Election 2012

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Andrew Ian Dodge is the leader of the tea party in Maine.
Andrew Ian Dodge, U.S. Senate candidate. photographed at the U.S. Senate candidate bipartisan forum at the University of Maine in Orono April 25, 2012.
Andrew Ian Dodge, U.S. Senate candidate, participates in a forum at the University of Maine in Orono on April 25, 2012.

Andrew Ian Dodge

Party affiliation: Independent for Liberty
Residence: Harpswell
Born: December 18, 1967
Grew up in: New Jersey, West Wales (UK), Honduras, Miami and Maine
Education: Bachelor's from Colby College; post-graduate degree from Hull University in the UK
Political experience: Campaign manager for unsuccessful parliamentary races in the UK; worked on John McKernan's campaign while at Colby; Maine coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots
Job(s): Freelance writer
Family: Wife Kim
Personal worth: $100,001-$250,000


On the Issues

How would you balance the federal budget/reduce the federal deficit?

No government program should be above a reduction in funding to decrease our debt, deficit and spending. If both parties present their no-go areas then we are left with the farce that is "deficit reduction" ideas in Washington. Eliminate all corporate welfare no matter the industry. The Federal government is spending more than it is taking in, any sane person knows that cannot go on forever.

What steps do you support to reform Social Security and Medicare?

Both programs are out of control in sucking up tax-payer dollars. The abuse and bureaucracy is at stratospheric levels while not providing the services the programs were meant to help. Both SS and Medicare are nearly broke because of mismanagement and need to be reformed. Messing with these programs around the edges is not going to help anyone recipient or taxpayer alike. We need to consider radical ideas like Medicare/social security accounts where individuals can take care of themselves rather than relying on the government to keep the programs solvent.

Would you sign a pledge to never raise federal taxes? Why or why not?

We need to reduce taxes on all sectors of the economy all individuals and all companies. Currently, the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. This directly affects our ability to compete with emerging markets such as china. Lowering the corporate tax rate to a level comparable with emerging markets will allow American companies to compete on a more level playing field, and allow them to start bring off-shored profits and workers back into the American economy. Not only were the attempts at economic stimulus complete and utter failures, they also contributed to inflation and massive devaluation of the dollar.

How should health care be reformed?

ACA was a massive power-grab by the Federal government and completely unacceptable. Furthermore it is a nonsense to have "health care reform" but not tackle tort reform or the purchase of health insurance across state lines. I understand the Federal government does have the power to force states to allow the purchase of insurance across states lines under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The FDA needs to be reformed to make it less expensive for companies to have their new drugs approved which would drive the cost of drugs down.

Do you support a woman’s right to an abortion?

Personal belief and law are two different things. You may believe what you wish but you many not use political power to take away rights from your fellow women (or men) merely based on your prejudices or tradition. Abortion is not a Federal issues and should be decided by the states. Personally, considering I am male and am not equipped to bear a child, I am not in a position to tell a woman what she may do with her body. I do not however believe that the Federal government should be funding Planned Parenthood. No Federal funds should go to provide abortions.

In Congress, would you support DOMA or legislation to allow civil unions or gay marriage?

I delivered a short answer here: http://youtu.be/Y4wa_6sgYbA . Digging a little deeper, this is what we find: Marriage is a deeply religious and spiritual institution. To that end, the government should only concentrate on the social contract aspect of a marriage. All marriages are civil unions, and that is what the extent of government involvement should be. A civil union is the same as any other civil contract. Currently in civil law, there are no restrictions on who can enter into a contract, and a civil union is just that, a civil contract. I have sent Press Releases out in support of gay marriage and will vote yes on the ballot initiative.

Should the federal government have a role in K-12 education?

For too long the Federal government has been meddling in education across the land with each administration bringing in more and more administration. I believe the Department of Education is a waste of taxpayers money and should be closed. Let states decide how they educate their children and how to pay for it.

What are the benefits of school choice? Vouchers? Should they be available for private and religious schools?

Ideally public education money should go with the student as it does in many Scandinavian countries. That gives parents as much choice as possible in how they educate their children. If a group of parents wishes to band together and start a new school they should be free to so, as long as the school meets certain standards as decided by the state. Inflexibility in the education area hurts the next generation of Americans. Society, culture and technology is changing at such a rapid rate we need to allow parents as much flexibility as possible in the education of their children.

Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?

Man probably has some effect on the climate but certainly not enough to sacrifice our economies and way of life over. The earth has been constantly cooling and warming since its beginning. The actions of man can no more influence the long term temperature of the earth than man can manipulate time. Congress should be wary of jumping on the latest band-wagon when it comes to the environment and wasting billions of dollars of those who make a living from federal handouts. Recently we have found that a company up until recently owned by one of my opponents is being investigated by the House of the Representatives for possible misuse of taxpayer funds. We have the debacle of Solyndra and Fisker Cars where millions of our funds were given to companies who wasted it.

What should the country’s energy policy look like?

There is currently no true market pressure to move towards alternative fuels. This type of pressure is driven by market forces, not the Federal government. Government regulations and funding one source over another has repeatedly proven a failure. This is truly a case of let the market sort it out. The most economically viable alternative sources of energy will naturally bubble to the top, and become dominant. This happened in the 19th century when petroleum products replaced whale oil as the primary lubrication, heating, and light sources. This type of market evolution will happen again, as fiscally viable products become available.