Election 2012

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U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Summers holds a press conference with Rob Engstrom, political director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, at Quirk Auto Park in Bangor on Tuesday to announce the Chamber's endorsement of Summers.
Charles Summers
Charlie Summers

Charles E. Summers

Party affiliation: R
Residence: Scarborough
Born: December 26, 1959
Grew up in: Illinois
Education: Bachelor's degree from University of Illinois; associate degree from Blackhawk College, Ill.
Political experience: State senator (1991-1994); failed bid for the Republican nomination in Maine's 1st Congressional District in 1994 and failed general election bids in the 1st CD in 2004 and 2008; nine years working for U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe
Job(s): Maine secretary of state; advisor, Hope for the Warriors; Navy reservist
Family: Wife Ruth; children Chas and Tricia
Personal worth: $92,008-$331,001


On the Issues

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

The only way to balance the federal budget and reduce our out-of-control national debt is to cut government spending. I support the Paul Ryan plan to roll back government spending to 2008 levels and freeze spending for five years.

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

We have to stop robbing money from the Social Security Trust Fund, and Medicare must remain solvent.

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

I have signed a pledge to never raise taxes. We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

How should health care be reformed?

First and foremost, we must repeal Obamacare. It is a job-killing and outrageously expensive government program. We need to pass Association Health Plans and allow businesses and individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines. We must also allow the cost of health insurance to be deducted from the federal income tax.

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

I support a woman's right to an abortion in the case of rape incest, and life of the mother.

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

I support DOMA.

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

K-12 education should be handled at the state level. The federal government has proven inept.

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

I support school choice and vouchers.

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

No, however, we all have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment.

What should the country’s energy policy look like?

We should be drilling and exploiting our country's own natural resources: gas, oil, coal and nuclear. Our country's energy policy is a matter of the economic and national security. We have a responsibility to fully exploit our own natural resources and end our costly dependency on foreign resources.



From the Sept. 18 U.S. Senate debate in Lewiston:

In responding to a question about job creation and unemployment, Summers said the nation’s regulatory burden amounted to a $1.7 trillion tax. He was citing a Small Business Administration study released in Sept. 2010. The study found the annual cost of regulations had grown to $1.75 trillion annually by 2008. Small businesses, the study found, shouldered the largest portion of this burden.

Summers twice asserted that the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, would cost the nation $2 trillion. That number is at best inflated — the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office stated in March, “the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of just under $1.1 trillion over the 2012-2021 period” but stated that those numbers do not take into account money-saving provisions in the law. “CBO and [Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation] have previously estimated that the ACA will, on net, reduce budget deficits over the 2012-2021 period,” according to the same release.

Summers, on capital gains, said people have already paid taxes on that money when they invested it. This is not true. Capital gains is the money earned on an investment — the money that is taxed is the money that is earned, not the money that is invested.

Summers said there are “literally tens of thousands of gun laws” on the books. A Brookings reportsays that number is inflated. The number is 300 major state and federal laws as of 2002. More than 9,700 would have had to pass in the last decade in order to make that true.