Election 2012

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Stephen M. Woods

Party affiliation: Independent
Residence: Yarmouth
Born: July 27, 1959
Grew up in: Massachusetts
Education: Needham High School; has worked as an adjunct professor University of South Carolina, Georgia State and Clark Atlanta University
Political experience: None
Job(s): President and owner, emg3 marketing agency; town council chairman, Town of Yarmouth; president and owner, Promerica Health LLC; president and owner, Viridescence LLC; president and owner, Sumerian Sports LLC; partner and minority owner, Forefront Mainely Partners LLC; board member, Big Brother and Big Sisters of Southern Maine; board member, Maine Sports Hall of Fame; partner and minority owner, Maine Red Claws
Family: Wife Katie; children Emily, Cameron and Zack
Personal worth: $12,729,038-$58,940,005


On the Issues

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

To balance the federal budget/reduce the federal deficit, it does not take 535 members of Congress fighting, an IBM Super Computer, or a large room full of financial wizards. It takes a fair degree of common sense, some root understanding of economics and the will to make the tough decisions needed and not to cave to political pressures. We can no longer spend more money as a country than what we collect in revenue. And we must reduce and eliminate our debt as soon as possible. New global realities demand that the United States adopt new approaches to foreign policy. We can’t spend as much money outside our borders helping other countries as we have in the past – when we borrowing money from China to do so.

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

Like many government programs, Social Security and Medicare reform should be less about politics and more about math and basic economics. We have an aging population that is putting far greater demands on the working population that is required to fund these programs. We need to be compassionate towards members of our society that depend on support from Social Secuity and Medicare – while being fair to those with the funding burden.

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

My pledge to the citizens of Maine is to represent them to the best of my ability every single day of my term in the Senate. I will promise to work tirelessly to reduce the tax burden that faces every American. But, how can any candidate or elected official “pledge” to “never” raise taxes not knowing what faces America in the future? The good people of Maine will elect a new United States Senator on November 6th. They should elect the person most capable of representing Maine and the country with honesty and integrity – NOT someone willing to pander for votes with a “pledge.”

How should health care be reformed?

Health care reform is one of the most complex issues/challenges that we face as a country in regard to; taxation, insurance policy, uninsured coverage, tort law, etc.

It is also one of the simplest. Each and every American deserves a reasonable level of health care support from birth to death. Not because of a law passed through Congress but because of who we are as a country. Our humanity should be our guiding principle – not political gamesmanship.

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

Yes. I support the law of the land on this issue and I support a woman’s right for control and decision making over her own body.

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

Yes. Empathically and unequivocally — yes. Over 236 years we as a country have suppressed human rights by race, gender & religion. No more. People are people and I believe that each and every American should enjoy the same legal, social and human rights as each other.

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

Limited. The federal government should set various academic standards for K-12 education. A Global economy requires global vision and the federal government is best suited to assist in this area. As a former Adjunct Professor, I am the most experienced US Senate candidate in the area of education.

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

School Choice and Voucher programs are too complex of issues to answer “yes” or “no” without a broader educational context. They represent situational solutions to disparate issues that each state and each community face individually. In principle, I believe that we must insure that every single child in America has access to a quality education.

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

Answer: Insane or Uninformed. Question: How would you describe people that don’t believe that humans contribute to climate change?

My harsh answer is born from an urgent and harsh reality. The earth is heating up from the CO2 that we’re producing and releasing into the atmosphere. More than 98% of scientists agree with the science that climate change is very real and a serious problem that demands our attention and our efforts to reduce. Across the world, droughts are real, record heat waves are real, polar cap melting is real, rising ocean levels are real, changing migration patterns are real – we must get real on this issue. This is not a political issue in any way, shape or form.

Even the manner in which this question was asked, “Do you believe…” reflects a sad commentary on where we are on this overly politicized issue. Since when did science start to require the “belief” of people as a validity criterion? Do I believe in nuclear fusion? Yes. Not because I understand atomic particle theory but because I believe in the scientists that do – and after seeing old film of atomic explosions – I accept it.

Climate change is real. It’s happening. It’s serious. And we shouldn’t waste any more time on a silly debate where 98% of scientists and a 10-mile high stack of research all conclusively point to that reality – while five nutty scientists and a crayon box full of fuzzy data suggests that it’s not real.

What should the country’s energy policy look like?

As earth hurdles through space at 67,000-mph we’re carrying a finite supply of fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) with us that will soon run out. We should make energy research one of our top goals. With earth’s population rapidly growing, this is an immediate problem that deserves our attention. Our future depends on us developing new energy technologies for our very survival – we should approach “energy” as an urgent priority for Maine, the United States and the world.