
I'm running for office to continue to ensure that the government serves the people. Maine has great potential but there needs to be continued change in Augusta for Maine to see that potential. Maineís economic situation did not begin with the recession and the path to recovery is essential in creating good paying jobs so our children have the opportunity to stay in Maine and prosper.
The poor economic conditions that adversely impact jobs and people's opportunities is the largest issue facing our state. Maine has not kept up with the pace of the rest of the nation due to over thirty years of policies that were implemented and much work is still needed to keep an upward move towards increased prosperity for our current population and future generations. Maine people are working and deserve the opportunity to succeed with options of employment that allow them to prosper.
There are many issues that are important to our district. The economy is always of topic when I travel the district speaking to neighbors. There are other concerns that have a huge impact here. Serving on the Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee has allowed me to work with domestic violence and drug abuse issues. I have been honored to serve as the only legislator on the prescription drug abuse task force. This has allowed me to work to implement plans to protect our community from the effects of these problems that directly affect our pharmacies, doctors and neighbors.
State government needs to bring spending to a sustainable level and address the non competitive areas of taxation and regulation that are keeping jobs away. Our young people will stay when there is economic opportunity. To achieve economic prosperity, there needs to be a fundamental reform of state government and a change in philosophy to make Maine an attractive place for the private sector to invest. Other states have made these changes and the results have been achieved.
My one accomplishment that I would continue to work diligently toward is to represent my neighbors with total passion and energy at the state house. To listen to their concerns and continue to make them my up most goal in all that I do.
My opponent is a very nice lady. Her husband and children are wonderful. My opponent and I differ on taxes. I believe the people of Maine are taxed too much. I believe the way to reduce that burden is to reduce government. My opponent believes that if she can afford a little more, everyone can. She believes that increasing property taxes will solve the problems that are at issue in our community. I believe that the people of Maine are intelligent enough to spend their money how they see fit not how the government sees fit.
I am running for office because I have been involved in local politics for more than 20 years, and now I would like to represent the citizens of Winslow and Benton in Augusta. I believe the experience I have gained will enable me to be an effective voice for the concerns of Winslow and Benton during these difficult times.
I believe the lack of good-quality jobs is the biggest issue facing the state. This has not changed in the last two years and has led to high unemployment, our young people leaving the state, and an increase in the number of foreclosures and more turning to welfare. People want to be able to work and live in this great state, but they have to earn a reasonable income.
Based on a lot of discussions I have had with voters while going door to door, I believe there are two main issues depending on the age of voters. For those still working or looking for work, the availability of good-quality, dependable jobs is their main concern. For those who have retired and live on a fixed income, the ever-increasing cost of living (gas, heating oil, food, medical costs) is their big concern. People need to live without worrying about how they are going to provide these essential necessities.
If we really want to create jobs and improve the economy, we need to change the way we do things in Augusta by focusing on job creators, small businesses and young entrepreneurs right here at home. That starts with strengthening public education to develop a well trained workforce and supporting our downtowns and local businesses by giving them the tools they need to get their businesses off the ground and create new jobs in the future while building the Maine brand. It is time to start spending money wisely by investing it in small business owners right here in Maine.
I want the citizens of Winslow and Benton to know they have a representative who will make sure their concerns are heard. One more concern I have is about our schools. We cannot afford to keep cutting positions or essential programs without affecting the quality of education. An investment in our schools is an investment in our future. I will keep these concerns in mind when I represent Winslow and Benton in Augusta. If I accomplish only one thing, I want the citizens of Winslow and Benton to know that they are being listened to and their concerns are echoed in the Legislature.
I have lived in the area my entire life and graduated from Winslow High School. I know the history of the area and have grown up with many of the people I will represent. I have served the citizens of Winslow for more than 20 years and know how to work with people to get things done regardless of political affiliation. The key to success in any task is working together and the willingness to listen to the ideas of others.
My family has been living and working in my district for generations, and I want to build a life here, too. But as so many Mainers know all too well, even as most of the country is beginning to see signs of recovery, our economy is still on the backslide. Our young people are leaving the state to find work. I truly believe we can do better than this.
The economy. Our legislature needs to be focused on how to bring good jobs to Maine. So many of the challenges we face are the direct or indirect result of Maine's shrinking economy, which means making good jobs our No. 1 priority will have far-reaching, positive effects throughout the state.
My home district faces the same economic challenges as much of the state. Relatively rural areas, like my hometown, have been hit hard by a bad economy through no fault of their own. Instead of pushing unfair tax policies at the expense of investment in our future, our legislators should be advocating for hard-working Mainers.
The truth is there is no silver bullet that will fix our economy; instead, we need a multifaceted approach. We need to make smart investments in our future that pay off, like training our workforce and protecting the natural resources that are so important to our economy and quality of life. We need policies that work for working Mainers and small businesses ó not just in one part of the state but statewide. And we need to support traditional sectors, including small-scale agriculture and food production so more Mainers have access to good food that supports jobs here in Maine.
To make life a little better for Maine.
My family has lived and worked in this district for generations. Growing up here in a family that owned a small business, China General Store, and committing to stay here as an adult has given me deep roots in this community. I want to be able to build a life here.
These are very difficult times, and important state budget decisions need to be made. We need to balance the budget while protecting our most vulnerable citizens. I spent almost 30 years working in government finance and fighting for the rights of the residents and taxpayers of the Unorganized Territory in the Legislature. During that time I became acutely aware of how important it is to have strong, knowledgeable, independent voice to protect the interests of the people. I can use my life and work experiences to provide that voice.
The economy. We need to ensure that all the people of Maine have jobs that pay livable wages. We need to provide education and training to both our young people and older workers in order for them to adapt to a changing job market.
People in my district are worried about jobs, health care, education, and property taxes. We need to stop passing the buck onto the backs of the local governments. We need to be creative and open to new ideas for creating jobs, improving education at all levels, and improving access to health care. We need a better relationship between government and businesses to provide the training our residents need for employment in the businesses that already exist. And, we need to think out of the box to encourage and support entrepreneurs. More job opportunities equal a better life for our residents and a healthier economy.
Government can provide a good environment for all the people of Maine. We can protect our natural resources while providing a better environment for businesses to succeed. People need businesses and businesses need people. They cannot survive without each other. We need a joint effort between government and businesses to ensure that our people are properly trained and hired to perform in decent-paying jobs. We must create new initiatives to encourage people to stay in the state of Maine to raise their families. And, we need to invest in building and repairing our infrastructure.
Improve the economic environment through education, training, and entrepreneurship programs.
I have extensive knowledge and experience in Maine governmental finances and the Legislature. I know how the state of Maine government functions. I have written legislation, testified on bills, and fought for the rights of the people for whom I worked. I have worked with both legislative Republican and Democrats to reach mutual agreements. During these difficult times we need knowledgeable informed people in the Legislature who work with all sides to make the best decisions on behalf of our residents and businesses. As a retiree, I can dedicate all of my time for the benefit of the people and businesses in Augusta.
Each year, I have become increasingly frustrated with the direction of the state of Maine and of the nation. I have often wondered if there was anyone who was actually representing the "average Joe." The amount of debt that we have left for future generations to deal with is unacceptable to me, and nobody seemed interested in fighting to protect the future. As a Marine, I know how to fight for what is right and I will work aggressively to increase investment and jobs in the state of Maine while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
The lack of jobs and investment in Maine is by far the biggest issue that we must deal with. We need to provide incentives for businesses to relocate to ó or remain in ó the state of Maine. We currently have significantly higher tax rates than other states, which we must look at to effectively compete with neighboring states. We must also work with businesses and other stakeholders to ensure that regulations are not hindering investment and therefore jobs. Jobs are created from successful businesses; therefore it is our job to help businesses be successful. In the end, we all benefit.
After talking to thousands of voters throughout the district, I know that many of them are struggling with the increased costs of living. They are feeling the pinch while at the grocery store and each time they regretfully pull up to the pump. As legislators, we need to work tirelessly to get this economy booming again. We need to seek non-partisan solutions that make sense for all Mainers. I owe it to those who have entrusted me to fight for them to give 100 percent of my energy to job creation and economic development.
Government needs to remember that they work for the people. I expect all elected officials to look beyond party lines to ensure a successful future. They need to work aggressively toward tax reforms for prospective investors into the state of Maine as well as current businesses operating in Maine. We need to work with businesses to identify solutions to problems that are hindering their growth and implement them quickly. We can no longer afford to kick the can down the road; it is time to make real, long-lasting change to benefit us all.
I want to work to put Maine back on top. I will fight hard to retain the jobs we have, while increasing investment to the state. I want to lower energy costs for all Mainers, while simultaneously working toward education reform. If elected, I intend to be very transparent. I want the people in the state of Maine to know that they can trust me. As your representative, I will tirelessly fight for you, representing your needs, not my own agenda.
Getting the economy back on track and creating jobs is priority for most all of us and we should elect someone who has the education and experience to create them. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in business management and I am aggressively pursuing a MBA with a concentration in health care. I have started local businesses and I am keenly aware of the challenges they face each day. I joined the Marine Corps at 17 years old to protect our freedoms then and I intend to fight to protect them now. I believe in the state of Maine.
I am running for office because I believe I have the experience needed to help the residents of House District 57. When I served in the legislature I proved that I was able to cut government spending and save property taxpayers money. One of the bills I sponsored has saved Maine property taxpayers $8 million in the first two years. I worked hard with members of both political parties and I feel that is something missing now ó there is very little working together. I know I can improve the lives of my neighbors and I would be proud to represent the Augusta community.
Lack of Jobs! In the legislature there is no silver bullet; we must work on many issues. More work must be done helping business with regulations while keeping the wonderful quality of life we all enjoy in Maine. Statistics show Maine's economy has stood still for the last two years. We must reduce the cost of doing business in Maine. Some of this can be done by providing a better skilled workforce, lowering energy and transportation costs for existing and new business to help provide more jobs in our state.
As I go door to door the biggest issue facing residents of District 57 is the uncertain economy. Many people are working two or three jobs and still finding it difficult to make ends meet. We need more good-paying jobs in our area. Cuts made to the state budget have simply pushed the burden down to our local municipality. One of the cuts made to the state budget was to eliminate a mental health case manager who helped our local police deal with people with mental illness. This reduced the state budget but hurt our community. State cuts to MaineCare also make it harder for our Augusta families to get by.
Government should provide adequate funding for good quality education beginning with head start, K-12, and training workers for our workforce. Government must invest in infrastructure and must see that our safety net is maintained. Thousands of Mainers will lose benefits under MaineCare if the waiver is approved by the Federal government. These cuts made by the legislature so that we could double the estate tax exemption from $1 to $2 million ó that's a step backward. The income tax cuts mean $100 to middle class families in Maine but if you earn over $35,000 you will get nearly $3,000. This is a step backward and it's just wrong. Our neighbors, state workers and retired state workers have not seen an increase in their wages and benefits yet the cost of food, clothing, lights and gas for their cars have all gone up.
Bring more jobs to our state. I have a proven record of bringing jobs to Augusta. I worked on the Augusta Crossing project that brought Target & Lowe's to our community. This development created many jobs from planning, development and construction to retail and maintenance jobs. I know state government can do more to help local business expand and attract more jobs to our area.
I have served on many boards and organizations helping people in our community. I currently serve as vice president of the Board of Directors of the Children's Center and on the Board of Directors of Kennebec Behavioral Health. Being a member of these boards has given me an opportunity to help many families. I'm proud to have been part of the effort to ease the burdens they face every day. I believe my experience working 27 years for JH Financial Services provides a much-needed financial background.
Maine and Augusta are extraordinary! I want to be a part of making the changes necessary to keep us on a path toward long-term prosperity. In order to do this, we need to work harder to find non-partisan, common sense solutions and foster an environment that is business friendly so that jobs can be created, allowing people to find the work needed to pay the bills and giving people a meaningful reason to stay in Maine!
These are challenging times. The Maine economy remains in a state of major transition, from manufacturing to knowledge and services. We are still trying to adapt to this change, which I think is the most significant issue that must be addressed. It is hard to fix any one issue without first getting to the root cause. We must focus on ways to embrace this transition and make the most out of it.
Iíve knocked on more than 1,000 doors to get feedback from my neighbors about what is most important to them. The most common response I hear are that the property taxes, and taxes in general, are too high. Some are OK with paying higher taxes, but most would like to see something done about reducing them. Recent cuts at the state level created a gap in the city budget that resulted in a property tax increase. I will work hard to make sure costs are not simply shifted from the state to the city, thus putting additional pressure on the property taxpayers.
We have more than 30,000 small businesses in Maine. If each added just one job, our unemployment rate would drop from 7.6 percent to just over 3 percent. I believe the best thing government can do for the economy is to increase small business growth opportunities by lowering taxes and streamlining regulations. With lower costs, small businesses will be in a better position to create more jobs and provide higher salaries and better benefits for employees, which will greatly improve our economy.
I want to make it easier for people in Augusta to make ends meet. That means keeping property and other taxes in check, working to lower the cost of gas, and helping to curb the rising cost of groceries. It also means fostering a pro-growth economic environment where good jobs bring good wages for the people of Augusta.
I like and respect my opponent very much, but it is time for new ideas and a fresh perspective in state government and I will provide that. As a small business owner, and an active community member, I understand what Maine needs to grow and move forward!
I am running for House District 58 to be a strong independent voice for the people of the district in Augusta. In this last session they have funded school at lower levels, causing local taxes to increase. They have made cuts to Head Start, causing young mothers to stay home instead of going to work. I don't see how these and many other things that are being done are helping Maine people.
I wish it was just one issue. I would have to say that the economy is right up there. We need good-paying jobs. I feel education is the key to getting good jobs. We need to know what are the companies needs so we can educate skilled workers. Have an education system that is affordable for our young college students. We need to fund our local school, not have a tax shift from the State to the cities and towns, causing local taxes to go up.
Since I have decided to run, I have knocked on tons of doors. I have met with many state workers, teachers, police officers, labors that live in this district. They feel like they have been attacked by this last session, and the administration. Local taxes have gone up because state funding has gone down. Most people didn't even notice a difference in the increase in state taxes; it was eaten up very quickly by the increase on local taxes, even after major cutting on the town/city and school budgets.
Work on our infrastructure. If the bonds pass, than the governor needs to put them into action to allow the job to happen. Also, not just rip people of need off the systems that help. I do not think blanket cutting is a good thing. If we have fraud then find it. Tighten the regulations if you need, but taking all 19 to 20 years off Medicare does not work. Taking all adults without children off MaineCare does not work. I have spoken to parents who are worried about their children, young adult with disabilities and what they will do with out insurance. Not everyone is milking the system. Finding the fraud would save us money and you wouldn't need a federal wavier to do it.
Bring balance and common sense to Augusta.
I am not going to be a rubber stamp for my party. I will be accessible to the people of the district. I have shown that I am interested in finding out what the issues are for people of this district, by asking them at every door that I go to "What are your concerns?"
Iím in this race to bring fresh ideas and energy to the state house so we can move our state forward. Most of my adult my life has been spent in public service either through community organizations or my work. Running for office is an extension of that public service. As a lifelong Mainer, I am deeply worried about the current direction of our state. I may not have all the answers, but I do know how to ask the right questions, and how to work cooperatively with others. I think civility and cooperation will make for a more efficient Legislature.
