Election 2012

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William G. Guerrette

Party affiliation: R
Residence: West Gardiner

On the Issues

How do you propose the Legislature closes Maine’s budget gap?

We must address the state’s structural issues to ensure long-term budget stability. Only by substantially reforming entitlement programs for the young-and-able-bodied can we reach a budget that balances annually. Maine simply cannot continue to draw out-of-state and foreign move-ins who come to Maine because of the above-average benefits we offer. We must encourage upward mobility in society and stop propping up programs that don’t help the taxpayer or those who receive the aid.

Do you think same-sex marriage should be legal in Maine?

I believe all Mainers should have the same rights under the law regardless of sexual orientation. I also believe that marriage is a religious ceremony, and I think we can best achieve equality for all Maine’s citizens by basing laws (for both homosexual and heterosexual couples) on civil unions that do not involve churches.

Do you support school choice?

Yes. Many are quick to point out that charter schools (if vouchers are allowed) take money from public schools. If we are so worried about a mass exodus from public schools if we expand charter schools in Maine, what does that say about the state of our public schools? The best way to improve Maine’s schools is to recruit and invest in great teachers and to expect public schools to provide an objectively competitive education.

Do you think Maine's school consolidation program has been successful?

No. Top down control should never trump local school control. However, like many problems with state government, this issue does not exist in a vacuum. The need for school consolidation is a symptom of our state’s inability to live within its means for decades. We need smarter spending and new leadership in Augusta to fix issues like these.

Do you think Maine should expand MaineCare as proposed by the president under the Affordable Care Act?

No. The last thing this state or this country needs is more government control of their lives and more government spending, especially when it comes to their health. Putting government bureaucrats betweens patients and doctors and forcing people to buy insurance that do not want it is neither wise nor constitutional (in my view).

What is the biggest thing Maine can do to attract more jobs to the state?

Reform our tax code to be more friendly to businesses and simplify restrictive regulations. There is no excuse for policy that forces Maine lobsterman to ship their product to Canada to be processed. Examples like this exist in nearly every industry. Furthermore, we must encourage Mainers to train for careers that require technical and vocational training.

Do you support lowering the state income tax? What state spending would you cut to make up for the loss of revenue?

We cannot lower the state income tax is a responsible way until we fix the state’s spending crisis. Once that is under control, I would love to tax Maine workers as little as we can.

Are Maine's public assistance benefits too generous? How should they be changed?

Yes. Anytime state benefits deter people from returning to the workforce because they would have to take a pay cut, you have a problem. I have spoken to hundreds of people in my district that can all cite unique cases of abuse or excess within the state entitlement programs.

What should the state do to lower energy costs?

Stop wasting money on wind power and stop giving endless subsidies and preferential treatment to companies in the name of “clean energy.” Windmills are being built on Maine’s mountains for all the wrong reasons. Not only do these programs not help wean us off foreign oil (less than 1% of Maine’s electricity is produced from oil), they are being build to satisfy environmental regulations in other New England states, states that want the power but do not want the windmills themselves. We should invest in natural gas expansion (the cleanest burning fossil fuel), and also invest in nuclear power (which has worked in Maine before).

Should Maine place more restrictions on abortion?

I believe that abortion should only be reserved for cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger.