Maine candidates respond to SOTU

By JEFF INGLIS  |  February 6, 2014

US House, 2nd District
Emily Cain, Democrat
The state senator from Penobscot County says many of Obama’s ideas “require more detail before knowing what their full impact would be,” but nevertheless says several ideas “have great potential.” One of those is the move to raise the minimum wage for some; Cain calls for Congress to raise the minimum wage for everyone. She also praised the president’s call for gender equity in pay. But she expressed concern that “Congress has proven itself to be polarizing and stubborn at times. That attitude gets us nowhere and does nothing to help the people they are elected to serve.” 

Troy Jackson, Democrat The Aroostook County logger and state senate majority leader state specifically praised Obama’s call to raise wages for federal contract employees. “Many in Congress don’t understand how important a living wage is because they have never had to struggle in a minimum wage job.” Jackson backs raising the minimum wage “to a living wage for all people,” not just federal contractors.

Alden Smith, Democrat The US Navy veteran (and current Navy reservist) agrees with Obama that jobs will go where there is high-quality infrastructure, and supports investment in Maine to attract new business. He supports raising the minimum wage: “The choices between heat and food will be eased a bit. I am sorry to see that the same raise is not applied to our elderly and our disabled veterans.” He supports ending the US military presence in the Middle East, but wants to ensure the Veterans Administration “is structured and equipped to meet the needs of our veterans in the coming years.”

Bruce Poliquin, Republican The former state treasurer was not directly reachable, but posted on Twitter and Facebook his reactions, which included agreeing with the president that “the poor and middle class have been left behind.” Poliquin asked “why opportunities have been shrinking during [Obama’s] economic ‘recovery.’” He objected to “a wasteful spending binge that has piled up an additional $5 trillion of debt with no plan to pay it off,” saying that Obama has “raised taxes on American families and the companies that employ them to among the highest in the industrialized world.”

Kevin Raye, Republican The former state senate president and co-owner of Raye’s Mustard Mill says he is “deeply troubled by the President’s vow to use Executive Orders to circumvent the will of the people’s elected representatives. The President sets a tone and, unfortunately, his divisive approach exacerbates the dysfunction that has become such an impediment to America’s ability to solve problems.”

Blaine Richardson, Independent The retired Navy captain and construction-business owner says Obama “made it very clear . . . that he is unwilling to work with the Congress to progress his agenda. This shows that he is no longer willing to maneuver within the traditional checks and balances found in the United States Constitution.” He heard Obama promote “more big government,” including “more regulations, more laws, more sanctions and more American involvement overseas.”

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