The economy. People need jobs that pay a livable wage and to do so they must have access to education and training, to prepare for or adapt to a changing job market. Weíve fallen backwards under the current Republican leadership, on every front from education to health insurance. The backbone of our economy is the middle class and we have to strengthen that base.
People in my district are worried about jobs, health care, and education. They tell me they are working harder for less. Too many are barely holding on to homes theyíve worked a lifetime for because theyíve been laid off from good paying jobs and are now underpaid with no benefits. State employees and retirees in my district see prior promises broken. Young parents are worried about their childrenís educations being underfunded. These people deserve leaders in Augusta who will work as hard as they do and put their interests first.
Improve education and expand access to training and job skills are the most important ways government can improve the economy. We can improve education through innovation and input from local community members. Fair tax policy is also a vital role of government. We must strengthen our infrastructure to support a modern economy that results in shared prosperity. In addition to education, that infrastructure includes investments in public spaces, roads, bridges, and transportation, while safeguarding our environment that is our greatest asset. Investing in research and development encourages innovation, and this is also a way government can stimulate growth.
I want to expand access to education and training so people can have decent paying jobs with affordable health insurance, and help foster a climate where others like me can create businesses that will grow Maineís economy. I believe the people of Maine are demanding leaders at the state level who will work together for the best interests of our state and our people. I want to feel at the end of my public service that I worked effectively and civilly with my colleagues to help turn around a stalled economy.
I am a progressive thinker and being born and raised in this district I have a deep personal knowledge of both Gardiner and Randolph. Because I have volunteered for practically every organization in the area, and have already helped bring more than a million dollars into these communities through my grant writing and fundraising work, Iím well informed about issues and concerns impacting this district.
Growing up on a Bowdoinham farm, I had about the best childhood anyone could hope for. Every day I still feel inspired to give back. Itís why I taught school for 20 years, and it's why I'm working hard now for jobs and opportunity in Augusta. Itís a privilege to serve, and to make policy better. I also have two kids and work for a growing Maine business, so like most of us I also have a big stake in our future. I want every Mainer to have opportunities as good as those Iíve had.
Jobs. Maine people should be working their way into the middle class, not getting squeezed out of it. While other states are recovering, Maineís personal income growth is now dead last in the nation. Iím proud of my work in Augusta to advance our economy and increase access to good education, health care and energy, and to make things better where I can, but too many recent policies have helped a few at the expense of the rest. If Iím fortunate, I should at least hold the door open for the next person.
Jobs. Bowdoin, Bowdoinham and Richmond have not been quite so hard-hit as other regions, but we are still suffering. Too many have lost jobs, or even homes. We are poised for real growth, but policies that diminish opportunity and investment, or shift the burden onto the middle class, are not helping. Right now most Mainers have very little voice in Augusta. Even select boards and school boards are often ignored. For a stronger economy we need the middle class to be strong. They need money in their pockets to spend at local businesses and restore growth.
Provide real opportunity. Letís give every kid a quality education, starting not at 5 but at birth if parents want or need to work. Letís give every adult a liveable wage that keeps up with inflation, fair taxes, and affordable health care and energy. Letís invest in high-speed Internet, conservation, research, infrastructure, and higher education. The business I work for, Kennebec River Biosciences, would not exist without past investments like these. Working together, the public and private sectors can build on and invest in our stateís great strengths ñ starting with our people and our natural resources.
Universal early childhood care and education. We now know that the brainís foundation is entirely built by age 3, and is made strong by good interaction, nutrition, and avoiding major stress. We know also that for every dollar we invest here, we can save up to 17 later on. Thatís astonishing. Itís also cheap. If we want the workforce of the future tomorrow, if we want good jobs and low taxes, we just need to help new parents to succeed. Besides, which of the 38 kids born today in Maine doesnít deserve a doctor or nurse, and quality early care?
I donít campaign negatively and I donít know much about him - just that he moved here a few months ago and seems very nice. Iíve been blessed to grow up in Bowdoinham, to have two kids in our amazing local school, to have served my community as a teacher, selectperson, representative, and as vice president of a growing business in Richmond, bringing dollars into Maine and adding good jobs. I hope voters will agree that I care, that I always listen to their concerns, and do all I can to get things done for them.
As a business owner with more than 20 years experience in the landscape and fishing industries, I feel I can make a positive contribution to our state on two of the key issues facing most Mainers today: job creation and energy/ fuel costs. I am also concerned that the nation we leave to our children will not be as free as the one we inherited. Freedom is the right to make choices others perceive as wrong. Today, as government contemplates excise taxes on soda and tanning booths, we are approaching the point where we will be restricted to making approved choices.
Job creation. Maine is a winter state characterized by long commutes to work and markets. Energy and fuel costs have a tremendous impact on the health of our state's economy. We need to secure cheaper rather alternative energy sources and demand that our national representatives pursue the same policies in Washington. In addition, we need to look a fairer system of taxation that taxes people when they have money to spend rather than for having property, such as a home or automobile, they cannot afford to keep.
Controlling the rising cost of living. Take a walk down Main Street in Waterville and you will find restaurants, taverns, retail shops, hair salons, flower shops and a host of other privately owned businesses too numerous to list. The one thing most of these businesses have in common is that they rely on consumers having discretionary cash to spend. When energy and food prices remain elevated, as they have for years now, these businesses begin to falter. We must provide cheaper energy alternatives to our district, such as natural gas, for business and job creation to thrive.
Simplify the complex regulatory structure of our state. Whether applied to the environmental regulations that impact energy costs in our state or the regulatory morass of Maine's social service system that raise the cost of providing services to those in need, simple is cheaper and better. I said to an attorney friend of mine once that "If I need to consult a lawyer to explain the letter you sent to me, you need to go back and rewrite it." The same is true of laws written for a free people. Complex rules discourage investment.
A jogging trail along Rices Rips Road and Route 23 before someone gets hurt.
A career-minded politician, my young opponent, while well intentioned, has very little experience in terms of business or life in the real world. He claims to support small business and working class people. However, the special interest-driven environmental, energy, and economic policies he advocated while in office serve to increase inflation for Mainers and lower the standard of living for those hardest hit by the recession. Having worked in the environment for most of my life, I know the balance that must be struck between protecting the environment and providing Mainers with the resources they need to prosper.
I am running for office to provide balanced and dependable representation for the people of Waterville and Oakland. I am proud of my record: authoring a bipartisan bill to help small business, opposing cuts to early childhood education, and voting for bipartisan elements of welfare reform while working toward alternatives to harmful cuts. Serving the people I grew up with here is a true honor.
The need for good paying jobs is the biggest single issue facing the state. Related to job growth is the cost of energy, health insurance quality and price, and access to higher education. I cannot wave a magic wand to create jobs-but I can support alternative energy and natural gas infrastructure, vote for insurance reform that actually lowers premiums, and prioritize higher education. I authored successful bipartisan legislation to help small businesses have more flexibility in the use of funds.
Most voters are struggling to get by day-to-day, and are finding it hard to stay ahead. Voters support a safety net, but only for those who actually need it. I am committed to reasonable and informed changes to the safety net that reward work, but ensure that help is there for those who need it. Reforms to the safety net should be based on facts and data.
Government does have a role, and improving the economy is more complex than simply cutting taxes for the very wealthy. The most important thing the government can do is implement policies that support a strong middle class: public education, job training, and affordable health insurance allow the middle class to earn more, and have more money in their pocket. Only then can the economy grow.
Redo so-called state health insurance reforms to address costs but also protect consumers and families in our part of Maine.
