Fighting to move Maine’s economy in better direction

Posted Oct. 27, 2010, at 5:50 p.m.

It’s no secret Maine families are struggling. Taxes continue to rise, family budgets are stretched thin and too many bright young Mainers are turning to other states to start their own lives and families. That’s because Maine government has failed to address our challenges and our concerns. This cannot continue.

I am running to represent part of Bangor in the Maine House of Representatives. I’m running to refocus our government on the issues that are important to you.

As a registered nurse and educator, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve had the good fortune of teaching in both the Business Management and Allied Health Department at Beal College. Also, I have served local businesses as director of the Wellness Council of Maine, within the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce to help employers support employee wellness programs designed to improve health and reduce health care costs.

As a volunteer, I’ve also seen the challenges facing those less fortunate. Over the course of seven medical missions to Latin America, I’ve served as an operating room nurse, helped establish teaching programs on women’s health, participated in a pilot program to provide health care in remote Indian communities within the jungle areas of Ecuador, and as a nurse educator in several schools in Bolivia.

But I am also a mother. I want my children to live and work in Maine. I want your children and grandchildren to have the opportunity to do the same. That is why I am running for office. I want to put my experiences to work for you, and change the direction Maine is heading.

It is Maine’s small business community that will create the jobs that bring us out of recession. In a recent report citing the best states for business and careers, Forbes Magazine ranked Maine 50th, the lowest of all states.

In Augusta, I will champion legislation that reduces burdensome regulations on small businesses so they can focus on investing in our community and creating new jobs. More Mainers will find good jobs, and our economy will grow stronger. I’m running to make Maine an ally, not an adversary, to business owners. We can no longer punish the entrepreneurs we need to get Maine working again.

We must also reject the idea that Maine can continue borrowing its way to economic recovery. Maine’s public debt is a staggering $11.5 billion. This burden is more than $22,000 per Maine household that families will have to pay. As your representative, I will vote against any increases in our government debt and fight to reduce that debt without raising or shifting taxes. Our kids and grandkids deserve a chance at real financial security in Maine. The days of unchecked borrowing must end.

And during these challenging economic times, Maine families have had to live on less and less while government demands more and more. Just like borrowing, we cannot spend our way to prosperity. In Augusta, I will take a stand and do whatever is necessary to rein in wasteful government spending, while ensuring our highest priorities are fully met.

I’m running to bring people of all political stripes together behind common-sense solutions that will make Maine a great place to live, work and raise a family. Many believe Maine is beyond repair. That’s the wrong attitude. We have a tremendous opportunity to fix our state, and address those concerns that prevent peace of mind for Maine families. I’m running to be a part of the solution, and to be your voice in Augusta.

You can count on me to fight for the positive reforms to save Maine.

Katrin Teel is a nurse and the Republican candidate for House District 17, which includes part of Bangor. She can be reached by e-mail at kteel@midmaine.com.

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