Your questions for the candidates
We posed the question in an online poll asking what local residents would like to ask candidates running for office in November. We received about 40 responses, which are printed below as written. Thank you for participating. We will use these responses as a guide as we formulate the questions to ask candidates for their profiles, which will be published at Knox.villagesoup.com and in The Courier-Gazette.
Are you going to represent the people of Maine or are you going to follow the party line?
How would they improve gun control laws?
What is their stance on same-sex marriage?
What are the qualities that they'd like to see in candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court?
Can they work constructively with members of other parties?
What are you prepared to do about jobs?
How are you going to fight the liberal agenda in Maine?
Welfare, taxes, illegal immigration
What do you think about giving illegal immigrants in Maine welfare?
The relative importance of any given issue is dynamic. Do you support the idea that a healthy democracy and true governance is dependent on the ability of all parties (with a small "p") to compromise at any given time on any given issue?
Are you willing to play nicely with others?
The tax cuts passed by a previous legislature have created huge revenue gaps, which subsequent legislatures have had to deal with. The result has been a shift in sources of revenue to the local level and property taxes. How do you feel about this situation? How do you feel generally about the tax structure in Maine? What would you do about it?
Are you running as a Clean Elections candidate? Why or why not?
What do you think is the largest problem facing this state? and why
What can you do about the increasing costs of food and transportation for the elderly without using Maine state monies? Some of us elderly are trying to finish our lives with dignity and pensions, not state subsidies.
Will you fully fund education and revenue sharing to municipalities to avoid property tax increases?
Are you willing to stand and vote against your party?
How are you going to grow good, healthy, sustainable jobs here in Maine?
Do you feel comfortable using an 8-year-old report for the dredging project in Searsport and possibly ruining the Penobscot Bay lobster industry, especially after the State of Maine Department of Marine Fisheries has closed local areas to harvesting lobsters? Do you feel comfortable in dredging in Searsport Harbor knowing the mercury spoils have closed down lobster harvesting on the other side of Sears Island?
Do you support bipartisan compromise on issues?
What is your position in voting to allow property tax dollars to follow students to private schools? ie. Waldorf or Montessori, etc.?
Were you encouraged to seek office, or was it your idea?
Are you in favor of expanding the Affordable Health Care Law to include lower income people, rather than use emergency room for medical needs?
Are you in favor of other tax measures to reduce the amount of property tax burden on the middle class?
How can we afford education with school age children dropping in most towns?
What will you do to improve our local economy?
As you know Maine is considered "A Death Spiral State." What will you do to remedy the situation?
What will you actively do to bring jobs//business to Midcoast Maine?
How will you expand health coverage to the uninsured?
In these days of tighter school district budgets, what will you do in the legislature to increase volunteerism in school life — academic and extracurricular — by interested members of the community?
What incentives can be legislated to encourage small and medium size businesses to employ young people?
Why do you think your political ideas are important to the people of the Midcoast?
What is your plan to ensure that both parties work together for positive outcomes?
What will you do to ensure that Midcoast schools receive adequate state funding?
What are your stand on drug testing welfare recipients and having illegal immigrants on state welfare?
What are the two most important things Maine must do to create significant numbers of new, lasting jobs?
What will you do, if elected, to help the Legislative and Executive branches of government work together to solve problems?
Will you vote to expand the Medicaid program to help more Mainers eligible for healthcare cost help?
How can we increase jobs and get people back to work and off assistance?
They should focus on getting more jobs that pay decent.They should also consider raising minimum wage.
Where do you stand on expanding ACA and creating a state exchange in 2015?
Mainers who spent their careers and lived their lives as part of the state's economic engine, and who were promised retirement benefits under the Maine State Retirement System, are suffering because their retirement benefits were changed by Gov. LePage. For example, they were told the state would cover 45 percent of their annual health insurance cost each year, but LePage froze that benefit to 45 percent of the cost three years ago, no matter how high their annual HI premiums rise. Instead of receiving a cost-of-living-allowance annually based on the previous year's income to keep up with inflation, they now only receive COLAs when the governor deems it and only on what their base income was when they retired. How do you suppose the gap in income between what these retirees thought they would have and what they actually are receiving is made up? On the backs of their families and social programs. This was not a win for Maine. This was a statement by the governor against teachers. Maine made a promise to these workers on which they have relied. They cannot collect Social Security due to another Maine law (one of 11 states which have this illogical statute). My question is this: How would you feel about getting the proverbial rug pulled out from under you after a lifetime of dedicated service? How will you work to make this right - to change this back to what these retirees relied upon receiving when they retired?
Are to willing to "go against your party" on certain issues to get us to a YES?
How will you end waste and save the taxpayer money if you are elected?
What are you going to do about finding relief for property taxpayers?
When are you going to repeal Common Core? taxes, reduce entitlements, reduce size/government?
Where does private sector growth rank in your order of legislative priorities? Why does it rank so high/low in your order of priorities? What legislative actions or initiatives will you introduce to stimulate both short and long term growth in the private sector? What does a 'thriving Maine' look like to you six years from now?
Rep. Dickerson states in a mailer that she helped pass the "temporary" increase to the state lodging tax. In an area where this tax affects numerous lodging places, my question is when she expects to introduce legislation to decrease the tax back to 7 percent?
What is your plan to get more jobs in Maine?