I am a candidate who has taken actual and specific positions on issues through my voting record. Candidates talk about being bipartisan, supporting small business, or prompting reform; I have actually done these things in the Legislature.
I grew up here in central Maine and know firsthand what the people of Maine face every day. I have a long history of service to the communities where I have lived and want to continue representing the residents of Waterville. I find that listening to constituents when there are issues of importance to them to be an invaluable resource when I cast my votes in Augusta. I encourage voters to contact me.
Balancing the state budget while preserving essential services such as education, health care and revenue sharing for municipalities is a high priority for everyone. Achieving this goal will go a long way toward improving the environment for economic recovery and employment.
Voters in my district are concerned, as many people are, about the state of the economy, the level of unemployment, health care and many more of the high-profile issues in the press. The issue for them is the stalemate, especially at the federal level, and the lack of sufficient bi-partisan cooperation to get the best possible results.
We should delay tax reductions while avoiding tax increases, control wasteful spending and seek bi-partisan compromises rather than partisan solutions. This, together with a strong partnership between state government and the private sector (both businesses and educational institutions) will pave the way for an economic recovery.
I will continue my support for education, particularly K-12 education, by supporting bonds for education and opposing attempts to balance the state budget by reducing revenue sharing with municipalities. Residents of Waterville already face high property taxes and reducing revenue sharing transfers the cost of providing essential pubic services to the property tax.
I cannot answer this question. My opponent entered the race in late July as a replacement for a candidate who had withdrawn. I have not yet met him and know little about him or his priorities.
I am running for office because I truly enjoy serving others through the use of the unique talents I possess. I am interested in actively listening and engaging people that are passionate about a variety of issues. Seeking ìoutside-the- boxî solutions that turn a problem into an opportunity for us is how I would like to lead by example. I will hold my friends accountable for compromising their principles and pledge to work respectfully and civilly with everyone whether I like them personally or not.
I think that we, the residents of the state of Maine, need to focus on simply being kind to one another. Failing to make this conscious effort is preventing us from coming together as a community and ultimately solving problems effectively. I think this problem is reflected in state leadership as well as on local levels. What does it look like to ìlove your neighborî as a leader in the state? When I need to decide how to solve a problem, I will humble myself to ask for advice from the people that are experts in that particular subject on both sides of the isle.
We need plan with both short- and long-term goals that will bring jobs into the state of Maine and particularly the Waterville area. We need to target specific areas where we know we can compete in the national job market. I believe that computer technologies and support for them is an example of such a market. As political leaders we should bolster our universities in this area, in particular creating a workforce that is inviting to companies that would be interested in moving or starting up here in Maine. We should also be talking to business owners in the market to see what they need to be successful.
The battle of perspective is huge in how economics at a grand scale play out. Our leadership should spend more time and effort focusing on the strengths of the state of Maine. There are businesses all over the state that are making money and we should spend more time figuring out what people they are doing right and replicating that. There seems to be a lack of faith in the state that seems to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Focus on our strengths, empower each other and set people up to succeed ó this is what the government must do for our economy to move forward.
I want to be a part of a legislature that establishes a sound balanced budget that does not forsake our responsibilities.
I believe that the differentiation between myself and my opponent is apparent in my previous answers. Our foundations are different and it is reflected in how we would approach the different issues.
During the last two years we accomplished a great deal for Maine. We lowered taxes, reduced the regulatory burden for our small businesses, reformed welfare, and ferreted out corruption at the Maine Turnpike Authority. Now, we have still more work to do. We need to address energy costs, both for the retiree on a fixed income and the small business owner. We need to continue our work on tax reform and welfare reform so that Maine can become prosperous. It is for the work that still needs to be done that I am running for re-election.
Maine faces several ìbig issuesî including over-regulation, costly Department of Health and Human Services programs, and health care costs. But in my view the most important thing we face is energy costs. Gas is near $4 a gallon. Heating oil is around $3.60 a gallon and the price we pay for electricity ranks Maine as the 11th highest in the country. We need to put a stop to this and pursue energy policies that will benefit every Mainer.
It is difficult to differentiate the issues facing the district from those facing the state. However, an area of importance to District 78 is energy in the form of natural gas. This resource offers great potential to the district and it is important that the state, through the bidding process, hires a pipeline company that is going to deliver to the people of my district access to cheap and clean natural gas.
Let Mainers be Mainers. My goal, the goal of every Republican, is to free Mainers to innovate, invest, and take risks. That is how you grow an economy and why it is important for us to continue the work of reforming welfare, so that those most in need are receiving benefits instead of spending money on those able-bodied adults for whom welfare has become a way of life. That is why we must continue to look at the regulatory burden businesses face. We need to have protections but regulations should pass the common sense test. We must reduce energy costs, control state spending, and let Mainers keep more of the money they work hard to earn every day. By doing these things we will see the Maine economy succeed.
Spending reform should hang over everything we do in the next legislature. That means not only eliminating wasteful programs but spending taxpayer dollars smarter through energy reform and ensuring money isnít wasted as it was at the MTA and MSHA under Democratic leadership. If I had to say what the one thing I would most like to see in the next legislature it is that we continue to spend the taxpayerís money wisely and more importantly that we spend less of it.
As speaker of the House, I have the great privilege of working with every member of the legislature, Republican and Democrat, on the issues facing Maine. I am proud of my record as speaker of leading the legislature to bipartisan success and doing what is right and necessary for Maineís success. I hope the people of District 78 will give me another opportunity to represent them in Augusta and I ask for their vote.
I chose to run for office because Maine needs common sense, results-oriented leadership. For too long, many of our children have had to look in other parts of the country for good jobs, and this is unacceptable to me. Mainers have put up with high taxes and energy costs for too long. I believe people are ready for leadership that spends their hard-earned taxpayer money wisely. I hope to bring greater accountability to Augusta.
The biggest issue facing Maine today is high government spending that, in many cases, is well above national averages. Wasteful and unsustainable entitlement spending has placed a large burden on Maine taxpayers. Furthermore, programs for the needy, in many cases, do not meet their goal of helping people get back on their feet. Instead, these programs become a way of life, sometimes for generations, robbing people of the dignity that comes from self-sufficiency. We owe Maine voters a more efficient system that accomplishes these goals.
My district is full of hard-working private and public sector workers, many of whom have not had a raise in years. I want to create a better job climate so citizens of my district can keep up with the rising costs of living.
The government cannot create prosperity; it can only redistribute other people's money. The government's job is to provide the basic services that only it can provide, in the most efficient manner possible, allowing the taxpayers and businesses to keep as much of their money as possible. In so doing, governments can improve the economy by letting people spend their own money as they choose. No one does a better job managing their money and creating wealth for themselves (and others) than the person who worked for it!
I would love to help the state attract more and better employers. Maineís people are some of the hardest working in America, and if we can ease the tax burden on businesses, they will come.
My opponent has spent the past couple of decades in Augusta fighting for the policies that were important to her. While I'm sure that she was only doing what she thought was best, her policies have not improved the quality of life for Mainers. The last time her party was in charge, my opponent and her party ignored fixing Maine's bloated entitlement programs, and instead sought to levy new taxes on Mainers on everything from haircuts to auto repairs. Luckily, Mainers had the sense to repeal that law, and now it's time to send to send home those responsible for that kind of old, tired thinking. We need bold, new leaders. Maine needs to move on from the past 30 years of failed leadership that has decreased Maine's competitiveness with other states (and with Canada).
Maine families are struggling, and our middle class is being hammered. I am running to support job creation and a strong middle class by investing in workers with job training and affordable higher education, and Maine-based research to create the manufacturing jobs of the coming decades. I will continue my efforts to lower prescription drug costs, to put the brakes on insurance rate hikes, and to hold big out of state banks accountable when they foreclose without following the rules. I will also continue my advocacy for fair trade policies so we can ìBuy Americanî once again.
Jobs and the economy.
Jobs and the economy.
We must invest in education and cutting-edge research that can lead to products, knowledge and skills that we can export to the rest of the U.S. and the world. We should help promote the "Maine brand," which represents environmental quality and unique products ranging from lobster, artisan cheeses and high-tech turbine blades. Education must be more affordable and available to all for life-long learning. We should embrace renewable energy and weatherization to cut energy costs in the short and long term, and help small businesses navigate paperwork and access affordable healthcare.
Responsible budgeting, not balancing budget on backs of seniors, children, and retirees in order to pay for tax cuts for the well-off.
I do not know my opponent's positions on most issues. I have a record of effective legislating and listening to, and learning from, my constituents.
To assist in changing the direction of Maine government toward a more business-friendly attitude, a better economy, lower taxes, cheaper health insurance, less regulation, keeping our graduates in Maine and getting citizens who can work off of welfare and on a job.
Out of control welfare.
Out of control welfare.
Reduce regulations and lower taxes with no state income tax as the goal. We should learn how New Hamshire does it.
Make Maine more business-friendly and improve welfare system.
Business experience and conservative values.
I know what is like to be suffering through this recession. I am not just watching my neighbors losing their jobs and homes; my family is struggling and trying to adapt as well. I know the frustration of giving your all to a job only to lose it, trying to make your bills every month, to only just get by. None of us feels secure about our jobs or the economy as a whole. We need to be drawing up and implementing a plan that will prevent us from going through another tough and degrading economic period as we have recently endured.
Rebuilding our economy so that everyone benefits. We all want meaningful employment that puts food on the table, a roof over our heads, and gives us a little extra money to treat our families with from time to time. We need to successfully encourage growth that leads to jobs where our work is valued, secure, and provides a living wage with good American benefits.
Government should be investing in its own citizens. In times of economic strain, such as we are currently experiencing, government should not only be encouraging entrepreneurship but also rebuilding infrastructure, investing in research and development, and protecting those most vulnerable to market fluctuations. Government has the monetary as well as the man power to literally dig us out of this deep hole.
Our state motto is Dirigo: I lead. We should be leaders. In job growth, how we treat our fellow citizens, and our vision for a prosperous future.
I want to see my community thrive and this state be a leader again. We should not be short-sighted and sacrifice our current well-being to save a few pennies. Government should be planning and working toward a prosperous society for many generations to come.
As a working man and small businessman and brought up in the Livermore Falls area, I can best represent working men and woman in the Maine Legislature. The Legislature has let us down by not funding our local public schools, by raising health costs in Maine and by balancing the state budget by passing cost onto the towns and the property tax payers. I hope to change that.
Livable wage jobs, jobs, jobs with benefits.
Livable wage jobs with health insurance and benefits.
State government must provide the best education and career training, and must attract businesses, creating livable wage jobs with benefits, and provide a safety net for those who are out of work.
Jobs, jobs, jobs.
I will work very hard for the people of Maine to make their lives better. I will work with everyone in the Legislature to get things done to help the working families and middle class Mainers. I will work hard for the people of Maine not just the good old boys and the grand old party.
I am running to make a positive difference in the lives of Maine citizens. I have spent my life serving my community and nonprofit organizations within the region. I obtain pleasure in helping others, whether it be serving as an EMT on the ambulance or making an impact in promoting good educational opportunities for our young citizens. As the state representative I have assisted many individuals and small businesses as they interface with state government. Whether the issue involved DHHS, the MDOT, the education department or Maine Revenue Service or other departments and agencies, I have demonstrated effectiveness in assisting others needing help in their lives. As chairman of taxation, I am able to promote policies that effectively make Maine a place for business development and hence jobs. After having been in office for six years I know that my experience will be a major factor in helping the citizens of District 81 have a strong advocate for them. Since I'm a "senior member" of the Legislature, Leeds, Livermore, Livermore Falls and Wayne will not be ignored but will have a strong voice.
The single biggest issue facing the state continues to be the economy. People are struggling with the cost of living. Gasoline, fuel oil, food and medical costs continue to soar. We are by population the oldest state in the nation and our citizens are among the least prepared to meet the rising costs. Good jobs are hard to find and folks are struggling. Our youth look for greener pastures after school and we must find ways, like my bill Opportunity Maine, to keep them here. We must strive to continue the efforts of the 125th Legislature to stimulate the economy with lower taxes and pave the way for better jobs right here.
I have heard again and again that the biggest issue is the economy and the lack of good and well paying jobs. The voters are frustrated, rightfully so, that their representatives ó whether in Washington or Augusta ó spend too much time fighting with each other over philosophical differences rather than collaborating with one another to find solutions to the problems that exist. I understand that concern and have been a member of the moderate caucus since being elected; comprised of Republicans, Democrats and independents, we are literally just a handful of the elected Legislature meeting weekly to bring about consensus and cooperation on the bills before us.
I believe that the most important thing that government can do is to provide an economic environment that fosters the growth of good jobs. The last Legislature took some huge steps in lowering the state income tax from 8.5 percent to 7.95 percent effective January 2013, removing unnecessary impediments to creating jobs and starting the process to lower health insurance costs. Government needs to understand that private sector jobs are critically important and that the government should be fostering and encouraging business to choose Maine over our neighboring competitive states. The government should also remain cognizant that 80 percent of jobs are created by small Maine Street businesses. Our tax incentives and other initiatives should keep that focus as the efforts to improve the economy are created.
Improve the economic climate!
Clearly my experience of having served six years in the Legislature differentiates me. I am well respected by both sides of the political aisle and have a reputation of collaborating and working with everyone. I listen to all points of view. As chairman of the powerful Taxation Committee, I have been asked to serve on the bipartisan national tax task force, which affords Maine the luxury of having communications with legislators from around the nation. My professional and educational background in finance and money management also sets me apart from my opponent as we deal with billion-dollar budgets. Finally, I think my experience chairing many educational and medical organizations brings a perspective that can only be a plus for the citizens of District 81.
I want to continue give back to the communities and state that have provided Holly and I such a wonderful place to raise our family. I have been involved in the community in various volunteer activities through sports, school activities and leadership roles on many local boards. As a small business owner, I always enjoyed advocating for my clients and finding solutions for them. The experience gained from these activities and running a small business for many years will be assets to me as I work to best serve the people of Winthrop, Readfield and the state of Maine.
The biggest issue we face is this current state of our economy.
I believe that the biggest issue is a lack confidence in the future. People are worried about their jobs and have an overall feeling of insecurity. This is an impediment to moving forward with major purchases or starting or expanding a business. We need to restore confidence in the future before people will begin to spend in a way that will spur our economy.
There needs to be continued work at streamlining government processes and improving responsiveness of government agencies. Maine needs to improve its reputation as a good place to do business. This will help create more jobs and better jobs for Maine people.
My strongest interest is working in the area of health care reform. My background and experience including 30 years in the insurance business, several years on the board of a medical provider (currently president of DFD Russell Medical) and current treasurer of Maine Guaranteed Access Reinsurance Association will aid me in those efforts. Over 22 cents of every dollar that Maineís economy produces is consumed by healthcare costs. This is far greater than that of our peers. With these costs embedded into the costs of goods and services that we produce in Maine it is very difficult for us to compete.
I am a lifelong resident of this area with family roots that go back many generations. My family has a history of service to community, state and country. I was a small business owner that for 30 years spent hundreds of hours at the kitchen tables of local people and with small business owners helping them evaluate issues and solve problems. My business background, insurance experience and connections and knowledge gained from serving in various capacities for many community organizations will all be assets to me in my efforts to best serve the people in our communities and state.
