CONTRIBUTORS

I’m fired up about putting our fiscal house back in order in the Senate

Posted June 06, 2012, at 10:30 p.m.

Mainers are fired up and they expect Maine’s next senator to share in their conviction and their urgency. If the contentious GOP convention showed us anything, it is that Mainers care a great deal about the future of our state and our country.

Well, I’ll tell you this much: As a candidate for Senate, I’m with you. I’m fired up too. We’re at a crossroads and Maine needs someone who can take on D.C., put the fiscal house back in order, and restore Maine and America to the right track.

Economically, small business is the key to Maine’s economy, accounting for 97 percent of all employers in the state. We need someone in D.C. who understands the needs of small business.

I’m the only Republican candidate who fits in this category. Some of my opponents have private sector experience. Some of them don’t. But none of them know what it’s like to build a small business from the ground up.

My husband and I started PDQ Door 17 years ago when it was just four of us working out of a rented garage. Today we employ 50 Mainers in six locations.

Maine needs someone in Washington who has been an everyday business owner. I’ve never had a golden parachute. My family’s future depends on our company’s success. To spark economic growth and boost employment, government should be supporting small business, not drowning it. This is what I’ll fight for in D.C., just as I fought for lower taxes and less regulation here in Maine.

Maine also needs someone in the Senate who knows all about principled legislating. Well, with 16 years of legislative experience in Augusta, that’s me too.

I know what it means to accomplish legislative goals, whether in the minority or leading the majority. As a leader in the Senate, I’ve been working for the past two years to ease Maine’s heavy tax burden and jumpstart private industry. We’re close to giving Mainers the income tax reduction they need.

I’ve fought to bring the state out of the red and stop spending money we don’t have. I didn’t build my business on the backs of my children. Why should governing be any different? This lesson seems to be lost in D.C. And it was certainly lost on Angus King as he racked up a billion-dollar deficit as governor at a time when the economy was humming.

King and today’s Congress both could use a dose of my grandmother’s advice. “Spend every penny like you earned it digging a ditch,” she used to say.

Even in my early years as a member of Maine’s House and the minority GOP, I knew what was right, I fought for it and I won.

Family is the core of our society and so I drove legislation through Augusta forcing the Department of Human Services to try to place children removed from their homes with other family first. DHS wasn’t happy about it. They were receiving federal funding to place these kids with complete strangers. But I didn’t compromise or back down and we forced the bureaucracy to prioritize the welfare of Maine’s children above its own pocketbook.

I don’t take no for an answer in Augusta, and I won’t take no for an answer in Washington. A common refrain of my primary opponents is there’s not enough compromise in D.C. today. But how can we compromise on our children’s future?

As Maine’s senator I will stand by my conservative principles and come hell or high water I will not back down. This doesn’t mean blind partisanship. When the GOP is wrong, I’ll tell them so. And it doesn’t mean refusing to work across the aisle. In the real world, we talk out our differences and find common ground. In Washington, I’ll do the same.

I’ve come too far as a legislator and business owner to surrender my beliefs now. Throughout this campaign the people of Maine will see who I am and hear what I believe, whether it’s popular or not. I’m eager to hear your response.

Debra Plowman is assistant majority leader in the Maine Senate and represents 17 towns in Penobscot County. She is seeking the Republican nomination in the race for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Olympia Snowe.

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