Senate District 12

Miramant focuses on property taxes, environment

By Daniel Dunkle | Oct 11, 2018

Democrat David Miramant said property taxes, health care and the environment are the biggest issues facing Knox County in the next Legislative session. He also said he expects a positive change in Augusta with Gov. Paul LePage out of office in January.

Miramant, of Camden, is seeking a third term in the District 12 Senate seat, which represents all of Knox County except the town of Washington. He is running against Republican Wendy Pelletier of Hope.

Miramant was in high school in the late 1960s and early 1970s and became interested in topics including the antiwar protests and civil rights. He saw many of these issues as resulting from the failure of politicians to negotiate and solve problems properly.

In his career as a pilot for Delta Airlines, he traveled extensively and asked the people in other countries, "What is working in your government, and what doesn't work?"

When he retired from the airlines, he got involved in local politics, first on the Camden Select Board and then in the Maine House of Representatives, before serving in the state Senate.

He noted that he has been frustrated with the LePage administration during his time in the Senate.

Failure in Augusta to provide communities with school funding and cuts to revenue-sharing have driven up property taxes, he said. He added that lowering income taxes benefits the wealthy and shifts costs to property taxes.

He favors expanding Medicaid, arguing that the governor's resistance to that not only thwarts the law, but results in people's going to emergency rooms for regular health care. That has hurt hospitals as well as the people, he said.

Miramant is also concerned about the environment and expressed strong support for both solar power and offshore windmills. He praised the University of Maine's design for floating offshore windmills that will not damage the ocean floor or cause problems for fishermen. He argued that clean energy will create jobs in Maine that cannot be exported.

He has favored increasing the minimum wage and voted against exempting wait staff in restaurants from those increases. He said increasing their wages has not resulted in a reduction in tips. He added that he is a strong supporter of labor. He has been a union member with the airlines and he has also owned businesses and been on the other side of labor negotiations.

He said he supported a bill to help have children's eyes checked in cases where a vision problem may be leading to difficulty with school work. So far, he said, this has not been supported by the Legislature's Education Committee, but he plans to bring the issue back.

One of his other goals will be supporting an overhaul of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, which he said has seen too many staff cuts to do its job properly.

On the issue of partisan gridlock, he criticized the governor for threatening to find candidates to run against anyone who votes against upholding his vetoes. Miramant said he works with everyone on both sides of the aisle and is willing to compromise to get something done and move forward.

"We're stressed about money; we're stressed about the political situation of Korea, or Russia with Putin, a lot of stuff that's unknown. ... That can then come out as us and them. It's easier to do that because there is no solution to the unknowns, except to trust that we will work on these things, that your representatives will work on these things and try to make them better."

He also said part of the problem of partisanship is driven by the press, asserting that the press likes turmoil and conflict and has a policy of "If it bleeds, it leads."

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