On the Issues
How do you propose the Legislature closes Maine’s budget gap?
Close tax loopholes for high earners and corporations. Focus tax relief on working and middle class people. Careful review of all state spending; press for federal assistance when available. Cap medical insurance profits. apply sales taxes to internet sales.
Do you think same-sex marriage should be legal in Maine?
Yes. This is an issue of morality, fairness, and equality.
Do you support school choice?
Public charter schools should always be local initiatives locally controlled and fully accredited—centers for innovation in education.
Do you think Maine's school consolidation program has been successful?
Schools are the heart of Maine communities. Consolidation should pool resources and network communities but never at their expense. It is not an issue for Bangor because of its size; Hermon is still a work in process.
Do you think Maine should expand MaineCare as proposed by the president under the Affordable Care Act?
Crucial safety net for thousands of Maine people. Preventive care to keep people out of the ER and hospital. Take advantage of federal funding available to expand Medicaid. Adequate personnel to monitor abuses.
What is the biggest thing Maine can do to attract more jobs to the state?
Invest in education at all levels; focus job training, especially at community colleges; expand research at UM and centers of innovation; consolidate and streamline permitting; promote creative economy.
Do you support lowering the state income tax? What state spending would you cut to make up for the loss of revenue?
Despite the rhetoric, there is no evidence that lower tax rates leads to economic growth (see non-partisan Congressional Research Service, 2012). The state income tax rate should be fair, with tax relief going to working and middle class people who will spend money locally. Property tax relief is essential.
Are Maine's public assistance benefits too generous? How should they be changed?
I believe in compassionate accountability — helping those who need help so long as they work to help themselves. We need to move people from GA to work, better job training for recipients, better childcare for working mothers. Administer GA by larger units so that people stay in their own communities and don't move to service centers. People on public assistance are not living well
What should the state do to lower energy costs?
Continue emphasis on alternate power sources — geothermal, biomass, solar, hydro and wind. Encourage expansion of the natural gas network to homeowners, public institutions and businesses. Building insulation programs — creates jobs and saves energy.
Should Maine place more restrictions on abortion?
No. We need more and better health and sex education for young people. Birth control information and materials must be widely available.