Iím stepping up again because Iím fed up with hyper-partisan, divide-and-conquer politics that have nothing whatsoever to do with solving problems or serving the people. When lies, gigantic lies, are accepted as truth and repeated as gospel, we do ourselves no favors. Thereís no love left in politics and that disturbs me deeply. I believe if we stop the mudslinging and start actually listening to each other, no matter our political party or ideology, we can find common ground and discover creative solutions to our biggest challenges. We owe it to future generations. We owe it to ourselves.
I look hunger in the face every day. It lives in the shadows but this tough economic downturn has brought it to light. Food is life. When one in five children go to bed hungry every night and much of what they do eat is processed junk, we must do better. We import more food per capita than any other state on the continent. How can this be? Children canít learn on an empty stomach. People canít work productively if theyíre undernourished. We must find a way to feed all our people with food produced right here in Maine.
Winthrop and Readfield are home to many retired state employees and educators who were promised security in retirement. This Legislature has reneged on those promises and I find that unacceptable. Adding insult to injury, our seniors on fixed incomes are further burdened with rising property taxes. If we donít fully fund education at the state level, residents will continue to see local taxes rise. Weíll also see painful cuts in the arts and other programs that help develop the creative and critical thinking skills our children will need in order to solve the challenges of the future.
What if people came here from all over because we boasted a world-class food and wine industry featuring renowned chefs and culinary hotspots that sourced ingredients locally? The government could award grants to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to help them heal and thrive as farmers. The Farmer-Veteran Coalition is a nonprofit intent on ìturning our protectors into providersî by training veterans in sustainable agriculture and business in order to revitalize family farms. We must capitalize on these efforts and cultivate a vibrant rural economy that produces quality food, creates jobs, and puts Maine on the culinary map.
In this tense political environment, Iíd be satisfied to simply be a strong voice for those who cry in the dark. I was adopted by proud, hard-working, God-fearing parents who faced discrimination because of the color of their skin and struggled to put food on the table for their children. They taught us we have a moral obligation to share what we have with those who have even less, that we must humbly serve our communities.
Iím an organic farmer and small business owner. Iím currently president of the Rotary Club of the Winthrop Area and secretary of the Winthrop Hot Meal Kitchen, working hard to end hunger. I do my best to practice what I preach. I want to take this work to the next level and serve in the Legislature so Iím trying one more time. I realize you donít have to run for office to serve the people. However, to create lasting change in this great community, we need policy in Augusta that enhances the work we do on the ground.
I am running in order to give people a voice, to advocate for others and be part of the solution. I want to advocate for the people in my community and for the state of Maine. I sincerely believe that we all have a moral obligation to take care of each other, especially the most vulnerable in our society, our children, our elderly and those being abused or exploited. During my childhood when I was in need and did not have a voice, others stepped forward to help me. Those people have shaped the woman and mother that I am today. I am so grateful that I now find myself in a position to be able to help others, to advocate for those who are not being heard.
I have been knocking on doors in my district since May and have been able to speak with many people about their concerns. I think the biggest issue is the economy. People need jobs that pay a living wage; they need to keep more of their paycheck in their own pockets. I have found that far too many hard-working Mainers are struggling just to get by each month. This stems from tax issues, struggling without health care and high student loan debt. I have met many people within my district who have been laid off from work, lost their homes to foreclosure and are struggling to pay medical bills out of pocket. Maine people want to work, they want to take care of themselves.
We need to create a stable business climate, we need to build and create more products right here in Maine. I would like to Maine to invest in small business and foster growth within our own communities. I believe this investment will help create more quality jobs and a stronger, more stable economy. I also believe we need to invest in our public education system. We need to make sure we are not draining our public schools of funds, resources and choice; each community should have a say in what works best for their children and families.
I have spent my life working in the field of domestic violence and advocating for victims of violence and children of abuse. I would like to work toward revamping Maineís family courts and Guardian ad Litem system. It brings me right back to why I am running: children of Maine who are being abused are in the group of our most vulnerable population and I plan to strongly advocate that those voices are heard.
I do not really look at my campaign race in that way. I did track his voting record during his first term and 47 percent of the time I agreed with him. That means 53 percent of the time we see things differently, which suggests some foundational core issues that we would vote differently on. I have met my opponent and we have attended many of the same events together during this campaign race. He is always friendly and respectful toward me, which is the way I believe political races should be handled. But I do not compare myself to others, regardless of differing opinions; I appreciate and respect those differences. I do know that I am smart, I have a strong work ethic and am sincere when I say that I wish to advocate for a better quality of life for all Maine people.
I want to use my legislative experience and more than 32 years of public service in air and water quality, energy, utilities, municipal government, and military experience to work with others to create a state where our citizens can live, work, and retire ó and our children can too!
In the short term we need to continue to improve our regulatory climate and tax structure, as well as to invest in our transportation infrastructure and in those new technologies that are creating jobs in the 21st century. In the long term we need to improve our educational model and promote education in those career fields where the jobs are being created now, i.e., science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to provide qualified workers to meet the needs of our employers.
I want to rebuild people's trust in the Legislature as an institution and renew their belief that government works in their best interests, not those interests of a particular political party or philosophy, and that it serves its citizens real needs, including providing an affordable safety net for our most vulnerable citizens, while putting the word "service" back into public service.
I serve on the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs. I have more than 32 years of experience in local and state government, including an in-depth understanding of municipal finances and school funding. I have an extensive background in environmental protection and regulatory issues, as well as advocacy experience as a past president of the New England Water Environment Association and past chairman of the New England States for Coordinated Use Management. I have 10 years of energy and public utility regulatory experience. I have an understanding of veterans' issues from both an active duty and National Guard perspective.
I want to represent the interests of the people in my district. I especially support Maine students and educators in economically struggling areas of the state. In addition to supporting strong and equitable public education, Iím also running to help small businesses, nonprofit organizations, local agriculture, crafts people, and participants in the creative economy thrive in Maine.
Maine policy-makers need to improve in the area of job creation. Now is the time to invest in Maine and put people to work in the areas of infrastructure improvement, research and development, public services, health care, and education. We must also provide incentives and oversight so that funds are used effectively.
Voters in our district are concerned about local property taxes. Voters know that the state Legislature has shifted costs for services and public education onto municipalities and local school boards. Voters also know that cuts for public services, including education, were balanced by tax cuts for the wealthiest Maine citizens.
We need to get people working and get money in the pockets of middle class Mainers. To do this we need make sure we have a well-educated and skilled workforce. We also need to spur job creation by investing in local economies ñ small businesses, Main Streets, and entrepreneurs ñ so they have the resources they need to create good jobs and expand.
I want to maintain a strong public education system from pre-school through higher education. I will fight against proposals that undermine public education.
I support investing in research and development for renewable energy, biomedical, marine, agricultural and composite materials technologies as well as for information technology. I also support investments in weatherization projects and other aspects of a green economy. I do not support measures that would make it more difficult for people to vote; for example, I do not support requiring voter photo identification. Finally, I do not support cutting assistance for childcare programs and Head Start.
I made the decision to run two years ago as I felt our state was in disarray and we needed to make decisions to make our state a place that our children and grandchildren want to live and work in and one that they could afford to live in and work in. We have made a lot of movement in the right direction but still have a lot of work to do to complete the mission.
I think there are many "biggest issues" facing the state. Obviously the economy is on everyone's mind but there are many issues that we face. Education, taxes, business attraction and retention, and heath care cost are among the top ones. We made great advances in the 125th legislative session but we still have a long way to go!
