BDN Endorsements

Endorsements 2012

Voters cast their votes through absentee ballots for the Nov. 6th election at the town hall in Cape Elizabeth on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012.
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Voters cast their votes through absentee ballots for the Nov. 6th election at the town hall in Cape Elizabeth on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012.
Posted Nov. 02, 2012, at 3:50 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 02, 2012, at 5:12 p.m.

Obama for president

We recognize the difficulties of Barack Obama’s presidency, but we believe he offers more realistic ways to continue to improve America’s economy than Republican Mitt Romney. He came into the office facing a severe fiscal crisis and has worked steadily to help the nation grow.

We recognize that the president underestimated how long the economic recovery would take. But he acknowledges the need for revenues, healthy spending cuts and reform of entitlement programs, all of which require persistence and time. Romney is an able businessman, but it appears he is relying on a plan to cut taxes with no sustainable way to pay for it.

King for U.S. Senate

Former Gov. Angus King is most qualified to represent Maine in the U.S. Senate and carry on the state’s tradition of moderation. An independent, King offers the best hope for drawing leaders together to reach consensus.

He has reasonable ideas for mixing budget cuts with a plan for long-term growth, as well as a background of fostering collaboration during his eight years as governor. His challengers, Republican Charlie Summers, Democrat Cynthia Dill and independents Steve Woods, Andrew Ian Dodge and Danny Dalton, do not have the same level of experience or qualifications.

Pingree for 1st District

Democrat Chellie Pingree, of North Haven, has balanced speaking out for progressive social policies with able constituent service.

A former Senate majority leader in Maine, she helped lead the initiative that started the conservation program Land for Maine’s Future. She’s carried her environmental-related expertise to the House Committee on Agriculture, where she’s continued to fight for the economic value of preserving open spaces and land-based businesses. Her advocacy for small farmers during bipartisan negotiations on a new farm bill attempts to achieve fairness for Maine farmers and consumers against the interests of powerful agricultural conglomerates.

Her challenger, Republican Jon Courtney, has run a positive campaign and highlighted well his personable nature. But he has not shown the mostly liberal 1st District voters that he understands their values; he has rarely deviated from standard Republican Party talking points on education, health care, Social Security, taxes and the economy.

Raye for 2nd District

Republican Kevin Raye, of Perry, led the Maine Senate fairly as its president and could be a voice for moderation within the Republican Party in the U.S. House.

He has fought for the interests of his Maine Senate district and earned his constituents’ respect — being elected to his fourth term with 71.3 percent support. He acted as a liaison between communities and companies involved in the Cobscook Bay tidal energy power system; sponsored a bill to make the state’s school funding formula more equitable to rural school districts; sponsored a regulation-reform bill that passed unanimously in the Senate; and was not afraid to stand up to Republican Gov. Paul LePage on a research and development bond proposal.

Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, has been an advocate for manufacturing jobs and veterans’ health care and has represented well the values of his constituents. But progress has been slow, and we believe Raye’s affiliation with the party likely to hold the majority in the U.S. House could help Maine more.

Yes on Question 1

We support marriage equality. Permitting gay couples to marry will uphold equal treatment required by the U.S. Constitution, promote family values and protect religious beliefs. The ballot initiative is a matter of fairness and, in the end, care for one another. Clergy will not be forced to perform marriage ceremonies or bless gay couples.

Yes on Question 2

Voting yes will allow the University of Maine System to build a diagnostic facility that is biosecure, permit the Maine Community College System to grow programs that are in demand by both students and regional employers and help Maine Maritime Academy build a laboratory to accommodate expanding enrollment. These are valid initiatives to protect Maine people, animals and crops; better equip colleges to train Maine’s workforce; and, ultimately, support the larger economy.

Yes on Question 3

During its 25 years, the Land for Maine’s Future program has expanded its focus from public access-based land conservation to farm and working waterfront preservation that maintains important elements of Maine’s heritage. Through grants, conservation easements and partnerships with private landowners and trusts, the program has protected almost 200 properties that add to the state’s quality of place. Passage will further expand its benefit and help conserve deer habitat. Continuing the program benefits the state’s farmers, fishing families and outdoorsmen.

Yes on Question 4

There is a great need to improve Maine’s highways, bridges, local roads, airports and ports, and putting off repairs only makes the work more expensive. Improving infrastructure not only better links Maine businesses but also enhances Maine’s connection to the global marketplace.

Yes on Question 5

Passage of Question 5 would yield a 5-to-1 return in federal dollars on Maine’s expenditure to replenish the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund, which was established in 1997 as a financing tool to minimize the impact on ratepayers of public water system capital projects, and a similar Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund created in 1987 for wastewater treatment. Maintaining infrastructure is good for the environment and business.

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