Election Spectacular!

Our guide to the polls — local,  state, and national
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  November 1, 2012


Mark Dion — D
2. Yes
3. Yes
5. No
6. Yes

Jeffrey Langholtz — R
2. No
3. Yes
4. Keep existing
5. No against a federally controlled park
6. Yes, limited use of state funds should be considered.


Eric Bleicken — R
1. Unspecified. I will generally follow the LePage Administrations lead on how to reduce the cost of state government.
2. No
3. Unspecified I don’t know enough to answer this question.
4. Contract
5. No. This would take land off the tax roles and relinquish control to federal authority.
6. No

Peter Stuckey — D
1. DHHS but with savings shifted to address other critical issues within dhhs — like the section 21 and 29 wait lists, or the looming pnmi crisis, or the recent cuts to health care coverage, or.....!
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. restore recent cuts and to take full advantage of the federal ACA.
5. Yes
6. Yes


Seth Berner — GI
1. Department of corrections. Maine’s average annual cost per inmate of $46,404 as of 2010 ( ) is among the highest in the nation and $2000 more per inmate than it had been two years earlier. This number is perhaps not more than needs to be spent on minimal humane treatment of persons locked up, but it drives home the need to find alternatives to incarceration (treatment, education, addressing impact of poverty, etc) which are generally less expensive and more likely to turn inmates into taxpayers instead of repeat inmates.
2. YES! see
3. Yes
4. Expanding. People in need will remain in need unless and until they are given support that will help them become independent. Cutting aid will not eliminate need, it will just shift the burden of responding to the need. Increasing aid, on the other hand, will be a short-term cost that will be recouped when people become self-sufficient tax payers.
5. Yes, though I do not see it as a high priority.
6. Yes. We need to increase mass-transportation in almost every way. We need to stop obsessing about building highways designed for low efficiency automobile transportation.

Erik Jorgensen — D
1. Unspecified I don’t have a one-word answer for this. I would try to identify (and believe that there are) additional administrative efficiencies and consolidation opportunities, especially at some larger agencies. That said, I think this question is not suited to a one-word answer or single agency name — it’s sort of a trick question that seems designed to pit our two largest expenditure areas, education and human services, against each other. Without additional information on specific funding proposals I don’t want to offer an opinion here.
The State has never funded education at the legally mandated level, and recent human service cuts have badly harmed our social safety net. Most State departments have been cut repeatedly, and we have reached a point in many areas, where more program cuts at the state level will just shift burdens and increase local property tax pressure. I would weigh any proposed cuts against their effects on Portland.
2. YES I think we should look at the whole tax mix, including tax breaks, brackets, and expenditures. The last legislature cut taxes, especially on the wealthy, without paying for those cuts. I would support revisitation of that decision.
3. YES I would support this in Maine, but would prefer to see it addressed on a national level, as it is a systemic, rather than just a statewide, problem.
4. EXPAND in Keeping with the Affordable Care Act. I would support expanding MaineCare in keeping with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Cutting health benefits for the needy shifts costs to emergency rooms and other social/medical service facilities, and increases costs for all. Ultimately, I think a single payer national system is where we need to be headed. Until then, the Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction.
5. MAYBE I am strongly in favor of preserving/protecting the North Woods, but concerned about a plan that goes against the wishes of the majority of residents in northern Maine. If local support for a national park can be developed, I will support it, but I think there are other viable options to reach the goal of preserving the North woods while allowing for traditional use. These tools could include easements (such as the nature Conservancy has held), to a National Forest option, to state land purchases.
6. YES I support passenger rail as part of a menu of public transportation options — rail, bus, bicycle paths. These options need to be suited for affordable, reliable, daily commuting. That reliability starts with enough frequency.


Denise Harlow — D (Janet - she’s unopposed)
1. Department of administrative and financial services
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Restore to previous levels, before deep lepage cuts
5. Yes
6. Yes


Richard Farnsworth — D
1. You have to look at where the most money is and that would be the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. The question is establishing priorities for these expenditures.
2. Yes, but within the framework of major tax overhaul/reform.
3. Yes
4. Keep existing To keep it at pre 2010 levels.
5. Yes
6. On a limited basis such as the State’s share of Federal DOT funds.
The first one of these questions is somewhat of a “Have you stopped beating your wife?” question. There is an assumption that there is money to be saved. Over the years of the Baldacci administration there were reductions after reductions resulting in significant contraction of these departments. Even with the referendum on state funding of education being passed, we have never achieved the level that was proposed. Likewise, in services for individuals with disabilities, MaineCare has consistently cut back in its reimbursement for those services through rate reductions, categorical disallowances etc. and state funds have decreased on such items that MaineCare will no longer cover such as room and board. Likewise, the disappearance of Federal grants has reduced that level of support making it more difficult for these departments to meet their mandates with the resources that they have.
The current administrations plan to cut back the departments only means that there will be drastic reductions in services or that there will be a major shift to the local governments through property tax increases. That doesn’t help on a number of levels.
I would love to have an opportunity to delve further into these issues but that doesn’t fit into the desired short answers.

Frederic Miller — R
2. No tax increases for anyone
3. Yes
4. Contract-check eligibility
5. Yes
6. Yes, but federal funds first.


Kevin Casey — R
Did not answer

Thomas MacMillan — GI
1. Department of Corrections
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Expand
5. Yes
6. Yes

Matthew Moonen — D
1. Unspecified: I don’t believe in cutting for the sake of cutting, but am certainly open to ideas and suggestions on how to make government run more efficiently and provide more bang for the taxpayer buck.
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Expanding — the federal government has offered billions through the Affordable Care Act to states who expand coverage in an effort to move us toward universal coverage and we should take advantage of the opportunity to get those federal dollars to cover our fellow Mainers.
5. Yes — a thorough viability study would be very helpful in allowing us to determine whether or not this idea could work for all of Maine’s competing interests in the North Woods.
6. Yes


Herbert Adams — D
1. NONE ! Why ? This legislature passed but did not pay for $756 Million in tax breaks mostly for the wealthiest Mainers. The big bill comes due in 2013. REPEAL this first, before cutting needed services .
2. YES — see answer to #1 above. All should pay their fair share, according to ability.
3. Yes — One cause of the national recession was that banks sliced, diced, and re-sold mortgages like salami to far-flung investors. Hold them accountable now.
4. Keep existing. The budget cannot be balanced only by cutting MaineCare. Human beings with human needs will not just vanish. Simply cutting the state social safety net is no answer and is not respectful to the clients, towns or taxpayers who must pick up the transferred tab.
5. Yes
6. Yes. Re-established rail service across Northern Maine, along the existing rail line, is far more far-sighted than the vague, proposed East-West Highway.

Benjamin Chipman — I
1. Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, if necessary
2. Yes, everyone should pay their fair share
3. Yes
4. Expand to pre-LePage cuts
5. Yes
6. Yes

Gwendolyne Tuttle — R
1. Department of Corrections I would start by reducing spending within Maine’s Prison system. Our prison system is one of the most expensive in the country and recidivism is over 50%.
2. No. This will not solve Maine’s significant financial issues.
3. Yes
4. Contract I would like to explore contracting and complete a thorough audit of the Department of Health and Human Services.
5. Yes
6. No Not at this time.


Davian Akers — R
1. Legislature The house and the senate. New Hampshire pays $100 a year plus milage and they manage to find 400 people to serve the public as a good deed. I would start by scrapping the pensions for part time legilatures.
2. No. New York’s highest tax bracket is 8.97% for $500,000+ and that is the states deffinition of whealthy. Maines deffinition of whealthy is an income of $19950+ a year at 8.5% which is Maines highest tax bracket. If I am considered a whealthy Mainer then I oppose a tax increase which will punish my success. Our current government decreased taxes to 7.95% and eliminated taxes on the poor giving us more control of our money. I want to continue this path.
3. Yes
4. Keep existing. I would continue to allocate resources to where its needed most.
5. Yes
6. Yes but I would like to see it partnered with a private company.

Justine Lynn — GI
Did not answer

Diane Russell — D
1. Governor’s Office
2. Yes, on the 1%.
3. Yes
4. Keep existing eligibility and set up Exchanges to help people afford health insurance.
5. Moot point — the feds have already said they will not support it.
6. Yes, preferably through bonding.

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