Again, the biggest issues for our state are also the biggest issues for my district. One thing is that we must not pass/push any more spending or mandates back to our districts as these fall directly back upon our district tax payers in the form of higher property taxes. This means we in Augusta must be prudent in getting the fiscal house in better order. It is a matter of balance our spending with the amount of money we take in.
Again, being very careful about spending. Make sure that all programs are being well run, stopping waste and fraud. Making Maine an attractive state to bring businesses in (watching our tax burdens and regulations). We have the best workers in the country so we need to make sure these businesses know this. We need to work hand-in-hand with private business. It is a matter of the people that run our regulations to look at situations of saying "how can we make these regulations work so that this business will want to come to Maine," instead of "this regulation is in place and you (the business) need to figure out how to deal with it."
Much more than "one" thing needs to be accomplished, but if we can make "Maine, the way live should be" a true statement, that would be very good!
Having lived in Fairfield for 32 years, I have been involved in the community since I moved here. I started with the Fairfield Land Use Board of Appeals, then the Fairfield Budget Committee, Planning Board, Economic Development Board, SAD 49 School Board, and chairman of the Economic Development Committee. I also have been a director of Mid Maine Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and president of R.E.M. Board. I am currently on the Fairfield Economic Development Committee, president of Friends of Lawrence Library, and a member of Somerset Workforce
I am running for re-election to continue to be a strong and reasonable voice for rural Maine. We need to look forward as we find a common vision to move ahead. We can learn from our past but need to stop blaming our past. I am proud of my track record of working to seek common ground on very important issues and will continue to do so if re-elected.
The lack of employment is the biggest single issue statewide.
After talking to hundreds of people this election cycle the message is clear: elected officials must work together to address the lack of Jobs, the economy and the rising cost of health insurance. For many businesses in our area the cost increases in health insurance this year alone has been overwhelming.
We can work to make targeted investments in education and infrastructure to encourage growth and promote jobs. For example, I spent a half-hour at someoneís house the other night talking about training students to be computer programmers and how a company in Skowhegan needs 10 to 15 computer programmers to grow. We do not have the access in central Maine to train the workforce of the future.
Work with others to get Maine moving.
Since I am running for re-election, I have been focused on my record. I am not sure what issues my opponent is running on and have not seen any of his positions on the issues.
As a small business owner I have seen many policies that inhibit business growth in the state of Maine. It is my desire to become a business-friendly state that will allow our economy to expand and create jobs in central Maine and throughout our state.
Economy/jobs! I believe these two issues are directly linked. We must lessen regulations and demands placed on small businesses so that they can expand and create more jobs. This approach would also be a great way to recruit out-of-state companies to move to Maine.
Jobs. We have many people in Skowhegan and Somerset County who want to work that are unable to find jobs. It is my desire to have all able-bodied adults be capable of attaining a good-paying job.
Get out of our way. Allow those that have created jobs to do so. We as a state have made progress in the last couple of years; we need to continue to promote our state and region and recruit new companies.
Job creation through reduction of regulation.
I have operated two successful businesses in Skowhegan. At the peak we employed more than 15 people. I have chosen to invest in this community using my own money because I believe in Skowhegan values. I understand what it is to have to take money from my savings so employees get paid on Fridays. I understand what regulations inhibit job growth. I want to take my business experience and help those in Augusta understand what effect their decisions have on us here in Skowhegan.
I have been a physician practicing in Skowhegan for the last 30 years, and as a result have a unique perspective on health care and the social problems facing my community. For example, I have substantial experience treating narcotic addicts and fighting addiction, which has risen dramatically over the last five years. I care about my community, care about the environment and will work hard for my district in the Maine House.
The biggest problem that we face is that we are not able to work together so that all of us can move toward a better future. We must come together for the common good and work together to maximize opportunities to improve our school systems, and focus on improving the economy by supporting local businesses. We should start by recognizing how similar we are. Whether rich or poor, liberal or conservative, Mainers want to be self sufficient and be given opportunities to better their lives.
Without question, jobs and the economy are the biggest concerns, and I am committed to working hard for the constituents in my district and across Maine to take steps to revitalize the economy. In addition to concerns about unemployment, people are worried about the future of Medicare, and as a physician I know firsthand how essential it is to protect benefits for the elderly.
Government works best when it creates incentives that help us move toward a better future. The best models today include providing loan repayments for college and graduate education for people whose jobs are needed in the state (like doctors, teachers and veterinarians) and the Efficiency Maine program, which educates citizens about how to reduce energy costs and offer low-interest loans for projects like weatherization of houses. We also need to encourage our kids that go to college or technical school not to drop out ó if they do, they have substantial loans to repay without the benefit of a degree.
Health care is changing and we need to be informed and involved in implementing these changes in order to help Mainers stay healthy, yet work toward reducing health care costs. We have the opportunity, finally, for all Mainers to have access to the health care system that will be beneficial to all. I have the experience and knowledge to help with this.
While I respect my opponent as a fellow small business owner, I am differentiated by my expertise in health care, my extensive volunteer experience (for example, I tutor math at Skowhegan High School, have donated books to pre-schoolers for 16 years, have served as a board member on several organizations, have been a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters), and my understanding of the educational system from raising two sons and putting them through college.
I am running because I am afraid that if we continue down the road we are on, our children, like my 4-year-old son, will not be able to make a living in central Maine. Like many of my classmates, I am concerned about how we can earn a living in the state we love. My focus will be on our children's education and job creation in Norridgewock, Madison and Solon. It would be a privilege and honor to serve the people of District 86.
Jobs, and the economy. We need to encourage job growth and investments by reducing red tape and making current regulations black and white, allowing businesses to have security in their investments and making it easier for start-ups. By encouraging business and investment in the state we will create jobs and grow the tax base. Providing a strong transportation infrastructure, the best educated work force, and low energy costs we will attract more business and investment in Maine.
Jobs, jobs, and more jobs; District 86 is in need of jobs. First, we need to ensure that the current employers in our area are here to stay. We need to support New Balance and keep them competitive in todayís market. One thing that would help many area businesses as well as attract new ones is the natural gas pipeline. Businesses like Madison Paper, New Balance, and many small businesses are craving for the savings natural gas would bring, not to mention the homes and public buildings like schools that would see sizable savings. Next, we need to find creative ways to attract new businesses like Madison did with Backyard Farms.
The most important thing government can do for the local economy is be a partner with communities and businesses. The government needs to listen to them and find ways it can help, not hinder them. The government needs to provide a quality education for all children, improve graduation rates, and support secondary education so we can have the best workforce possible. Lowering health care cost, lowering energy costs, and improving transportation infrastructure would improve the economy immediately.
If elected, I would want the residents of Madison, Solon, and Norridgewock to feel well represented and better off then they are today.
It would be a great honor to serve the people of Madison, Norridgewock, and Solon. I am a firm supporter of the Second Amendment. I support lowering health care cost and more insurance choice, not the Affordable Care Act, the largest tax increase in U.S. history. I believe we need to do a better job taking care of the most vulnerable in Maine and dive head-first into the problems within the Department of Health and Human Services. The Blue Ribbon Solon Elementary School is a great school providing families with a quality education and that is why I believe charter schools are a great asset because they provide parents and children even more options for a quality education. I am excited to listen and learn from the Mainers of District 86.
I strongly believe it is time to put an end to partisan bickering that does little to advance the interests and well being of Maine citizens. I believe that a representative of the people should be that for all the people, rather than a voice for a few special interest, party-affiliated groups. I have a diverse background in education and business, as well as blue-collar paper mill work. I grew up on a farm and learned the importance of honesty, frugality and self-dependence. These are the values that I would take to Augusta as the District 87 representative.
The tax burden that an aging population must continuously deal with. Many folks on fixed retirement incomes simply cannot shoulder annual tax increases and/or escalating valuations, putting significant strain on their budgets. We must scrutinize state spending and be held accountable to all those who support our fiscal viability. We must all work together toward shedding our "non-business friendly" reputation by providing every opportunity for businesses in Maine to be healthy and growing. This creates job growth and subsequently a stronger economy that is not dependent on government infusion, but instead builds a stronger, self-generating tax base.
The decline of manufacturing jobs that traditionally are higher-paying. The erosion of the paper and shoe industry have resulted in many people forced to take lower-paying or second jobs. The decline consequently has placed a heavier property tax burden on those same people. We must consider and explore all avenues that may enhance the revitalization of the manufacturing sector, including energy, transportation and tax incentives. This will require bipartisan cooperation between parties, representing the interests of all District 87 citizens.
Government can be a player in improving the economy by curbing excessive redundant regulation, by paralleling public education with the skills needed by potential employers to enhance their expansion and growth. Maine needs to work diligently to eliminate its high tax reputation. We must create viable incentives for alternative energy development. Government must assume a role in maximizing efficient, cost-effective means of transportation. We must seek out trade partners outside our borders and capture a larger portion of global enterprise through efficient marketing of the many resources abundant to Maine.
Eliminate partisan politics.
I am adamant about creating an environment of bipartisan cooperation that will reach out and address the issues that everyday Maine citizens are facing. The political in-fighting and bickering in Augusta alienates voters and creates an attitude of hopeless indifference. I feel that my enthusiasm for change, my desire to represent all interests and my independent spirit will make me a valuable asset for District 87. My diverse background will give me the ability to objectively analyze the effects of legislative initiatives and act upon them in accordance to the needs of our citizens.
The people of Chesterville, Jay, Mercer, New Sharon and Starks deserve to have a good representative who will listen to their ideas, needs and opinions. I believe that I have served them well and I want to continue. That's why I'm running for re-election as their representative.
Availability of good jobs for the unemployed and underemployed.
Need for jobs with a living wage and access to affordable health care.
Provide and support a good education for all and insure transportation and internet infrastructure/networks to promote Maine's economy.
I want to be the best representative possible.
Probably our different public service experiences. I believe that we should all give back in our own way. Since I first enlisted in the U.S. Army for three years at 21, I've served my community, my state and my country. Forty-seven years later, I look back on many years of service to my neighbors during my career and in my volunteerism to help my neighbors. Serving as their representative is a continuation of a lifetime of service and it is rewarding in itself. I thank people for the opportunity they have given me.
I have nine grandchildren, and three children. If something is not done to correct the direction in which our state and nation are heading, they will have nothing in their future but debt and larger government. I am concerned about their rights, liberties, and well being.
We do not have single issues. We have multiple systemic issues that are interconnected. Energy, jobs, unsustainable growth in government and entitlement programs. Fraud and misuse of programs, which are funded by tax dollars, education, and the list goes on.
Jobs, high taxes, overreach of government in their daily lives.
Lower energy costs, work with business and education to remove the obstacles that inhibit growth and development.
Serving the people of District 88 is not about me. It is about representing my constituents, not my own personal agenda.
I have not had any political conversations with my opponent. I have not seen nor heard his views on any issues.
I have been the chairman of the Somerset County Democrats for over two years. I have learned that when we don't become involved and participate in our government, its policies and priorities that concern us, we are, in effect, outsourcing our citizenship. When it became apparent no one would step forward to challenge the incumbent in our district, I felt a responsibility to do so. It sends a terrible message when voters don't have a choice on election day.
I would say the lack of job creation and the perceived slow economic recovery. No one person or party is going to fix this. It is incumbent on all of us to work together in a bipartisan way, through our local, state and federal governments, without acrimony and bickering. Unless we can row together in the right direction, we'll go nowhere ó and any economic recovery will be very slow in coming.
Because our district is so large geographically and encompasses many communities, I feel lack of public transportation is high on the list. There are too many people who find it difficult to find and keep jobs, keep appointments, and go to classes due to this. We also need to expand opportunities for post-secondary education through our community colleges and job-training. Having this chance can often be the turning point for young and old alike, and put them on the road to sustainable wages and economic stability.
Passing the president's jobs bill would be a good beginning. But the conversation on the economy should be a broad one, and encompass more than rising fuel prices and a high unemployment rate. President Obama was criticized for concentrating on passing the Affordable Care Act, which I support, by the way. But earning a good living, going to work or school and providing for your family in many respects hinges on having access to necessary medications and regular health care and health services without the fear of going further in debt. Removing the financial fear associated with good health care is good for our families.
There is too much money in politics. I don't have lawn signs, bumper stickers and colorful pamphlets to give the voters of my district, but I do promise to listen to the concerns and ideas of my neighbors and to work hard for them every day. There is no corporation or special interest that is more important than the residents of our district. I am a Democrat, and proud to be a member of the party that traditionally respects and champions the working class, the middle class, the poor and the disenfranchised. As a high tide raises all boats, I truly believe we are all in this together. And I will work hard for the residents of our district.
Having lived all my life in the Farmington area, I have seen jobs leave and wish to do what I can to offer my children a chance to stay here.
We need to bring our government into the 21st century. It needs to be smaller and more responsive to a changing world. History will not wait for us just because we want it to.
More jobs and greater economic opportunity.
I have lived here all my life, except for while serving overseas in the Air Force, and my family goes back three generations. I know this district as well as anyone and the issues it faces. I am a principled pragmatic who has actually led on key issues like welfare reform, regulatory reform, tax reform and a host of other issues. I am a tried-and-true leader with tested experience.
There are distinct differences in how candidates view the issues and in what they feel best represents the needs, values, and expectations of their constituents. I am running because my extensive and broad experience over 50 years of working with people of all ages, abilities, aspirations, and circumstances give me, in my opinion, a unique and relevant perspective on which policies best serve our neighbors.
The lack of a coherent health care program that provides coverage for all citizens. The economy is adversely affected by out-of-control health care costs as businesses cannot afford coverage for their employees, emergency rooms deal with routine procedures, tuition rates rise and taxes increase to pay for overcharges, unemployment and welfare rolls increase, and general discontent prevails.
The absence of any security regarding health insurance. People fear losing their jobs, getting a divorce, leaving their parents coverage, getting sick, or worse, contracting an expensive life threatening condition. Knowing they can be dropped from a policy at any time and then refused further coverage often can feel like a death sentence.
Invest in ways that technology provides access to, and information for, a world economy. Individuals, businesses, and government all seek answers and information to improve and complement their investments. Technology provides access to the world - and information can be collected, analyzed, compartmentalized, and distributed to every country, all for a fee.
To have my voice heard, recognized, and respected.
It is my experience with, knowledge of, and association with common people of measured means, those in the mainstream of our communities, that gives me direction and purpose. Most of us struggle to pay our bills, advance in our occupations, support our families and worry about their welfare. I have worked locally in many menial jobs, and I know how difficult it is to stay afloat in this economy.
To serve the community in a different way by joining the Legislature to bring moderation, principled compromise, and reasoned approaches to the serious social and financial challenges facing the state. I want to make an effort to return civility and mutual respect to the political process in Augusta.
Elected officials putting party and politics above the good of the state.
Foster the growth of small business and employment.
He voted against, I would vote for: lower taxes for working families, clean elections funding, open records for the governor, blocking unscrupulous lenders from foreclosing on Maine homes, protecting Maine loggers from unfair competition from Canada, keeping existing prescription drug coverage for Maine seniors and the disabled. He voted for, I'd vote against: limitless political contributions by corporations (and unions as well).